17 August 2020
Sevilla and Manchester United will face off against each other at the RheinEnergieStadion in the revamped UEFA Europa League quarter-finals. Sevilla ran out 2-1 aggregate winners when the two sides locked horns in the 2017/17 UEFA Champions League round of 16, and United will be looking to return the favor now.
The Andalusian giants were relentless in Europe this term, finishing top of Group A with an intimidating record of W5, L1 before squeezing past CFR Cluj in their last-32 tie on the away goal rule (1-1 A, 0-0 H). ‘Los Rojiblancos’ then went on to win both of their Europa League single-leg ties ‘to nil,’ dumping Roma 2-0 in the round of 16 before overcoming Wolverhampton 1-0 in the quarter-finals. Lucas Ocampos’ late strike against Wolves now means that three of Sevilla’s four goals scored in the competition’s knockout stages this season arrived inside the final ten minutes of either first or the second half of play. Remarkably, Sevilla have successfully negotiated a way through to the Europa League final in all five of their previous appearances in the competition’s semi-finals and moved on to lift the trophy! Additionally, they’ve won five out of six UEFA ties against English adversaries, including all four in the Europa League.
Despite barely edging past FC Copenhagen after an extra-time drama, the Red Devils have been nothing short of outstanding in Europe this season. Indeed, Manchester United finished top of Group L, racking up four wins from six group-stage fixtures (D1, L1), all of which yielded a clean sheet. They then went on to hammer LASK in their last-32 tie, 7-1 on aggregate (5-0 A, 2-1 H) to set up a quarter-finals showdown against Copenhagen. Although only Bruno Fernandes’ extra-time penalty propelled United to the semi-finals, it’s been the seventh time in nine Europa League games this season that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men managed to shut out their opposition. However, it also means they’ve netted under 1.5 goals in five of nine European outings this term.
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