If the Europa League winner has already qualified for the Champions League with his championship, it allows the third in Ligue 1 to climb directly to the group stage of C1 next season. After Barcelona’s exit, Leipzig is in the best position to present such a scenario.
The sudden exclusion of Barcelona in the quarter-finals of the European League does not suit French football. Because it removes an opportunity for the third in Ligue 1 to avoid two rounds of Champions League qualifiers next summer to invite themselves to the group stage.
3rd in Ligue 1 directly into pool if the Europa League winner already qualified for the Champions League
Article 3.04 of the Competition Regulations already states: “If the holder of the UEFA Europa League qualifies for the group stage of the competition by the domestic league, (…) the vacancy created by the holder of the UEFA Europa League ranked third in the league shall be filled. from the Fifth-ranked Al-Ittihad on the access list (France, editor’s note), and the league’s path will be rebalanced accordingly, with priority given to the highest-ranked Al-Ittihad club in the relevant round of the arrival list.”
In other words, the third in Ligue 1 relies on the title of a team that has already qualified in the Champions League via its championship to avoid the third qualifying round, and then the playoffs. Barcelona, firmly entrenched in the top four in La Liga, looked in the best position to fulfill this requirement and deliver a less crowded summer for the future third in Ligue 1. But he was released. The best opportunity is now called Leipzig.
Christopher Nkunko’s team is currently ranked fourth in the Bundesliga and is de facto qualified for the next Champions League. But his margin is tight on his chaser (Friborg, fifth with three points five days left). In the next round, the Germans will challenge Glasgow Rangers, who are currently second in the tournament (which only gives them a place in the second qualifying round).
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The other two teams in the race also start from afar, especially Frankfurt, ninth in the Bundesliga, 12 points out of the top four, their rival West Ham, they still have a chance to enter the top four in the English Premier League but the task will be difficult (6 points 6 from 4 to 6 days from the end). Last season, Monaco, third in Ligue 1, had been hoping for Manchester United’s success in the Europa League final that would have qualified them directly for the Champions League. But the Red Devils lost to Villarreal (1-1, 11 tab 10) and Monaco fell in the play-off against Shakhtar Donetsk (0-1, 2-2).
Rennes has been luckier in 2020-2021 since Sevilla’s success in the Europa League in 2020 allowed him to climb straight into the pool. Two years later, the Britons are again in third place seven days after the finish and would welcome Leipzig’s success into the European League if they retain their place. They will seek the help of their teammates Christopher Nkunku, who has already been appreciated in the Breton capital since his shot missed on goal in the Coupe de France final against PSG (2-2, 6 tab 5) that offered the title to Rennes.
Europa League semi-finals (goes on April 28, returns on May 5):
Leipzig – Glasgow Rangers
West Ham – Frankfurt