The German Bundesliga, one of Europe’s big 3 professional football leagues, has been anything but collectively dominant in European competitions over the past decade. Although Bayern Munich won the UEFA Champions League in 2019-20, the days of Bayern and Dortmund squaring up in a European final as they did in 2013 appear to be over. This past year Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund were both knocked out of the UEFA Champions League in the quarter-finals, with Leipzig failing to make it past the Round of 16. So if Germany wants to get themselves onto the level of England and Spain, what needs to change?
In a week that saw Manchester City humble PSG, Chelsea teach Real Madrid a lesson, Manchester United and Roma involved in a 5-goal thriller and Villareal tame Arsenal, we look back at some of the talking points from the second leg semifinals of the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League.
In a week that saw Neymar battered and bruised at the hands of Manchester City, Christian Pulisic dazzle against Real Madrid, and Edinson Cavani terrorize Roma to bits, the UCL and UEL semi-finals threw up a ton of action and intriguing sub-plots. Here is what we learned this week in the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League semi-finals.
AS Roma are still far from the side they were many years ago, but they have enjoyed two of their better seasons over the last decade since Paulo Fonseca arrived at the club. The Portuguese manager came to Roma with a respectable reputation, having led Shakhar Donetsk to three league titles and a 74% win rate in his three seasons at the club. During his first season in charge at I Giallorossi, Fonseca led AS Roma to a fifth place finish in Serie A - securing Europa League football for the team. Roma have since performed well in the competition this season, with a semi-final against tournament favourites Manchester United to play for in the next few weeks. Their performances in the Europa League have outshone their relatively sub-par season in Serie A, with the side currently in seventh place. Nonetheless, if Fonseca's team were to pull out a miracle and make the Europa League final, this season would be seen as a complete success. With that, here is a tactical analysis of Paulo Fonseca's AS Roma this season.
Since arriving at West Ham, Jesse Lingard has revitalized his career and transformed the Hammers into one of the most dangerous attacking outfits in the Premier League. This week the Futbol Masterminds discuss whether or not he could start for Manchester United next season and why he's had so much success with David Moyes' team. The panel also discuss the Bundesliga top four race, Mane and Salah's 2021 relationship, and racism in football following this week's disappointing incident in the Europa League involving Glenn Kamara and Ondrej Kudela. Subscribe via Itunes and Spotify below!