UEFA: Can PSV repeat the spirit of ’88?; Europa League draw
In much the same way as the UEFA Champions League draw that proceeded it, the UEFA Europa League draw was made in the Swiss town of Nyon today. Eight teams representing five different countries – Portugal (3 teams), Netherlands (2), Russia, Ukraine and Spain – still remain in the competition, determined to find out what lies ahead on the road to Dublin.
Once again it was an open draw with no country protection nor seedings to be taken into account and meant that rival clubs from individual nations could, in theory, be drawn to face each other.
The stand-out tie of the quarter-final stages is a repeat of the 1988 European Cup final between PSV Eindhoven and SL Benfica, a game which saw the Dutch side win the trophy for the first time on penalties following a goalless draw against the Portuguese giants. Amazingly, all of the three Portuguese clubs were kept apart in the draw but there is the possibility of Benfica meeting Liverpool FC’s conquerors Sporting Braga at the semi-final stage. Here is the full draw for the next two rounds of the UEFA Europa League:
UEFA EUROPA LEAGUE QUARTER-FINALS
1. FC Porto v Spartak Moscow
2. SL Benfica v PSV Eindhoven
3. Villarreal CF v FC Twente Enschede
4. Sporting Braga v Dynamo Kyiv
First Legs: April 7; Second Legs: April 14
UEFA EUROPA LEAGUE SEMI-FINALS
5. Winners Match 4 v Winners Match 2
6. Winners Match 1 v Winners Match 3
First Legs: April 28; Second Legs: May 5