By Yemi Babalola Lagos
The UEFA Europa league is not left out in football’s recent day’s drama and entertainment for football fans. Thursday saw a lot of antics and possibilities on the field of play, though, eventually Arsenal (England), Salzburg (Austria), Atletico Madrid (Spain) and Olympique de Marseille (France) despite all odds made it to the semi-final stage.
The draws for the semi-final draws was held at Nyon Switzerland, today Friday 13 April 2018. Arsenal are drawn against Atletico, a draw which many fans did not hope to see, but to become the best you must be prepare to defeat the best in football. In recent times Atletico have not been that convincing, but they have already played an English club in the Europa League semi-finals before, they eliminated Liverpool on away goals in 2009/10 on their way to lifting the trophy.
Arsenal on the other hand, won their last European semi-final tie against a Spanish opposition against Villarreal in 2005/2006 season. They also in this current season of the Europa league have the most wins of 8 matches, most goals been 28 goals, most shots of 162 and their player has the most completed passes of 710. This no doubt means this fixture is one that would be very entertaining and present a final before the final.
The other semi-final is FC Salzburg taking on Olympique de Marseille; this would be Marseille’s first major European semi-final since 2003/2004 season and Salzburg’s first of such. Salzburg got into the semi-finals via a spectacular display of fine footballing skills and upturning a 4-2 first leg defeat, to Lazio, which is the same case for Marseille though not the same goal margin, as they just needed to upturn an away 1-0 defeat against Leipzig.
Matches for the semi-finals would be played on April 26 and May 3, 2018. No doubt these teams al have what it takes to make it to the finals but then need to show how hungry they are. Knowing whoever wins this title automatically qualifies for the UEFA Champions League next season.