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Europa League has more excitement in its index finger than the Champions League

TAGs: Europa League, liverpool, Man City, Rangers, Soccer

europa-league-excitementUEFA Champions League soccer is where most of the world’s best players want to play. Europe’s other continental competition seems to throw up a whole lot more excitement and last night’s conclusion to the last 32 were no different.

You only have to go back to last season and watch the exploits of English Premier League side Fulham to see what we mean. Who’d have thought a side that usually struggle in the domestic league would reach a European final? Last night didn’t get close to Bodog-sponsored Fulham’s remarkable run but the British sides that were in action did manage to make the games as dramatic as they could do. Well apart from Man City.

Before we move on to the other two sides involved we can touch upon Roberto Mancini’s side acting as if it were a steamroller laying fresh asphalt on a pothole ridden road. A 3-0 victory over Greek side Aris Saloniki was the least they deserved as Edin Dzeko was unlucky to not register a hat trick after notching his first brace for the club. Yaya Toure slammed a third home to send City to the Ukraine in the next round.

The first ounce of drama came at Anfield. Liverpool had played out 175 minutes with nothing except a few yellow cards to show for it. This was before ugly brother Dirk Kuyt arrived on the scene to head the home side into the next round.

You get the picture: Kuyt scores, Anfield goes mad, pictures of injured captain going mad in the stands as if he’s a real fan and all. We just want to know if the party after the win was worth all the hype.

William Hill is already beating the drum about the possibility of an all-English final, offering it at 8/1. Graham Sharpe commented, “The all Premier showdown is beginning to look like a very feasible final.”

The last laugh of the night was left to the final side north of the border to be left in any continental competition this season – Rangers. It was all looking a little too straightforward when El-Hadji Diouf took another time out from spitting out most of dinner on the Lisbon turf to head home a goal that would have seen them go through.

You always know there’s going to be a twist when an ex-player is on the opposing team and this was no different. Sporting’s equalizer came courtesy of Pedro Mendes and when Yannick Djalo headed in late on it looked like Rangers were on their way out. They didn’t vouch for the American around the back though.

A goal made in Belfast and finished off in Fontana, CA, has meant that we could again be presented with a surprise from these shores in the Europa League final and another twist – the final’s in Dublin. It would some way to end retiring manager Walter Smith’s career.
UEFA Champions League soccer is where most of the world’s best players want to play. Europe’s other continental competition seems to throw up a whole lot more excitement and last night’s conclusion to the last 32 were no different.

You only have to go back to last season and watch the exploits of English Premier League side Fulham to see what we mean. Who’d have thought a side that usually struggle in the domestic league would reach a European final? Last night didn’t get close to Bodog-sponsored Fulham’s remarkable run but the British sides that were in action did manage to make the games as dramatic as they could do. Well apart from City.

Before we move on to the other two sides involved we can touch upon Roberto Mancini’s side acting as if it were a steamroller laying fresh asphalt on a pothole ridden road. A 3-0 victory over Greek side Aris Saloniki was the least they deserved as Edin Dzeko was unlucky to not register a hat trick after notching his first brace for the club. Yaya Toure slammed a third home to send City to the Ukraine in the next round.

The first ounce of drama came at Anfield. Liverpool had played out 175 minutes with nothing except a few yellow cards to show for it. This was before ugly brother Dirk Kuyt arrived on the scene to head the home side into the next round.

You get the picture: Kuyt scores, Anfield goes mad, pictures of injured captain going mad in the stands as if he’s a real fan and all. We just want to know if the party after the win was worth all the hype.

William Hill is already beating the drum about the possibility of an all-English final, offering it at 8/1. Graham Sharpe commented, “The all Premier showdown is beginning to look like a very feasible final.”

The last laugh of the night was left to the final side north of the border to be left in any continental competition this season – Rangers. It was all looking a little too straightforward when El-Hadji Diouf took another time out from spitting out most of dinner on the Lisbon turf to head home a goal that would have seen them go through.

You always know there’s going to be a twist when an ex-player is on the opposing team and this was no different. Sporting’s equalizer came courtesy of Pedro Mendes and when Yannick Djalo headed in late on it looked like Rangers were on their way out. They didn’t vouch for the American around the back though.

A goal made in Belfast and finished off in Fontana, CA, has meant that we could again be presented with a surprise from these shores in the Europa League final and another twist – the final’s in Dublin. It would some way to end retiring manager Walter Smith’s career.

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