Sevilla, winner of Wolverhampton 1-0 on Tuesday in the Europa League quarter-finals, will face Manchester United in the big poster of the semi-finals on Sunday. Another favorite Inter Milan will challenge Shakhtar Donetsk on Monday, who dominated Basel 4-1.
A little in the shadow of the Lisbon Champions League, these semi-finals nonetheless bring together a square of aces, all former winners of the event, and all already qualified for the Champions League next season. (Configuration which offers in passing a place in the group stage from C1 to third in the French L1, Rennes).
Manchester United and Inter arrive launched: the Red Devils finished the Premier League with a streak of fourteen consecutive games without defeat. For their part, the Milanese have conceded only one defeat in the last 12 days of Serie A, to win the honorary title of vice-champion behind Juve.
But Seville cannot be removed from the favorites list: the Andalusian club have won the Europa League five times in the last fifteen years, including three consecutive times under the leadership of Unai Emery (2014, 2015, 2016).
Tuesday night in Duisburg, the team now coached by Julen Lopetegui, however, suffered to overcome the "Wolves" of Wolverhampton. It was Argentinian Lucas Ocampos, with a header from a free kick, who delivered the Spaniards in the 88th minute, as we headed straight for extra time after a very balanced game.
Wolverhampton missed the boat in the first half, when Raul Jimenez took a penalty too softly, stopped by Sevilla goalkeeper Bono who had started on the right side.
In the Cologne stadium on Sunday, Seville will not be without strengths against the Red Devils, suffering Monday in the quarter-finals.
Third in the Premier League and logical favorites in this Europa League, Paul Pogba's teammates had to fight until extra time on Monday and wait for a penalty - transformed by Bruno Fernandes - to overcome the weak Danes in Copenhagen (1- 0).
- Donetsk solid outsider -
In the other semi-final Monday in Düsseldorf, Inter will have to remain on its end-of-season momentum so as not to be trapped by a Donetsk team that we saw very disciplined, talented and efficient on Tuesday against Basel.
In Gelsenkirchen, in the Schalke 04 stadium, the Swiss quickly gave in to the individual and collective superiority of the Ukrainians, who made the hole in a quarter of an hour and then managed their lead.
In the second minute, the Ukrainian international of Brazilian origin Junior Moraes scored with a header (1-0) on receiving a corner, followed 20 minutes later by the Brazilian Taison, whose shot was deflected in his own goal by Basel defender Fabian Frei (2-0, 22nd).
Alan Patrick has definitely buried the hopes of Basel by converting a penalty in the 75th minute (3-0), and Dodo concluded the party at the very end of the match (4-0, 88th). Ricky Van Wolfswinkel saved the honor for the Swiss in added time (4-1, 90 + 2).
© 2020 AFP