In the semi-finals of the Europa League, Sevilla FC will face Manchester United while Inter Milan face Shakhtar Donetsk.
Sevilla, Tuesday winner of Wolverhampton 1-0 in the quarter-final of the Europa League, 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 Sevilla 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 evening in Duisburg, the team now coached by Julen Lopetegui, however, suffered to overcome the “Wolves” of Wolverhampton. It was Argentina’s Lucas Ocampos, 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.
Donetsk solide outsider
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).
In the other semi-final on Monday in Düsseldorf, Inter will have to stay 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 ( 4-1).