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Euro league summary

2024/05/30 01:55
E4

The UEFA Europa Conference League final takes place this evening with the final European final of the campaign being the UEFA Champions League meeting between Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund at Wembley Stadium on Saturday after Atalanta hammered Bayer Leverkusen last week in the UEFA Europa League final.

Once done and dusted on Saturday evening in London, the club season in European football will officially be over for the 2023/24 campaign and attention will well and truly turn to UEFA EURO 2024 in Germany this summer.

However, before we get to that point, it would be negligent to not really look at what went down across Europe’s six biggest leagues over the last nine or ten months so here is our round-up of the seasons in the Bundesliga, La Liga, Ligue 1, Premier League, Primeira Liga and Serie A.

It must be noted that the convoluted and extended season has not quite ended domestically either with Atalanta and Fiorentina both playing each other in a stand alone game in Serie A at the weekend to finish off the Italian campaign…


BUNDESLIGA

Champions: Bayer Leverkusen

UCL / UEL / UECL: Stuttgart, Bayern Munich, RB Leipzig, Borussia Dortmund / Eintracht Frankfurt, 1899 Hoffenheim / Heidenheim

Relegated: Cologne, Darmstadt

Summary: Bayer Leverkusen very nearly completed an unbeaten treble but their 3-0 loss to Atalanta in last week’s UEFA Europa League final means they must settle for an unbeaten domestic double – with Xabi Alonso’s men winning their first ever German league title and doing so as soon as mid-April. The team they knocked off their perch of 11 successive league wins was Bayern Munich, who dropped to third with last season’s relegation playoff winners Stuttgart stealing into second.

@Getty /

The performance of German teams in UEFA competition means the Bundesliga gets one of the two extra European spots and, remarkably, there will be six German teams in the UEFA Champions League next season if Borussia Dortmund go on to win the UEFA Champions League against Real Madrid at Wembley this weekend. The other European spots for now, see Eintracht Frankfurt and Hoffenheim head into the UEFA Europa League with Heidenheim, just promoted and a club so small they can only afford to sign German-speaking players, heading into the UEFA Europa Conference League.

Down at the bottom end of the table, a German giant in the shape of Cologne have been relegated to an already competitive second-tier alongside the likes of Schalke, Hertha Berlin, Hamburg, Nuremberg and Kaiserslautern to name a few. They will be joined by Darmstadt as well as Fortuna Dusseldorf, who lost the German relegation/promotion playoff final to Bochum on penalties earlier this week. 

Coming up: St Pauli, Holstein Kiel

LA LIGA

Champions: Real Madrid

UCL / UEL / UECL: Barcelona, Girona, Atletico Madrid / Athletic Club, Real Sociedad / Real Betis

Relegated: Cadiz, Almeria, Granada

 

 

Summary: Real Madrid have, emphatically, been re-crowned the Spanish champions with just two defeats across all competitions all season and both of those losses coming against Atletico Madrid at the Metropolitano. Los Blancos have the chance to secure a famous double this weekend, too, as they take on Borussia Dortmund at Wembley.

Girona, members of the City Football Group, in just their fifth season ever back in La Liga have secured a top four spot and UEFA Champions League qualification for next year. Barcelona have had a turbulent campaign in which Xavi announced his departure then did a u-turn to say he was staying before then actually being sacked and they will join their Catalan rivals in Europe’s elite club competition next season alongside Atletico Madrid, who finished outside of the top three for the first time in the Diego Simeone era. 

In the UEFA Europa League, whereby the final will be held at San Mames in Bilbao next year, the two Basque giants of Athletic Club and Real Sociedad qualified with fifth and sixth placed finishes respectively – the former also winning a first trophy in over 40 years as they defeated Real Mallorca on penalties to win the Copa del Rey in Seville in early April. Manuel Pellegrini has also re-qualified Real Betis for Europe as they hold off the likes of the likes of Valencia and Villarreal for the UEFA Europa Conference League spot. 

Down at the bottom we have had very little by way of a relegation battle. Cadiz did improve under the management of former Southampton boss Mauricio Pellegrino but they will be in the second-tier next season alongside fellow Andalusian clubs Almeria and Granada, who endured miserable campaigns with Almeria, who somehow eventually finished 19th, not winning until match day 31. 

Coming up: Real Valladolid, N/A, N/A

LIGUE 1

Champions: Paris Saint-Germain

UCL / UEL / UECL: Monaco, Stade Brest / Lille, Nice / Olympique Lyonnais

Relegated: Metz*, Lorient, Clermont

*Metz begin their relegation/promotion playoffs against Saint-Etienne with the first-leg on Thursday and the second-leg taking place on Sunday. 

Summary: In what was yet another frustrating season off the pitch for Paris Saint-Germain with in-fighting and then the departure of Kylian Mbappe on a free transfer, the Parisiens did manage a domestic double in Luis Enrique’s first season but they are expected to do so and their big disappointment and moment in the campaign came with a 2-0 aggregate loss to Borussia Dortmund in the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League.

@Getty /

Joining PSG from Ligue 1 in Europe’s elite club competition, though, will be one of the stories of this season in European football with Eric Roy’s Brest, with one of the smallest budgets in France’s top-flight, pipping Lille to a top three spot on the final day and joining Monaco in the UEFA Champions League next season.

Lille, who look set to lose manager Paulo Fonseca to either AC Milan or Olympique de Marseille this summer, will be joined by INEOS-owned Nice in next season’s UEFA Europa League. Olympique Lyonnais spent the majority of the first-half of the season rock-bottom in Ligue 1 but Pierre Sage, who followed the sackings of Laurent Blanc and Fabio Grosso, managed to collect more points than any team in the division after his early-December appointment and propelled the seven-time French champions into sixth spot and a UEFA Europa Conference League qualification spot ahead of last season’s runners’ up Lens.

Down at the bottom-of-the-table, Clermont, who have been expected to go down in each of the three seasons they have been in the top-flight, did finally fall this time but have stuck by manager Pascal Gastien, whilst Lorient collapsed through the spring and early summer to join them. Laszlo Boloni, boosted by in-form Georgia international striker Georges Mikautadze, has Metz set to do battle with Saint-Etienne in the coming days in the relegation playoff place. 

Coming up: Auxerre, Angers, Saint-Etienne*

PREMIER LEAGUE

Champions: Manchester City

UCL / UEL / UECL: Arsenal, Liverpool, Aston Villa / Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United / Chelsea

Relegated: Luton Town, Burnley, Sheffield United

Summary: We had another Premier League title race that went to the final day but it was another Premier League title race without many, if any, twists and turns as Manchester City won their fourth successive league title – which is the first time any English team has ever done that, and their sixth in the last seven seasons under the management of Pep Guardiola.

 

 

For a second successive season, Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal went into mid-April sitting at the top-of-the-table but for a second successive season, the Gunners have had to settle for runners’ up. They are joined in next season’s UEFA Champions League by Liverpool, who have now finished the Jurgen Klopp era and will begin next year with former Feyenoord boss Arne Slot at the helm, whilst Unai Emery’s Aston Villa continued their remarkable turnaround since the appointment of the former Arsenal boss by finishing fourth in the Premier League and reaching the semi-finals of the UEFA Europa Conference League.

In the UEFA Europa League, Ange Postecoglou guided Tottenham Hotspur to a fifth placed finish in his first season in charge after departing Celtic and they would have been joined by Chelsea but the Blues instead have to settle for UEFA Europa Conference League football instead as Manchester United will accompany Spurs into the second-tier competition after winning the FA Cup by defeating their city rivals Manchester City at Wembley last weekend.

Once again there was not much by way of a relegation battle down at the bottom-of-the-table with Sheffield United setting a new record for goals conceded in a Premier League campaign as the Blades shipped 104 goals in 38 matches. They finished rock-bottom below Burnley, who have since lost manager Vincent Kompany to Bayern Munich, and the plucky but injury ravaged Luton Town, who went into the final day needing a miracle to survive. 

Coming up: Leicester City, Ipswich Town, Southampton

PRIMEIRA LIGA

Champions: Sporting CP

UCL / UEL / UECL: Benfica / Porto, Braga / Vitoria Guimaraes

Relegated: Portimonense* Vizela, Chaves

*2-1 down in relegation/promotion playoff against AVS with second-leg away from home taking place on Sunday. 

@Kapta+

Summary: When Sporting CP took a punt on the inexperienced then Braga coach Ruben Amorim, Sporting had not won the Portuguese title in 20 years. Fast forward four years and they have now won two of the last four league titles and they did so in emphatic fashion this time around with star man Viktor Gyokeres having a stellar season and the Lisbon club scoring 96 goals in their 34 matches this season.

Their Derby de Lisboa rivals Benfica are enduring a tough time of it off the field with club president Rui Costa coming under significant pressure but the Eagles did manage to remain in second place in the Primeira Liga and they will join Sporting in the UEFA Champions League next season.

Poor performances from Portuguese sides in European competition means that the Primeira Liga is now down to just two UEFA Champions League spots so the giants of Porto will have to settle for UEFA Europa League group stage qualification after a vital final day victory against fourth placed Braga, who will enter the competition at the qualifying stages. Vitoria Guimaraes for a third successive season have qualified for the UEFA Europa Conference League but will need to help Portugal’s coefficient by actually reaching the league phase as they have been knocked out in the qualifiers in each of their last two seasons.

Down at the bottom-of-the-table, as mentioned, Portimonense suffered a 2-1 loss at home to AVS in the first-leg of their relegation/promotion playoff so they are in real trouble after finishing below 1999/00 league winners Boavista on goal difference. They look as though they will join both Vizela and Chaves, who were both comfortably automatically relegated in bottom two. 

Coming up: Santa Clara, Nacional, AVS*

SERIE A

Champions: Internazionale

UCL / UEL / UECL: Milan, Juventus, Atalanta, Bologna / Roma, Lazio / Fiorentina

Relegated: Frosinone, Sassuolo, Salernitana

Summary: It was a magnificent campaign from Simone Inzaghi’s Internazionale as they romped to their 20th Serie A title, earning a second star above the Nerazzurri badge. That 20th Scudetto was won in famous circumstances, too, as they defeated AC Milan to clinch top spot in late-April at San Siro in their ‘away’ Derby della Madonnina. They suffered just two losses throughout the whole 38-game season with both defeats coming to relegated Sassuolo.

The aforementioned AC Milan will join Inter in the UEFA Champions League next season alongside Juventus but both sides are set to be looking for a new manager with Stefano Pioli and Massimiliano Allegri having already been sacked. Allegri’s replacement is set to be Thiago Motta, who pulled off something of a miracle by guiding Bologna back into the European Cup for the first time in over 60 years. They will also be joined in the competition by Gian Piero Gasperini’s Atalanta, who finished fourth in the league and also won the UEFA Europa League, too.

 

@Getty /

If Atalanta had finished fifth then Roma would have become the sixth team from Italy into the UEFA Champions League but the Bergamasci leapfrogged Bologna on the final day so Daniele De Rossi’s Giallorossi will have to settle for UEFA Europa League football alongside their much-improved Igor Tudor-coached Derby della Capitale rivals Lazio. If Fiorentina had defeated Olympiakos in the final of the UEFA Europa Conference League in midweek then they would join them in that competition but instead they will, for a third successive season, go into Europe’s third-tier competition, knocking Torino out of a European qualification spot.

We had a dramatic final day in the relegation battle in Serie A, too. With a fifth different club, Davide Nicola managed a ‘great escape’ as Empoli defeated Roma by two goals to one via a late Mbaye Niang strike. That result meant a draw between Frosinone and Fabio Cannavaro’s Udinese would force a relegation playoff but former Watford man Keinan Davis scored a late winner for Udinese to relegate Eusebio Di Francesco’s Frosinone at home. The Romans will join Salernitana, who have been rock-bottom for pretty much the entirety of the campaign, and major under achievers Sassuolo in Serie B next season. 

Coming up: Parma, Como, Cremonese/Venezia



Comments

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motivo:
2024-05-30 03h37m by edavidson
As a die-hard football fan, I can't believe the season is coming to an end with the
2024-05-30 03h15m by mfosterfield
As a football fan, I can't wait for the UEFA Europa Conference League final tonight! But let's not forget about the epic UEFA Champions League final on Saturday. And with the European club season ending, all eyes will be on EURO 2024 in Germany this summer. But first, let's reflect on the amazing seasons in the Bundesliga, La Liga, Ligue 1, Premier League, Primeira Liga, and Serie A. Excited for what's to come!
2024-05-30 02h51m by sjacksons_9_2_1
As a football fan, I'm feeling optimistic about the conclusion of this season's European football competitions. The UEFA Europa Conference League final tonight will be the last chance for us fans to witness top European clubs battling it out on the pitch before the focus shifts to UEFA EURO 2024. But before that, let's take a moment to appreciate the exciting and intense journey that has been the 2023/24 club season in Europe's biggest leagues. It's been a rollercoaster ride with
2024-05-30 02h20m by eedwards
Excited for the Europa Conference League final tonight! It's been a great European football season but now it's time for the final showdown between Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund. Can't wait to see who will come out on top.

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