The UEFA Europa League recently came to the end of the group stage games. It narrowed down to only 32 teams with most of the European Giants making it to the list.
Teams that came in third in Championship League groups joined the group stage qualifiers. Teams that are set to join the league after elimination from the UCL include Ajax, Man United, Club Brugge, Olympiacos, RB Salzburg, Dynamo Kyiv, Krasnodar, and Shakhtar Donetsk.
What Teams Made It Through?
Match Day 5
CSKA Sofia recorded a notable win against Roma. However, Group A had much more drama to offer. Coach Paulo Fonseca rested some of his big names during the trip to Bulgaria, a move that cost him a vital win. Since he had recorded winnings, he did not anticipate the 3-1 loss.
The excitement in Bulgaria wasn’t that much compared to the last minutes of the match between CFR Cluj and Young Boys. Young Boys only needed one point to earn the second spot after Roma. At the 84th minute of an interesting match, the substitute Gabriel Debeljuh got in and brought with him an unexpected twist to the match.
After a foul against Cedric Zesiger, CristianBalgradean, Cluj goalkeeper, conceded a penalty. Later in the match, Nsame was sent out of the game for a foul tackle and Gianluca Gaudino helped his team earn a crucial goal.
This group met and surpassed expectations. Napoli needed a win to earn the top spot and remove Real Sociedad. The match was suspenseful and for most of it, the odds seemed to favor Napoli. Piotr Zielinski scored a goal right before halftime.
Sociedad, however, had more chances to score all through the match. They managed to score an equalizing goal at the 92nd minute of the match.
The final day of the Europa League group stage matches was chaotic, exciting and surprising. Had you claimed a bonus on Ladbrokes and wagered totals, ‘Both teams to Score’ or Match winners, there was a great chance of winning money.
Check out this review of Ladbrokes to discover more on why we’re talking about its bonuses. News flash, the company also provides competitive odds and quick payouts. That said, here’s how the final day of the Europa League went down.
Before their loss, Roma was already a group winner. Young Boys managed to join them as the 32nd team after their late and unexpected win.
Group winners, Arsenal went through. In Dublin, they beat Dundalk 3-1 hence. It established them as the only club with a perfect record. Molde earned second place.
Both Bayer Leverkusen and Slavia Prague were qualified before their match. With the help of Leon Bailey, Bayer Leverkusen had an easy win and earned their position at the top of the group.
Before their 2-0 win, rangers were already qualified. Their win elevated them to top spot. With this result, Benfica who had had a draw against Standard Liege did not have a chance of being first.
PAOK and Grenada recorded a 0-0 draw in Greece. The results opened up a position for PSV Eindhoven who needed a win and for Grenada’s points to drop. Luckily for them, the 4-0 Win helped them.
Both Real Sociedad and Napoli qualified following their 1-1 draw. Their match in Naples was exciting and Willian Jose scored the visitors’ goal in the 92nd minute.
Both Braga and Leicester City were already qualified for the knockout stages. AEK Athens needed a win to help the Foxes secure the group’shighest spot. They managed to score an easy win with the help of Harvey Banes and Cengiz Under.
Lille would need a win against Celtic to secure a guaranteed spot at the top. In AC Millan’s match against Sparta Prague, AC Millan won 1-0.
Group winners Villarreal qualified before the match against Qarabagh. This match was suspended following a COVID-19 outbreak. Maccabi Tel Aviv is set to join them during the knockout stages after beating Sivasspor 1-0.
Tottenham Hotspur and Antwerp were already qualified before their London clash. However, they were both trying to win the top spot. Tottenham Hotspur recorded an interesting win with the help of Giovanni Lo Celso and Carlos Vinicius.
In this group, Dinamo Zagreb qualified as the group winners. They were soon joined by Wolfsberg following their 1-0 win against Feyenoord.
Hoffenheim won top position in this group followed by Red Star. Hoffenheim completed their campaign with a 4-1 win against Gent.
Arsenal was one of the most exciting teams in the UEFA Europa League. The team topped Group B with amazing success, winning all games and scoring a total of 20 goals. In the Premier League, however, they aren’t doing so well at position 15 with only ten goals after 11 games.
In the past, the Europa League was known for featuring some of the youngest and most talented players. However, Arsenal seems to have taken the same route. Mikel Arteta gave the youngsters a chance to shine in the match against Dundalk. He made 11 changes during the match. Joe Willock and Eddie Nkeitah are some of the young players who impressed and made notable contributions. Florian Balogun lived up to the hype around him even though he was a substitute.
When speaking in a press conference, Arteta spoke of the need to ensure that everyone feels included even when the team is large. According to him, giving so many players a chance makes it possible to determine who is better and still rotate them.
The question, for most people, is whether more coaches should emulate Mikel Arteta and include more young and talented players especially in the Premier League. There is obviously something wrong with the present first team choices especially for Arsenal. It would be wise to provide opportunities to the likes of Willock, Nkeitah, and Maitland-Niles.