The draw for the UEFA Europa League semi-finals have been made in Nyon, with Shakhtar Donetsk to meet defending champions Sevilla, while Villarreal will face former European champions Liverpool, all teams now discovering their route to potential glory.
England have missed out for quite a while in the Europa Cup, the last time an English team got to the final of the Europa was in 2013, when Chelsea after crashing out of the group stage of the UEFA Champions League went to Europa and eventually won the title. Becoming the first and only English club to have achieved that since the idea of introducing champions league teams who crashed out in group stage to Europa in the 1999/2000 season.
Other clubs from other nations who have achieved that feat are Galatasaray (2000), Feyenoord (2002), CSKA Moscow (2005), Shakhtar Donetsk (2009) and Atletico Madrid (2010). Worse still, UEFA’s insistence on nations who have not been performing well at the Champions league to lose their quota should be of major concern to Liverpool.
Liverpool are currently in the semifinal, and they at least have an opportunity to redeem their image and that of England by qualifying for the UEFA Champions League if they are successful with the Europa Cup. Having lost the FA Cup final to Manchester City, and currently not having a hope of winning the premier league title, they at least have an opportunity to win silverware in a European tournament.
As far as European tournaments are concerned, Manchester City and Liverpool are the last hope of England. Manchester City who have been drawn against Madrid are not favourite to progress, while Liverpool have a greater chance to progress ahead of Villareal.