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Is winning the Europa League an easier way to secure Champions League football?

Amritangshu Bandyopadhyay Roar Guru

By Amritangshu Bandyopadhyay, Amritangshu Bandyopadhyay is a Roar Guru

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6 Have your say

    Jose Mourinho was recently quoted in an interview that he would prefer to win the Europa League this season – doubling the silverware in his first season at Old Trafford – rather than fight until the end for a Champions League spot.

    If United are successful in their bid to capture Europe’s second most prestigious trophy, a Champions League place will be sealed.

    But is it an easier way of playing Champions League football, than actually finishing in the top four (for English top flight)?

    For Manchester United, finishing top four is still achievable as they are six points off fourth-placed Liverpool with two games in hand. They still have eight more to play.

    Yet having made it to the quarter-finals of the Europa League, they seem to have found an easy way out of playing Champions League football next season.

    Two things to be specifically noted in this very instance are the level of competition offered in the English Premier League and Europa League respectively and the prize at the end of the line.

    Manchester United are in a unique position to do both or fail in both the competitions. Yet, there is no hiding the fact that this season in the Premier League, for whatever reason, even after 30 games, five teams are very much in contention for the last two Champions League qualification spots.

    Jose Mourinho manager of Manchester United

    From third-placed Liverpool to seventh-placed Arsenal, who have played two games fewer, all are neck-and-neck.

    Even though their Europa League run has not been the most impressive in terms of flair and quality, United have ground out results. Though they might be somewhat unhappy with a one-all draw against Anderlecht.

    Europa League is obviously an easy way out for an established, quality side like Manchester United, who had an unimpressive, grinding season in the league. Had it been any other lesser-quality team, perhaps winning the Europa League would have been a matter of odds.

    More importantly, the standard of football and the competitive levels of it, displayed in the Premier League, is another reason, for somebody like Jose Mourinho, to vie for Europa League glory.

    Another reason behind choosing this easy way out is the fact that knockout-stages of European football is two-legged, which offers sufficient leeway and change of fortunes for any team, which has made through that stage.

    While the fate of knock-out matches are unpredictable, a two-legged tie always helps the stronger side.

    Teams which play in the Premier League or even in La Liga, now see this as an alternative way of securing Champions League football. Much of this again stems from the increase in quality competition in their domestic leagues. Sevilla, for instance won three straight Europa League titles, until last year, and by the virtue of it, always secured Champions League football for the following season.

    Considering the prize at the end of winning the Europa League is an European silverware, as opposed to no silverware for finishing fourth in a league, the former is now being devised as an easy way out for securing Champions League football.

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    The Crowd Says (6)

    • Roar Rookie

      April 18th 2017 @ 8:40am
      Paul Fitzgerald said | April 18th 2017 @ 8:40am | ! Report

      I don’t think that Man U will finish in the top 4 this season. Liverpool are firing on too many cylinders. City are better as well. Mourinho’s only chance to qualify for the Champions League is by winning Europe’s second tier competition. I can see Mourinho eventually losing the players like he did at Chelsea. He barely talks with Wayne Rooney at the moment.

      • April 18th 2017 @ 12:48pm
        Andy said | April 18th 2017 @ 12:48pm | ! Report

        Manchester United look to be pretty happy under Jose at the moment, Rooney may not be as loved but he is no longer the main man or even in the preferred 14 so dont see how, even if he is on the outs, that will effect Manchester United at all apart form bringing in a stupid amount of unneeded money from a Chinese club when he is sold.
        Also they have gone 22 games without losing in the premier league, a stupid amount amount of draws, but still 22 games is very impressive considering that a third of the league is in contention for the champions league. Liverpool were flying, scoring goals for fun and then dipped alot and whilst they are playing well now they have won 3 and drawn 2 of their last 5 games, the same as United so how they are firing but United arnt i dont know.

      • Roar Guru

        April 18th 2017 @ 2:36pm
        Amritangshu Bandyopadhyay said | April 18th 2017 @ 2:36pm | ! Report

        Yeah so it’s an easy way out for him; and by stark contrast when he took over Chelsea in 2013-14, when Benitez left, he said he would rather make it to the Champions League knock-outs than play all the while in Europa League; maybe this year, he’s got more enlightened

        • April 18th 2017 @ 4:54pm
          Albo said | April 18th 2017 @ 4:54pm | ! Report

          He will be going all out to qualify both ways ! And I think they are a good chance to do the double. I think he has battled all season to come up with the right combinations to score goals consistently, and they have had no luck this season hitting the woodwork 18 times and two only penalties in their Premier League matches. But their dominance over Chelsea this week may just indicate that a big Man U finish might be on the cards. They are 4 points behind 4th placed Man City , but have a game in hand over them and play them next week in the derby, which will then go a long way towards deciding the top 4 outcome. Man U have played some 56 matches already this season compared to 41 by Chelsea, with a congested playing schedule still to come, and perhaps this workload may be their problem ? Whatever the case, it will be an exciting finish to the season.

    • Roar Rookie

      April 23rd 2017 @ 8:42pm
      marty beauchamp said | April 23rd 2017 @ 8:42pm | ! Report

      I saw a pic of John Terry with all the trophies he won with Chelsea, I think the context was that he has won more than all the current squad of Arsenal, which doesn’t surprise.
      The one that was relegated to the outside left position was the Europa trophy, the Champions League trophy sitting proudly in the middle of the Premier League and FA cup ones.
      No one remembers a Europa League other than in the context of ‘weren’t you involved in the Champion’s League that year”?
      Mourinho knows all about football, he wants to finish ahead of City and Liverpool.

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