FOOTBALL - Rubin Kazan won 2-0 at Atlético Madrid to end Atlético’s 12-match home winning streak in European competition. This marked the longest home winning run since Manchester United won 12 successive European home matches between 2006 and 2008.
FOOTBALL - Samuel Eto’o scored his sixth and seventh goal in European competition today. He climbed up to second place on the top scorer list. He is now only behind Aurélien Joachim (LUX) who scored eight goals for F91 Dudelange. Joachim transferred to Dutch side Willem II on August 30.
FOOTBALL - The following are key facts for a selection of Europa League matches that will take place on Thursday 20 September 2012: Internazionale - Rubin Kazan, Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk - PSV, FC Twente - Hannover 96, Fenerbahçe - Olympique Marseille.
Atlético Madrid won their second Europa League in three seasons, after winning the inaugural edition in 2010. City rivals Real Madrid won their last major European competition (CC/CL, CWC, Fairs/UEFA/EL) 10 years ago after beating Bayer Leverkusen in the 2002 Champions League final.
FOOTBALL - Today, we are very much used to a single match to decide the UEFA Cup, nowadays the Europa League. But it was not always that way as the UEFA Cup final used to be contested in two matches, each team playing a home and away leg. Which was the first team to win the UEFA Cup in the single final format?
On Thursday, Athletic Bilbao and Atlético Madrid qualified for the final of the 2011/12 Europa League. This is the second consecutive season that this final will be played between clubs from the same country. Last year, FC Porto defeated Sporting Braga in Dublin.
FOOTBALL - The first semifinal leg of the 2011/2012 Europa League has brought up the 31st match in the competition for Sporting CP, since this tournament was first played in 2009/2010. The Portuguese have surpassed PSV’s 30 EL matches. Atlético Madrid, also still alive this season, will play their 28th EL match (in total).
FOOTBALL – Spain have sent a total of five teams into the semifinals of the Champions League and Europa League. It is the first time in 32 years (West Germany in 1979/1980) that one nation has sent five clubs into the semifinals in a single season of European cup competition. We have put the Spanish reign in perspective, looking back from 2000 until the present day.
FOOTBALL - Manchester United travel to Amsterdam tonight for their Europa League meeting with Ajax. The Red Devils have not played in the UEFA Cup/Europa League since 1995/1996, which is also the last season in which no English club reached the quarterfinals of the Champions League. Hence, working on Thursday night is highly unfamiliar for Sir Alex Ferguson’s troops. The last time they had to was on 24 September 1998 in a rare Thursday night Premier League fixture (against Liverpool).