Europa League returns today
DUSSELDORF, Germany — It’s been five months since the last games, but European continental club soccer is finally back. The Europa League restarts today with the round of 16.
Manchester United and Bayer Leverkusen are among the teams playing the second legs of matchups suspended in time by the coronavirus pandemic.
Those second legs will still be played at clubs’ home stadiums before the winners head to Germany for a new knockout tournament format. All games will be played without spectators.
Getafe and Inter Milan will be the first teams to play at the UEFA tournament venues when they meet on Wednesday in Gelsenkirchen.
They’re playing their last-16 fixture over a single leg because they didn’t complete a first leg in March before the competition was suspended. Sevilla and Roma play on Thursday in Duisburg.
Manchester United should have no trouble booking its place in the quarter-finals. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team holds a 5-0 lead from its first leg against Austrian team LASK Linz going into the second leg in Manchester today.
Shakhtar Donetsk is hoping to convert a 2-1 advantage over Wolfsburg into a win, while Istanbul Basaksehir holds a 1-0 lead over Copenhagen.
On Thursday, Wolverhampton tries to keep up its best European run since reaching the final of the then-UEFA Cup in 1972. It’s at 1-1 with Greek club Olympiakos after the first leg.