The second legs of all remaining Champions League and Europa League last-16 games will be played at home stadiums, as opposed to at neutral venues.
The competitions are set to get back underway again on 7 August, having been suspended back in March due to COVID-19.
The specifics of the return are still being decided but the UEFA have confirmed that all remaining last-16 ties will be played at their originally planned stadiums. There had been discussion of moving games to neutral territory due to safety concerns but that has now been dismissed.
“Consistent with the principle of sporting fairness and considering that current conditions – all clubs due to play at home the return leg of the Round of 16 are currently playing the remaining matches of their domestic leagues in their own stadiums and that travelling is possible without restrictions for the visiting clubs – the UEFA Executive Committee decided that the remaining UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League Round of 16 second-leg matches will be played at the home teams’ stadiums,” a statement read.
“As already communicated in June, the ties FC Internazionale Milano v Getafe CF and Sevilla FC v AS Roma, whose first leg was also postponed, will be played as a single leg in Germany.
“UEFA will continue to monitor the situation and reserves the right to reassign any such matches to the venues of the final tournament of the relevant competition should new events occur that would make it impossible to play one or more matches at the original venues.”
The news will be welcomed by Manchester City and Juventus in particular. Both sides will be aiming to win the competition this season and stood to lose crucial home advantage if games were moved to neutral arenas.
A full fixture list will be revealed after the Champions League and Europa League draws – which take place on Friday.
The remaining last 16 fixtures for the Champions League are as follows:
– Atalanta CONTINUED to score bazillions of goals.
– Liverpool players CONTINUED to neck vodka by the gallon in celebration of their league title.
– Mason Greenwood CONTINUED to strike a football purer than anyone else in the universe despite being about four days old.
We at 90min, using quotes from Netflix original series ‘Russian Doll’, rank the 15 best teams in Europe – this time, on a Thursday. What a concept.
“The universe is trying to f**k with me and I refuse to engage.”
The universe is trying to f**k with Interisti at the moment and they should refuse to engage.
Because better times are just round the corner.
Lautaro Martinez is staying, Achraf Hakimi is signing and your world class midfield trio will be back to full fitness in no time.
It’ll be all gravy soon. Trust me.
“This is not good or bad. It’s just a bug. It’s like if a program keeps crashing, you know? The crashing is just a symptom of a bug in the code. If the deaths are us crashing, then that moment is the bug that we need to go and fix.”
Tottenham’s 1-0 win over Everton wasn’t good or bad – it was both.
Winning game was good (obviously) but the performance was bad. Really bad.
So bad in fact that it’s explicitly obvious that there is something seriously wrong at the club that Jose Mourinho and co. need to go into the transfer market and fix – ASAP.
“Fun is for suckers”
Let’s face it, no one enjoys watching Atletico Madrid.
It’s not fun.
Never has been. Never will be.
But who cares about fun when you’re unbeaten in your last 15 games? Not Diego Simeone, that’s for sure.
“Sometimes Hail Marys are the best Marys we got.”
In recent week’s Sean Dyche’s tactics have reverted from ‘hoof it long and hope the ball bounces off someone’s noggin’ and into the net‘ to ‘ehhh…let’s just let Nick Pope do all the work.’
And that tactical change hasn’t been a bad idea at all, because Pope has been in inspired form since the restart.
“I’m not fine.”
Two wins on the bounce, one point of league leaders Real Madrid, and just relegated your inner-city rivals. All good at Barcelona then?
No, no, not at all. And here’s semi-regular DEPR contributor Chris Deeley to tell you why.
“Life is a box of timelines, ya feel me?”
In some alternative timeline SSC Napoli pipped Juventus to the Scudetto in 2018, Maurizio Sarri is still their coach, and they’re on for their third consecutive double.
But in the timeline we’re currently living through, Napoli, well, aren’t. And while that sucks – for obvious reasons – I Partenopei is a still a pretty damn good football team, having won the Coppa Italia this season. Ya feel me?
“A very tough lady, who looked like if Andrew Dice Clay and the girl from Brave had a baby.”
On their day, Manchester City look like the team that would be spawned if Arrigo Sacchi’s AC Milan and Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona had a baby.
ON THEIR DAY.
Other times however, they look like the team that would be spawned if Unai Emery’s Arsenal and Zdenek Zeman’s Roma had a baby. And it’s this inconsistency that has cost them their Premier League title this season.
“Humanity…a little bit overrated, no?”
Juventus’ defence…a little bit overrated, no?
Without Matthijs de Ligt at the back in midweek, Juve’s defence was, no exaggeration, ABSOLUTELY HOPELESS.
Despite his age and relative inexperience, it’s now clear that La Vecchia Signora’s defensive fortunes rest solely on the shoulders of a big baby-face man-child from the Netherlands. Without him, they are ABSOLUTELY HOPELESS.
“I feel like f**king Rocky right now.”
Chelsea are the Premier League’s answer to Rocky.
‘They’re the lil underdog that could?’
No, no, no.
They have absolutely no defence, never stop moving forward, and every single one of their matches is must-watch tv.
“Thank you for changing my life. Lives are hard to change.”
AC Milan are…good…?
Putting four past Juventus and three past Lazio in the space of a week seems to suggest that they are.
These results were made possible by Stefano Pioli, who has done a superb job unifying a club that have been – in no uncertain terms – a complete shambles for the last decade.
So how have the club thanked Pioli for changing their fortunes?
Well, by giving his job to someone else…obviously….
“You can eat anything, take anything, do anything. It’s impossible to destroy you.”
Mason Greenwood can score any type of goal, dribble past any defender, do anything. He is impossibly good, and Man Utd look damn near unbeatable when he’s in the starting XI.
Believe the hype.
“It’s my bad attitude that keeps me young.”
Love him or hate him, you can’t deny that Sergio Ramos is one of the greatest centre backs of all time.
And although he’s in his mid-30s, the Real Madrid captain doesn’t look to be slowing down anytime soon – bagging his tenth (yes, tenth. Yes, he’s a centre back. Yes, it’s mad) league goal of the season to earn Los Blancos another 1-0 win in mid-week.
“Hey, bartendress! Hello. Uh, more drunk please.”
Despite being on the bender to end all benders since they won the league title, being completely smashed/hungover/both hasn’t really affected Liverpool’s performances.
Sure, they lost to Man City, but they’ve won both games since, and the fact that they are able to win while using the ‘water breaks’ as ‘Jaeger bomb breaks’ is mightily impressive.
“Nothing in this world is easy, except pissing in the shower.”
Nothing in this world is easy, except for beating Bayer Leverkusen in a cup final.
That is easy.
“Go with purpose. Triggers other people’s curiosity.”
For months, we at DEPR have flirted with putting Atalanta at the top of the Definitive European Power Rankings.
We’ve put them fifth, fourth, third and second in the rankings and now, FINALLY, after 10 long months the little club from Bergamo – with a budget the size of a mid-table Championship club – have made it to the very top.
And it’s no more than they deserve.
Simply put, Atalanta have been the best team in Europe since football’s restart.
They’ve won every single game (six wins in six), bagged a whopping 14 goals, and could now feasibly win the Scudetto – providing they beat Juventus at the weekend.
Right wingers come in all shapes and sizes. For every scheming, diminutive trickster there is a sprinter-turned-footballer who relies on speed to get past their man.
Then there’s the wide playmakers…or the fat bloke in your Sunday League team who’s partial to a cheeky step over – but not much else.
No matter what your favourite genre of right winger is, they’re likely to be represented in this list. Well, maybe not the last one actually. This is the cream of the crop you see.
Garrincha means little bird in Portuguese and it is not the only nickname that Manuel Francisco dos Santos went by during his illustrious career.
The Brazilian icon was also called Alegria do Povo (People’s Joy) and Anjo de Pernas Tortas (Bent-Legged Angel), the latter a reference to the spinal condition that meant he had one leg shorter than the other.
Despite this disability, Garrincha would cement his place as the best dribbler in footballing history during the 1950s and 1960s. He starred for Brazil as they lifted both the 1958 and 1962 World Cups, leaving a trail of humiliated defenders in his wake during both tournaments.
George Best transcended the right-wing position just as he transcended football as a whole, becoming one of the most famous men on the planet during his heyday.
Freakishly talented and ruggedly handsome, Best had conquered the world by his early 20s. As part of Manchester United’s fabled Holy Trinity alongside Denis Law and Bobby Charlton, the Northern Irishman had won a host of domestic titles and a European Cup by the time he was 22.
Plenty more success came afterwards as well with Best’s ludicrously precise close control and goosebump inducing runs keeping fans on the edge of their seats throughout the 1970s.
When Garrincha retired in 1966, Brazil lost a national treasure but the void left by his departure would soon be filled by a precocious youngster.
Jairzinho burst onto the scene during the 1970 World Cup, becoming the first player to score in each round of the competition. That particular Brazilian team, featuring the likes of Carlos Alberto, Rivellino and Pelé is regarded as one of the best in history, thanks in part to the astonishing ability of the side’s right winger.
Jairzinho was less flashy than some of his attacking counterparts but he was no less effective. A fearsome combination of intelligence and speed made him the most effective forward of his generation.
In a storied career that spanned no less than four decades, Sir Stanley Matthews carved out an unmatched footballing legacy.
Loyal, talented and evergreen, Matthews played for just three clubs during his 33 years in the game – Stoke City, Blackpool and Toronto City.
He was the gentleman footballer and the archetypal British winger. Blessed with a box of tricks to beat any defender his crossing ability and comb-over were second to none.
Portuguese footballing culture seriously values a tricky winger and none fit the national profile more closely than Luis Figo.
Hugging the touchline as though it was pulling him in with a magnetic field, his career peaked when he won the 2000 Ballon d’Or following a superb run of form with Barcelona.
In fact, he was so good that their Clásico rivals Real Madrid made him the most expensive footballer in the world, leading Figo becoming public enemy number one in Catalonia. Coins, lighters and…a pig’s head were all thrown at him on his return to the Camp Nou.
The strength of feeling at Figo’s betrayal is a clear indication of his world class talent.
It really it remarkable that Arjen Robben scored so many of the exact same type of goal in his career.
You know the one. He picks the ball up on the right, does a few of those baby touches while leaning over the ball like the Hunchback of Notre Dame, before unleashing an unstoppable left-footed shot right into the stanchion.
He did it for over a decade and nobody ever found a way to stop it.
He may have been a one trick pony but it was a pretty good trick which helped him win multiple Premier League, La Liga and Bundesliga titles as well as a Champions League.
In one of the best character arcs in recent sporting history, a rough around the edges left-back who waited over a year for his first Tottenham win developed into one of the best right wingers in the world, seemingly overnight.
During his Premier League heyday, Gareth Bale almost single handedly transformed Spurs into European contenders and he continued to post staggeringly good numbers after moving to Real Madrid.
His Los Blancos career hasn’t always been rosy but even the most golf adverse of Real fans will never forget when he shook the world with a stunning overhead kick against Liverpool in the 2018 Champions League final.
Blessed with the most beautiful technique in English footballing history, David Beckham embodied the old-fashioned winger that is so revered on the British Isles.
Capable of dropping any cross on a sixpence, the former Manchester United and Real Madrid man was also wicked over a set piece, securing England’s qualification to the 2002 World Cup with a fine free kick against Greece.
Though he probably did not achieve all he wanted on the international stage, Beckham won a great deal a club level. He was part of United’s 1999 Treble winning side and was a runner-up in the Ballon d’Or the same year.
Standing at just 5 ft 5 in, Allan Simonsen more than made up for what in lacked in stature with more feints and stepovers than any defender could handle.
The winger rose to prominence while starring for Borussia Monchengladbach in the 1970s. The German side reached their pinnacle in 1977 when they were narrowly beaten by Liverpool in the European Cup final.
Simonsen would win the Ballon d’Or the same year, earning his dream move to Barcelona 24 months later where he continued to impress. He retired as one of Denmark’s most decorated footballers of all time.
With a nickname like ‘Jinky’, it does not take a genius to work out what sort of player Celtic legend Jimmy Johnstone was.
Dancing past defenders during the 1960s and 1970s, the Scotsman spent 13 years at Parkhead and is one of the most beloved players in the club’s history.
Most notably, he was part of the Lisbon Lions who won the European Cup against all odds in 1967. Johnstone was recognised for his hell-raising performances during the Bhoys route to the final by placing third in the Ballon d’Or that year.
For all the entirely sensible talk that Liverpool can’t/don’t need to spend big this summer, the Thiago stories just aren’t going away, are they?
The Italian-born Spain international has apparently told employers Bayern Munich that at 29, and after seven consecutive Bundesliga titles, he fancies a change of pace. With only a year left on his current contract, Bayern are supposedly open to a sale despite wanting the player to stay.
Enter Liverpool, who have been thrust to the front of the queue for the player recently ranked by 90min as the best deep-lying playmaker in the world.
It is said that there is a mutual attraction between club and player, with Klopp a big fan from his time at Dortmund and Thiago having supposedly told those at Bayern of his love of the new Premier League champions.
This is all well and good but, didn’t Liverpool just pull out of a deal to sign Timo Werner because money is tight?
Klopp and FSG have played down expectations over spending this summer following the economic impact of the coronavirus, while the Reds opted to stand by as long-term target Werner signed for Chelsea despite months of flirting.
Thiago might not cost as much up front as Werner but his wages would put him amongst the first-team’s highest-earners at Anfield, while at 29, he would be the oldest outfield signing under Klopp, bar Ragnar Klavan.
Could it all just be a ploy from Thiago to use Liverpool to earn better terms in Munich?
While Klopp is keeping pretty tight lipped and the top Liverpool journalists have been relatively quiet on the subject of Thiago so far, there is plenty of speculation out there.
Italian transfer specialist Tancredi Palmeri writes for TMW that although Thiago is far from a ‘standard’ Klopp, Michael Edwards, FSG purchase, the chance to pick up one of ‘few pure playmakers left’ is reason enough to go for the deal.
A set upon fee is now, supposedly, all that’s ‘missing’ to stop this deal from happening, while there is a ‘general agreement’ between Liverpool and the player – something which Palmeri also claimed last week.
He adds that the issue of price is ‘complex’ – presumably because Liverpool have admitted they don’t have much money.
Figures of between €30-60m have previously been touted to get Thiago out of Bavaria.
Manchester City made an attempt to secure the signature of French winger Kingsley Coman from Bayern Munich as part of the deal that saw Leroy Sane move in the opposite direction.
Coman, who previously worked with City manager Pep Guardiola during a loan spell at Bayern in the 2015/16 season, was target by the Citizens but Bayern’s sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic insisted that the Frenchman was not for sale.
According to German site SportBILD, City’s sporting director Txiki Begiristain pushed hard for a swap deal between the two clubs which would see Coman join the blue side of Manchester, but had to settle for a cash fee.
Coman, who missed out on France’s World Cup success in 2018 through injury, will be looking to get as much game time as possible in order to nail down a place in the French squad for next year’s European Championships.
However, he will be competing for a place with new arrival Sane, who also missed the 2018 World Cup after being snubbed by German national team manager Joachim Low.
The former Schalke man scored 39 goals for Man City during a four-year spell in England, including a crucial winner against Liverpool in January 2019.
The German, who has missed most of the season following an injury sustained in the Community Shield, has joined the Bundesliga champions in a deal worth up to €60m.
Speaking to Bayern’s official website, the 24 year-old said: “FC Bayern is a great club with big goals – and these goals suit me as well. I’m looking forward to the new challenge and can’t wait to train with the team.
“I want to win as many trophies as possible with FC Bayern, and the Champions League is the top priority.”
Having missed out on Coman, Man City will now have to look elsewhere for a replacement for Sane, with the Manchester Evening News reporting that Wolves winger Adama Traore and Burnley’s Dwight McNeil are on their radar.