Saturday, 12 March 2016 00:00

UEFA Europa League 2015 - 2016 Review

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It was an action-packed midweek for the England teams in Europe as the four remaining teams ended up with mixed results. Chelsea was the first to get knocked out losing out to French Champions Paris Saint-Germain. The first European encounter between Liverpool and Manchester United continued the disappointment for United while Tottenham had to bear the brunt of resting several regulars against Borussia Dortmund.

 

Chelsea dumped out of Europe…this year and the next!

The writing was almost on the wall before the second leg. The defending Premier League Champions were clinging on to their only hope of staying in next year Champions league but PSG exposed the inefficiencies to march into the quarter finals.

Taking a 2-1 lead from the first leg, PSG never looked in any problem as an early goal from Adrion Rabiot extended their grip on the tie. Chelsea tried to come back through Diego Costa’s goal but his departure to an injury followed by an Ibrahimovic goal made sure that Chelsea were shown the exit.

With their domestic form in shambles – they are currently in 10th position – Chelsea now face the prospect of no European football next season.

Liverpool deliver a master class to their arch rivals

In an enthralling display, Liverpool delivered a knock-out punch to its arch rivals Manchester United in the first leg of Europa League last 16 at Anfield.

Dubbed as a high voltage encounter, considering the on-and-off-the-field animosity between the clubs, the match failed to live up to its expectations. United were a poor shadow of their past and in patches were worse than what they were domestically.

Goals from Daniel Sturridge and Roberto Firmino gave Liverpool a strong 2-0 lead into the second leg. The deficit for United could have been worse had it not been for the brilliance of David de Gea under the bar.

Teams in the past have come back from bigger deficiencies but this United squad looks all set to go out of Europe with a whimper.

Tottenham dealt a hard blow by Dortmund

Mauricio Pochettino has shown tactical brilliance many times this season but this wouldn’t be counted as one. Under pressure to sustain title challenge against Leicester City, the Argentine gambled with a much-changed team against Dortmund at the Signal Iduna Park.

The gamble backfired spectacularly as Tottenham failed to contain the aggression of the hosts falling to a 3-0 loss. Goals from Aubameyang and a brace from Marco Reus meant that Dortmund take a commanding lead into the second lead.

On the basis of this performance, the German side look good to reach the final in Basel and should be considered as one of the favorites – if they are not already counted so.

For Tottenham, there is a title to play for in the domestic front but questions will be asked on the decision to rest so many regulars.

 

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