The coronavirus may have forced all football fans out of the stadium, but the glitz, glamour and anxiety of the competition were back once a restart date was announced for August 5th, after putting in place strict medical protocol.
The calendar was not the only thing that changed due to the virus, the location of the proposed final was also changed from Gdansk stadium in Poland to Stadion Koln, Cologne, Germany, with the polish given the 2021 hosting right.
The Europa League was organized into a ‘mini-tournament’ with the Round of 16, quarterfinal, semifinal, and final all played in Germany, unlike in the previous edition the mini-tournament was played as a one-leg fixture with the winner advancing to the next round.
Road to Final…
Inter Milan and Sevilla played a one-leg round of fixture against Getafe and Roma respectively as they were yet to play their 1st leg fixture before the suspension of football, while teams that had already played were allowed to complete the 2nd leg before moving one to the new format.
Inter Milan.. Milano Siamo NOI, Milano Siamo Noi, Milano Noi
Inter Milan’s road to the Europa League final was a long one; they started from the Champions League were relegated to the Europa League after they finished third due to mixed performance. The Nerazzurri got back on the horse as they won there round of 32 against Ludogorets 4-1 on aggregate, and piped Spanish club Getafe 2-0 to advance from the Round of 16.
Summer signing Rumelu Lukaku was in red hot form in the quarterfinal as they won Bayern Leverkusen 2-1 to book a date with Ukrainian club Shakhtar Donetsk to become the first player to score in nine straight Europa League games.
Semifinal fixture against Ukranian club Shakhtar Donetsk turned out to be a walk in the park for the Italian side as they thumped 5-0, as Lukaku added to his goal tally with 33 goals in his first season with the Italian side but needs two goals to overtake Manchester United Bruno Fernandes as Europa League highest goalscorer and Marcelo Brozovic and Eriksen pulling the strings for. the team.
Sevilla’s road to the final
“Himno Del Centenario.”
The tournament’s most successful club with five Europa League trophies, three of those trophies have been won in the last six season.
However, being the tournament specialist didn’t make their road to the final an easy one, but their group stage was a fairly easy one with a 1st place finish in a group that had Qarabag, Dudelange but had to dig deep for the Round of 32 matches against CFR Cluj 1-1 draw to advance on away goal rules.
A round of 16 fixtures against Italian club Roma proved surprisingly easy with a 2-0 win as the turned on the heat, a narrow win against English club Wolves in their quarterfinal fixture which turned out to be a potential banana skin.
Another English team came knocking in the semifinal in the form of Manchester United, and they had to once against dig deep to come from behind to advance to the final stage of the competition with a narrow 2-1 win.
Lucas Ocampos is the main man in the Sevilla side but has only scored once in this year’s Europa League competition, while Ever Banega does the dirty job right in the middle for the team, while loan player Sergio Reguilon has been an ever-present figure on the flank from his fullback position as the 23-year gave an assist in the match against Manchester United.
Inter Milan will have some work to do if they want to overcome this stubborn Sevilla side as they have only conceded one goal in their last four matches in the Europa League, which was the penalty Bruno Fernandes scored for Man Utd.
Who do you think will win?
The two are worthy of winning the title with only a couple of days to go before the final match in Koln, Germany. Would it be the tournament specialist Sevilla or would Inter Milan win their first European trophy since 2010, share your view with us in the comment section.