European Soccer

Liverpool and Fulham roll to Europa League semifinals

Liverpool Europa (Getty Images)

A day after the last of the English teams was eliminated from the UEFA Champions League, two Premier League teams rose to the occasion to keep the league represented in the Europa League.

Liverpool posted a dominant 4-1 victory against Benfica to score a 5-3 aggregate victory and book a place into the semifinals. Over in Germany, Fulham scored a 1-0 victory at Wolfsburg to secure its own semifinal place.

Liverpool will now take on Atletico Madrid, which reached the semis on away goals after tying Valencia, 0-0, at home. Fulham will face Hamburg, which disposed of Standard Liege, 3-1, to one step closer to playing in the Europa League Final in its own home stadium.

What do you think of today's matches? Hoping for a Liverpool-Fulham final? Looking forward to seeing Clint Dempsey on the field against Hamburg?

Share your thoughts below.

  • Wolfgang Depner

    As a Hamburg fan, I was hoping for an all-German semi-final. But the game against the Fulham will be barn-burner as well.


  • Mark F

    why is liverpool in the europa league…i thought they qualified for the champions league by finishing second last year in the EPL?


  • mike

    This has nothing to do with anything but…come summer I’m gonna be watching the world cup in Japan. I just got a job offer. Couldnt help but share the good news with one of my favorite websites. (don’t worry I’ll still be a US fan!!!)


  • FulhamPete

    Deuce = injured, DNP

    Liverpool placed 3rd in CL group, gets relegated to knockout rounds of Europa League.


  • kptx

    The third-place finishers in the CL group stages join the Europa League in the knockout phase.


  • CD9-Wolverine

    Sucks that Clint didn’t play, but Fulham absolutely dominated, even if they did only come away with a 1-0 win.


  • g?

    Yeah. It seems like the guys are motivated by the final at home. Hopefully that carries us through.


  • Clayton

    Clint – get healthy and we’ll see you in the semis. He has had a big part in helping them get this far. It would be awesome to see him play in a UEFA final and FIFA final in back to back years. Go Clint


  • DanO

    How about watch him play in a UEFA final and a FIFA final in the SAME year? Go USMNT! 64 days and counting!


  • Patrick

    Hell of run for Fulham beating the Cup holders, the Old Lady and the reigning Bundesliga champs.

    Get some Clint !


  • Erik

    Amazing run by Fulham and a testament to Roy Hodgsen. It’s too bad Hamburg will probably stop them cold.

    However, Liverpool is going to win the Europa League to qualify for next years Champions League over Hamburg. How about Torres going back to Atletico and actually playing? Of the 4 teams left only Liverpool has the pedigree and class to take it home.


  • B1879

    I think teams that fail in the Champion’s League should be done with Europe instead of dropping down to the Europa League.


  • kev

    Come on you Reds :D

    Fulham may be crucified by Hamburg but they beat Donesk and Juventus and Wolfsburg so they have a chance against Zee Germans


  • andrew in tampa

    Wrong. The winner of the Europa League doesn’t qualify for champions league. They have to finish in the top four in the EPL in order to qualify.


  • japan

    like the poster above said, watch the j league. You will be very impressed from the atmosphere to the actual game. Get skyperfect and you’ll be set for pretty much every european games on tv.


  • Seth

    Will Dempsey be back for Liverpool on Sunday? I’m looking forward to the match.


  • ga-gone

    100% agreed. While this year’s Europa League has been a marked improvement over last year’s UEFA Cup. Two simple changes could crank it up a huge amount:

    1. No teams parachuting out of UEFA CL.
    2. Europa League winner enters the 1st round of UEFA CL qualifying the next year.


  • dazed and confused

    I’ll admit I’m a soccer newbie, but can someone explain to me the whole point of europa league? Seems like a whole lotta work just to be crowned the “best” above average team in europe. Do they actually get anything else out of the deal?


  • mcjones

    Pretty sure they get a decent amount of coin, but not positive. Think you’re underestimating how important the Europa League is to many teams. Even a team like Liverpool would take a Europa League Championship. For a team like Fulham, this is extremely important to its fans and could be one of the most historic times in its long history (think 110 years+); just read the message-boards and articles. To teams like Barca, Real, and Man U it may mean little, but there is a lot of football quality outside the top 3-4 in every league and they deserve a cup competition of their own.


  • JB

    I disagree that not including teams from the CL would improve the EL. I want to see the best teams…

    …and Fulham’s amazing run would mean nearly as much if they didn’t have to overcome the 3rd winningest club in Europe and the defending German champs.


  • FulhamPete

    I haven’t seem hamburg, but after a run through Shakhtar, Juve, VfL Wolfs AND what should have been a couple of wins over Roma in group stages, don’t put ANYTHING past the Whites.

    C’mon Fulham!


  • Long Winded

    dazed, you have to attempt to look at it from a non-American point of view (assuming you are a yank…). Teams in Europe have multiple competitions each year, the top English sides have 4 alone.

    By finishing 7th in the regular season last year, Fulham were entered into the Europe League. And yes, it is the 2nd level of Euro club competitions to the Champions League (in my opinion, the best competition in any sport)

    One reason to play is because of the away trips, my buddy in London who attends all Fulham matches has been to Lithunia, Russia, Bulgaria, Switzerland, Rome, Ukraine, Turin Italy and Wolfsburg Germany…

    Another reason to play is $, gate receipts + tv rights, of course.

    But mainly, the “point” is just to play. It really is remarkable that a club like Fulham have been able to reach the semifinals. Only 13 years ago they were in the 4th level (Div 2, don’t ask) in England. The last 12 months are probably the best in their history, 7th in the league, semi’s of Europa, quarterfinal of the FA Cup.

    And as a soccer newbie, they do have Clint Dempsey, google his goal for Juventus to see the quality goal that took them into the quarterfinals…


  • Ken

    Hamburg’s road to the Semi was not that “colorful”. They only had to content with PSV, Anderlecht and Standard Liege. They do have an advantage (or added pressure) because the final is at their home stadium. I predict a Fulham v Pool final.


  • bf

    yeah check out the Dempsey goal… it was a beauty.

    To add a little… Europa has a lot to do with $$$. Unlike the good old socialist USA sports (outside of baseball). A club’s success has a lot to do with funds (see Man City). To stay competitive in the PL a team has to make sure they have the best talent they can afford on the field. As stated above, playing in Europe adds way more ticket sales. For example, I think the Fulham v. Juve game had tickets at 150% the price of an average PL game and it was sold out.

    Also, playing in Europe increases the teams brand which they can market to sponsors. The more a team is on TV the more $$$ a sponsor is willing to pay to have its name plastered on a billboard or a jersey.

    Finally, players also want to go to teams where they can get TV time and more looks by their national team coaches. So playing and doing well in a competition like EL helps teams attract players.

    To sum up… EL is a good idea.


  • jpatke@sluh.org

    dazed and confused, I always use a college basketball analogy when explaining the Europa League/Champs League confusion. Champions League = NCAA Tournament. Europa League = NIT.

    The “parachuting” of the 3rd place group finishers from the Champs League adds some luster to the Europa League, I think. It upgrades the level of competition in the knock-out stage, adding some prestige. That makes the NIT – NCAA analogy a bit off…imagine the added prestige of the NIT if the 8 teams eliminated in the “Sweet 16” round of the NCAA were entered into the final rounds of the NIT.


  • Zac

    Torres v. Atletico Madrid… very interesting. He loves that club, wonder what will happen.
    HSV v. Fulham will be very good IMO. I just think HSV will pull it out, Petric is in great form and RVN is always good for a goal or two.
    HSV v. Liverpool final – and a good one at that.


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