Four teams remain in the UEFA Europa League and one of Arsenal, Atletico Madrid, Marseille or Salzburg will lift the trophy in Lyon, thus also assuring themselves of a coveted spot in next season’s Champions League. Atletico Madrid are clear favourites and are frankly a cut above the other teams still in the competition. Since coming third in their Champions League group, where they took four points off Roma which looks even better form in retrospect, Atletico have cruised and Arsenal will have to seriously raise their game in order to qualify for the final.
The Gunners must make the most of the 1st leg at home because their away form, both domestically and in Europe is woeful and almost cost them their Europa progress so far. Atletico have only conceded four goals at home in La Liga and are undefeated despite having hosted Real Madrid and Barcelona already. According to the bookmakers the winners of this tie will most likely go on to win the tournament but Marseille and Salzburg also have their claims.
Following a 1-0 home win versus the French RB Leipzig doubled their leg within 2 minutes in Marseille. 2-0 up with an away goal, game over then? Well no, far from it! In a topsy-turvy tie Leipzig found themselves 3-1 down at half-time, 3-2 on aggregate and going out, then level at 3-3 and qualifying on away goals, before two goals for Marseille finally saw the German side eliminated.
Even more remarkably Salzburg lost the first leg 4-2 against Lazio in Italy and were 5-2 down early in the second half, but this quarter-final was not over either! Sensationally the Austrian side scored 3 goals in the space of 5 minutes to end up winning 6-5 on aggregate and taking their place in the semis.