Man Utd in Europa League semi-finals; Man City in Champions League quarter-finals
Last Updated: 13/08/20 6:50am
The European football action continues apace – and soon to reach a thrilling conclusion.
The continent’s two club competitions, the Champions League and Europa League, are being played using new tournament-style formats in Portugal and Germany, five months after the coronavirus shut down the European season.
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Manchester City have seen off Real Madrid to book a quarter-final with Lyon, while a tantalising clash between Barcelona and Bayern Munich awaits in the last eight.
In the Europa League, Manchester United have reached the semi-finals while Wolves crashed out to Sevilla in the last eight.
The format of the final stages of the competition has been amended with the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final all now set to be held in Lisbon, Portugal.
The remaining matches are one-legged ties played in Lisbon at Benfica’s Estadio da Luz or Sporting Lisbon’s Estadio Jose Alvalade
RB Leipzig vs Atletico Madrid (August 13, Estadio Jose Alvalade)
Barcelona vs Bayern (August 14, Estadio da Luz)
Manchester City vs Lyon (August 15, Estadio Jose Alvalade)
Manchester City or Lyon vs Barcelona or Bayern Munich (August 19, Estadio da Luz)
RB Leipzig or Atletico Madrid vs Paris Saint-Germain (August 18, Estadio Jose Alvalade)
Sunday August 23 (Estadio da Luz)
The Covid-19 outbreak has also prompted change to the final stages of the Europa League, with the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final all to be played as one-legged ties at Cologne’s RheinEnergieStadion, Schalke’s Veltins Arena, Fortuna Düsseldorf’s Merkur Spiel-Arena or MSV Duisburg’s Schauinsland-Reisen-Arena.
Man Utd – who beat LASK 7-1 on aggregate in the last 16 and then Copenhagen 1-0 after extra time in the quarter-finals – are now through to the last four. Bruno Fernandes’ extra-time penalty booked a date with Sevilla in the semis at the RheinEnergieStadion in Cologne on Sunday.
In battering Basel in their quarter-final, Shakhtar Donetsk really look capable of repeating their fairytale run to UEFA Cup glory in 2009. The Ukrainian outfit will face Inter Milan at the Merkur Spiel-Arena in Dusseldorf on Monday.
Sevilla vs Man Utd (August 16, RheinEnergieStadion)
Inter Milan vs Shakhtar Donetsk (August 17, Merkur Spiel-Arena)
Friday August 21 (RheinEnergieStadion)
How will the condensed format impact next season?
Teams who aren’t in European competitions this month could have an edge in domestic leagues next term.
Tottenham finished sixth in the Premier League to clinch a place in the Europa League second qualifying round, and Jose Mourinho will hope his side can profit from having the month of August off to fully charge for next season.
In Germany, while the likes of Bayern Munich, RB Leipzig and Leverkusen play, other clubs can rest.
The same could well apply to Manchester City and Manchester United. The Premier League announced last month that the quartet would be given extra time off and start next season late, should they go into the latter stages of their respective European competitions.
Fatigue could follow players and clubs all the way through the 2020/21 campaign, which starts on September 12 and will be more congested than usual.