The first leg of the semifinals of the 2020/21 Europa League kicked off in style on Thursday night with the home sides covering themselves in glory.
The encounters on the night and the results seemed to give away the side that is favorite to emerge victoriously in this season’s Europa League competition and I think it’s Manchester United.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his men covered Old Trafford in glory as they thrashed Roma 6:2 to put themselves in good stead for a place in the final. The Red Devils have been very impressive in this competition since they were knocked out from the group stages of the UEFA Champions League.
Regardless, I believe their aim should be to replicate such performances in the UCL as the Europa is way below them for a club of their standard.
The Red Devils should be doing better in Europe’s elite club competition although they are cruising in Europe’s second-best club competition.
If you ask me, the Red Devils are already in the final of the competition as I don’t see Roma overturning this scoreline, not against this Manchester United although folks would want to point out Barcelona’s case at the Stadio Olimpico.
Therefore, we can safely say that one Premier League team is in the 2020/21 Europa League final already. As for the other Premier League outfit, Arsenal, they lost 2:1 to Villareal away in Spain.
They were coming up against a side being led by their former manager Unai Emery who I’m sure will be keen to ruin the Gunners’ only hope of making it to the UEFA Champions League next season by eliminating them.
The Spaniards started out flying and went two goals up. It looked worse when Ceballos received his second yellow on the night and was sent off. However, the Gunners wouldn’t give up without a fight and pulled one back via Nicolas Pepe.
Mikel Arteta’s men have that vital away goal but must beat Unai Emery’s men at the Emirates in the return leg convincingly. The funny fact is that no one knows what to expect from this Arsenal team that can be very unpredictable at times.
Regardless, there is still everything to play for in this tie and we’ll have a game on our hands as Unai Emery’s men won’t give up without a fight.
A place in next season’s UCL competition is a major motivator for them to give their best at the Emirates.
Meanwhile, wouldn’t it be overkill if we end up having an all-Premier League UEFA Champions League final and an all-Premier League Europa League final after this round of matches in both competitions? We wait to see what transpires.