The Europa League will arrange a reunion for Manchester United supervisor Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as he takes on an previous pal within the quarterfinals.
When Solskjaer’s workforce faces Copenhagen in Cologne on Monday, the opposing coach will probably be his previous Norway teammate Stale Solbakken.
The 2 performed on the 1998 World Cup when Norway reached the final 16 and beat Brazil alongside the best way. The Norwegian workforce was bursting with expertise then however hasn’t certified for a World Cup since.
“I used to play with Stale Solbakken and he’s a superb pal of mine — we’ve been in contact earlier than at present. We wished one another good luck and stated hope to see you in Germany. They did their job, we did our job, so on to the following one,” Solskjaer stated Wednesday, based on UEFA.
“Stale’s groups are all the time nicely organised and troublesome to play towards. Very gifted younger gamers with expertise. He’s performed implausible in constructing workforce after workforce and it’s going to be a troublesome one.”
United would be the overwhelming favourite, however Copenhagen and Solbakken have sprung surprises earlier than. Throughout his first spell as Copenhagen coach in 2006, Solbakken led the workforce to a 1-Zero victory over United within the Champions League group stage.
Solskjaer was on the sphere for United that day alongside Wayne Rooney in assault, with a 21-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo on the flank.
WOLVES HUNTING TROPHY
Solbakken has an sad historical past with one other workforce within the quarterfinals. His six months as coach of Wolverhampton in 2012-13 had been a far cry from its European successes this season.
Again then Solbakken’s workforce flirted with relegation from the second-tier championship and he was dismissed after simply six months in cost. That paved the best way for Solbakken to hitch Copenhagen seven months later and he is stayed ever since.
Wolves tackle five-time Europa League winner Sevilla on Tuesday of their greatest European sport since dropping the 1972 UEFA Cup ultimate to Tottenham.
It has been a protracted highway for Wolves, who began the Europa League within the second qualifying spherical in July 2019 towards Northern Irish membership Crusaders.
“This aim means the whole lot. It’s the whole lot we had been going via, for the entire season. For the reason that starting we had been coaching, we had been working laborious,” striker Raul Jimenez stated Thursday after scoring the successful penalty towards Olympiakos.
“We began the Europa League within the qualification rounds and have had an enormous, large season, however we have now to maintain going.”
NOW OR NEVERKUSEN
For Bayer Leverkusen, the Europa League match on residence soil presents a golden likelihood to shed its nickname of “Neverkusen.”
5 occasions the Bundesliga runner-up and by no means the champion, and the dropping finalist to Actual Madrid within the 2002 Champions League ultimate, Leverkusen has a fame for falling simply wanting success. It has historical past on this competitors although, beating Espanyol on penalties in 1988 within the ultimate of what was then referred to as the UEFA Cup.
Successful the trophy would put Leverkusen again within the Champions League for 2020-21 after it missed out by two factors in June.
It is now or by no means for Kai Havertz too. The Leverkusen ahead has been linked with a transfer to Chelsea, so every sport within the Europa League may very well be his final for the membership he joined on the age of 11. He hit the bar and put one other shot simply large as Leverkusen defeated Rangers within the spherical of 16.
The draw hasn’t made that straightforward, pitting Leverkusen towards Inter Milan within the quarterfinal Tuesday. Inter is aiming to cap its latest resurgence with its first trophy in 9 years. No Italian membership has received this competitors since Parma received the UEFA Cup in 1999.