UEFA Europa League: Your Running Commentary

UEFA Europa League logo

 

By FRANCO PANIZO

March Madness might garner a lot of attention stateside, but there is a European-based competition resuming that is worth some of the spotlight as well.

The UEFA Europa League is set continue on Thursday afternoon as the second legs of the Round of 16 are played, including Napoli’s home game against FC Porto. Napoli are down, 1-0, on aggregate after losing last week and will look to overturn that deficit at the intimidating Stadio San Paolo.

AZ Alkmaar are also holding a 1-0 advantage in their series after Aron Johannsson converted a penalty kick vs. Anzhi Makhachkala last Thursday, and they will try and protect that lead when they visit the Russian club. Johannsson is on a good run of form as of late, so Anzhi will need to be wary of him to avoid suffering elimination.

If you will be watching any of today’s matches, please feel free to leave your thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play and analysis in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action (full schedule after the jump).

1pm – Anzhi Makhachkala vs. AZ Alkmaar - DirecTV/Fox Soccer 2Go

2pm – Benfica vs. Tottenham – ESPN3/Fox Soccer 2Go

2pm – Valencia vs. Ludogorets – Fox Soccer 2Go/Fox Sports 2 USA

2pm – Firoentina vs. Juventus – ESPN Deportes/Fox Soccer Plus/Fox Soccer 2Go

2pm - Viktoria Pizen vs. Lyon – ESPN3/Fox Soccer 2Go

4:05pm – Napoli vs. FC Porto – ESPN3/Fox Soccer 2Go

4:05pm – SV Salzburg vs. FC Basel – DirecTV/Fox Soccer Plus/ESPN3/Fox Soccer 2Go

4:05pm – Real Betis vs. Sevilla – ESPN Deportes/Fox Soccer 2Go

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18 Responses to UEFA Europa League: Your Running Commentary

  1. John says:

    Aron hasn’t seen much of the ball but AZ holding the 0-0 score line at half

  2. Dank says:

    Pitch looks awful in the AZ game

  3. argh says:

    how can MLS clubs still be so crappy in the Champions League? For christsake

  4. John says:

    AZ go through, going to likely see a strong test in the final 8,

  5. John says:

    Tottenham look like they are out, would have to score 3 now just to tie it up, against Benfica

    • Expat4455 says:

      Stick a fork in them. The fat lady is singing. Turn off the lights, the party’s over.

  6. Expat4455 says:

    Not much of a match, very few shots on goal, but AZ advances so we will get to see Aron again.

    btw, Big article in Süddeutsche Zeitung today on Julian Green. They are giving all the credit to Klinsmann.

    • Dave says:

      Need a translation of that article.

      • Expat4455 says:

        Headline: “Brasilien staat Buchbach” Brazil instead of Buchbach (team Bayern II played Sunday).

        on Klinsmann: “If Klinsmann wants something he can be very, very, very, very (yes 4X sehr) persistent. (also translated: tenacious, stubborn, obstinate.

        Julian Green quote: He (Klinsmann) gave no guarantee, but he did say that I have a very good chance to go the the World Cup in Brazil.

        Hansi Flick quote: We have promised Julian full support in DFB (German National Team) he can make it with us. (indicating in the future, not this year.)

      • Expat4455 says:

        The article also said about Julian when they were talking about how talented he was.

        He (Julian) can play left front, right front, middle front, or in the middle a bit further back.

    • Brad says:

      Good read.

  7. Expat4455 says:

    Salzburg scores!

  8. Expat4455 says:

    I am sorry these 2 teams must play each other at this stage. For me I would like to have seen them play in the semis, or even the final. Basel are the best in Switzerland (beat Man United a couple years ago in CL) and Salzburg are the best in Austria. (Salzburg even beat Bayern Munich 3:0 in a January friendly).

    For all the Euro snobs (who turn up their noses at the Europa League) here is what Florian Klein (27 yr old player for Salzburg) had to say before today’s game: “This is the pinnacle of our club careers”.

  9. John says:

    Looking at these teams left, Johannsson and AZ are to likely to be up against the best team they’ll see all year. If he really wants to make a statement for a potential move, or that starting spot this summer, this is where Aron can really prove it.

    • Louis Z says:

      If he gets to see the ball, yes, he needs to make it count. If he doesn’t see the ball, how can anyone blame the kid for not scoring.

  10. Ivan says:

    Betis/Sevilla still playing, going to penalties.

    Underestimate Europa League at your own peril. There are some top football clubs left in the tournament: Porto, Benfica, Juventus, Basel, Lyon, Valencia…

    • Gary Page says:

      Several times in the last 5 or 6 years the Europa league Champion has beaten the CL champion.

  11. Copra says:

    I guess Juventus will win the Uefa Europa League, they are playing good this season.