The seedings and pots for the playoff round of the Europa League have been confirmed, and it could throw up some very interesting ties.
For starters, Torino and Rangers are not seeded but both Wolves and PSV Eindhoven are. It means the Midlands outfit could theoretically play either Torino or the Gers in their playoff round should all teams beat their respective third qualifying round opponents.
The official draw takes place on Monday.
Is it time for Spallexit? Inter fans may certainly be feeling so after last night, which saw their team crash out of Europe following a 1-0 loss at home to Eintracht Frankfurt. Having drawn the first leg 0-0 in Germany, Inter would’ve been favourites to progress at the San Siro, but an early Luka Jovic goal put paid to their hopes. It’s been a disastrous European campaign for the Nerazzurri, first failing to qualify from a Champions League group that also consisted of Barca, Spurs and PSV (they needed to beat PSV at home on the final match day, but failed to do so!), and now bowing out of the EL in the Round of 16.
The Italian papers, full of praise for Cristiano after his performance against Atleti, were blunt in their assessment of Inter’s exit.
CdS ran the wonderful headline “Patatracht”, a play on the Italian word (patatrac) and Eintracht’s name. TuttoSport went with “Che Disastro”. GdS chose “Notte Fonda” (dead night)
Inter’s exit now means Napoli are the last Italian team left in the Europa League, and they’ve been given tough last eight opposition in the form of Arsenal, who beat Rennes 3-0 at home to overturn a 3-1 deficit from the first leg at the Roazhon.
Arsenal narrowly avoided embarrassment at the hands of Swedish minnows Ostersunds, whose manager Graham Potter became the first English gaffer to win at the Emirates in continental competition. Potter’s Ostersunds scored twice in the space of 70 seconds in the first half as Arsene Wenger cut a shocked figure on the sidelines. However the Gunners were given an escape route after the interval through Sead Kolasinac’s goal, which gave them a cushion of sorts, and Ostersunds were unable to score the two they needed to produce an upset. Continue reading
David de Gea again showed why he is the world’s best keeper, producing an an amazing save to deny Sevilla’s Colombian striker Luis Muriel. The Spaniard has been a rock in goal for Manchester United and Jose Mourinho, and has dug them out of many a sticky situation in the past. Muriel was also seen congratulating the 27 year old at half time during the game.
United came away from Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan without conceding a goal thanks to De Gea’s heroics and French newspaper L’Equipe gave him a rating of 8, more than any other player on the pitch from the two sides put together. Alexis Sanchez got 6, but none of the remaining United players got more than 5. Three of the backline in front of DDG- Chris Smalling, Victor Lindelof and Antonio Valencia, were rated 4/10 Continue reading