Road to the Final
Updated: Oct 11, 2020
The finals of the UEFA Champions League and Europa League are upon us. Friday 21 August sees Sevilla vs Inter Milan for the UEL title; two days later Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich go to battle for the coveted UCL trophy.
Sevilla topped their Europa League group with 15 points, before scraping past CFR Cluj in the Round of 32 on away goals. After lockdown, Julen Loptegui’s side saw off Roma 2-0 in their single-legged Round of 16 tie and would go on to collect further impressive wins – dominating against Wolves in the quarters and then overcoming Manchester United 2-1 in the semis.
Sevilla have scored 20 goals during this Europa campaign and have also kept 7 clean sheets in 11 games.
Inter entered the competition after the group-stage and eased past Ludogorets in the Round of 32, winning 4-1 on aggregate. The Nerazzurri got the better of Getafe in the Round of 16 with a 2-0 victory.
In the quarterfinals they came up against Bayer Leverkusen who, despite having 63% possession, managed just two shots on goal compared to Inter’s seven. Final score, 2-1 in favour of Antonio Conte’s men.
In the semi-finals Inter steamrolled Shakhtar Donetsk 5-0.
Inter have scored 13 goals and kept 3 clean sheets in their five Europa games this season.
Sevilla have never lost a Europa final, taking the cake on all 5 previous occasions, and making them the most successful team in the competition's history.
They won the UEL in three consecutive seasons, successfully defending the trophy in 2014/15 and 2015/16.
Inter are six-time European champions, with their most recent triumph being the 2010 Champions League. This is due to be their fifth final in this competition.
This will be the inaugural meeting between the two teams. Both clubs have already qualified for the 2020/21 UCL through domestic league qualification.
Sevilla playmaker Ever Banega has 3 assists in the competition. His pin-point delivery can cause problems for the Inter defence, particularly from set-piece routines.
Inter marksman Romelu Lukaku has scored 6 goals in this UEL season. The Belgian striker netted twice in the semi-finals and became the first player to score in ten consecutive Europa matches.
Both managers involved are looking to cap off their first year in their respective jobs with some silverware. Julen Loptegui is looking for his first winner’s medal in management, while Antonio Conte will be seeking a maiden European crown to go with the 8 domestic honours already to his name.
PSG topped their group with 16 points from a possible 18 and also kept 5 clean sheets, including their 3-0 home win over 13x champions Real Madrid. In the Round of 16, PSG overturned a 1-2 first-leg deficit vs Borussia Dortmund to win 3-2 on aggregate.
The Parisians performed another comeback in their quarterfinal clash, scoring twice in the dying minutes to stun opponents Atalanta. They secured their first European final after overcoming RB Leipzig 3-0 in the semis.
Paris have netted 25 goals in this UCL campaign, conceding just 5.
6x champions Bayern Munich won all six group games, including a 2-7 demolition at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Bayern humbled Chelsea in their Round of 16 tie, winning 7-1 on aggregate.
The Bavarians have been in goalscoring mode all season long and reaffirmed this with an 8-2 walloping over Barcelona. They cemented their spot in the final in Lisbon following a convincing 3-0 win over Lyon in their semi-final.
Bayern's goal record has been phenomenal, with 42 goals scored and 8 conceded; the record for most goals in a single UCL season is 45.
This is due to be the 3rd clash between the two teams in UCL history. Their previous encounters came in the 2017/18 group stage with both teams winning their respective home legs.
With Europe’s most prestigious prize up for grabs, 11x finalists Bayern will be looking to get their hands on the trophy for the first time since 2013.
21-year-old Kylian Mbappé has 10 UCL goal contributions; Angel Di Maria has 3 goals and 6 assists for the French champions.
Robert Lewandowski is leading the race for top scorer. With his 15 goals and 5 assists, Bayern’s Polish sharpshooter has the most goal contributions in the competition – nine more than anybody else.
Serge Gnabry also has 9 goals to his name.
Already boasting domestic successes, both managers will have their sights set on a first continental title. Bayern head-coach Hansi Flick was Germany's assistant manager during the 2014 World Cup, which saw Die Mannschaft lift the trophy. Flick & Bayern recently claimed a domestic double haul while Thomas Tuchel’s PSG completed a domestic quadruple this past season.
Both matches are bound to be eye-catching affairs. The two winners will contest the UEFA Super Cup on 24 September in Budapest, Hungary.
The Champions League winners will also partake in the FIFA Club World Cup – due to take place in Qatar over December.