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:
Juventus are plotting a move for Atalanta wing-back Robin Gosens this summer as Maurizio Sarri attempts to bolster his options ahead of next season.
Gosens will be on full view for the Bianconeri at the weekend as a red-hot Atalanta travel to Turin to take on Sarri’s table-toppers at the Allianz Stadium.
Corriere di Torino (via Football Italia) understand that Juve will be keeping a close eye on the German during the contest, with La Dea having the chance to cut the Bianconeri’s lead at the top of Serie A to six points with a victory on Saturday night.
The Old Lady are said to be huge admirers of Gosens, but they could face competition from Inter for the 26-year-old’s signature this summer.
The German, who’s starred in an aggressive wing-back role under Gian Piero Gasperini this term, seems like an ideal fit for Antonio Conte’s system. He’s scored nine times in Serie A this season – adding a further six assists – and his profile resembles that of Marcos Alonso’s – a player who Conte got the very best out of during his stint as Chelsea boss.
Nevertheless, Juve are keen to bring in at least one full-back this summer, with Mattia De Sciglio’s future uncertain and Juan Cuadrado the wrong side of 30.
And although Luca Pellegrini has the capacity to provide healthy competition for current favoured left-back Alex Sandro when he returns from his Cagliari loan, Gosens has the potential to evolve into the Bianconeri’s long-term option at that position if he’s able to excel as part of a back four.
It’s also understood the Italian giants will have no issues meeting La Dea’s tame €20m valuation of the German.
A potential stumbling block, however, is the desire of the player. The project in Bergamo is an incredibly exciting one and after Gosens signed a new deal with the club back in January, he suggested the only club he’d leave Atalanta for was his boyhood club Schalke.
Title favourites Juventus came unstuck on Tuesday, slipping to a rather uncharacteristic defeat to Milan at San Siro; putting the brakes on their impressive return since the restart.
So an encounter with third placed Atalanta this Saturday is a tasty one where the over-achievers from Lombardy meet the Scudetto holders.
Let’s have a look at the lineup that will want to turn it around this weekend.
Wojciech Szczesny (GK) – Szczesny returned to the side against Milan after sitting out the clash with Torino to allow Gianluigi Buffon to break the all-time Serie A appearance record. He should keep his place for this one.
Juan Cuadrado (RB) – The former Chelsea winger has reinvented himself as a dependable right-back under Maurizio Sarri, and has contributed six assists this season.
Leonardo Bonucci (CB) – The veteran Italian will once again lead the side and will want to put the defeat to his former side behind him with a solid display this weekend.
Matthijs de Ligt (CB) – The Dutch giant had to sit out the last match due to suspension but will slot straight back in for this top of the table clash. He has grown as the season has progressed and is looking like a future Juve captain already.
Alex Sandro (LB) – The dynamic Brazilian is back from injury and should start in front of his countryman Danilo this weekend to give Juve a left-footed attacking threat once more.
Rodrigo Bentancur (CM) – Bentancur has been one of Juve’s brightest sparks this season. The skilful and strong Uruguayan is sure to start in this crucial fixture.
Miralem Pjanic (CM) – The deep-lying playmaker is Barcelona bound and frankly, he looks like he’s already checked out. But due to the fact that there’s no reliable back-up option at the club, he still starts most games for Sarri’s side.
Adrien Rabiot (CM) – The former PSG man has struggled for consistency in Turin but has secured a run of games since the restart and scored a classy goal against Milan last time out. Will retain his place ahead of Blaise Matuidi.
Federico Bernardeschi (RW) – The Italian has started ahead of Douglas Costa since the restart and knowing Sarri’s love for an unchanged lineup, it’s likely he will keep his place – despite a lack of goal returns this season.
Paulo Dybala (ST) – The best player for Juventus since the restart, Dybala was sorely missed against Milan through suspension. He will return on Saturday looking to add to his 11 league goals for the season.
Cristiano Ronaldo (LW) – Despite many critics fearing this could be the beginning of the end for Ronaldo this season, he is still averaging just under a goal per league game. Not bad for a 35-year-old, eh?
A dramatic second half collapse from Juventus allowed Milan to come back from two goals down to seal a stunning 4-2 win at San Siro.
There was little to note during the first-half, with Zlatan Ibrahimović’s disallowed goal for offside the only bit of action worth jotting down on the notepad.
Moments after the restart, Juventus hit the front through Adrien Rabiot’s first goal for the club before Cristiano Ronaldo steered home his 26th Serie A goal of the season. With La Vecchia Signora 2-0 up, you’d have backed the Old Lady to extend their lead atop Serie A to ten points after Lazio’s shock defeat at Lecce.
Not long after, Ronaldo took advantage of a defensive mix-up to steer in his 26th league goal for the season and double his team’s advantage. But after a long VAR check, Leonardo Bonucci was penalised for handball, giving Milan a penalty and a chance to come back into the game. Step forward Ibrahimović, who slotted the ball past Szczesny to give the Rossoneri renewed hope.
But after Leonardo Bonucci was penalised for handball, Milan turned the game on its head. Ibrahimović slotted the resulting penalty past Wojciech Szczesny before Franck Kessie finished off a wonderful team move to draw the scores level.
A minute later, Rafael Leão’s right-foot finish put Stefano Pioli’s side in front before more slack defending from the visitors alloed Ante Rebić to net a fourth in the space of 20 stunning second half minutes.
Here’s 90min‘s breakdown of the game.
Key Talking Point
After defending well in the first half, all Stefano Pioli’s side were lacking was creativity. So inevitably after that bright showing, Milan promptly fell two goals behind – staring down the barrel of an 11th defeat of the season.
But after Ibrahimović’s successful spot kick, Milan suddenly clicked back into gear. The introduction of the pacy Leão allowed for more fluidity in transition, and suddenly the hosts looked like a side brimming with confidence.
Juve didn’t help themselves with lapses in concentration at the back, but Pioli will have been delighted with the impetus and drive shown by his team – which saw Milan press home their advantage and take the game to Maurizio Sarri’s side.
The improvement in their play was evident in Kessie’s equalising goal, a tremendous team move capped by a smart finish from the Ivorian.
Terrific in the second-half, Franck Kessié was the driving force in Milan’s midfield.
The 23-year-old didn’t allow Juventus any time on the ball, and his positive all-energy display was too much for the visitors to handle. Those who doubted his ability for the big occasion will think again, with Kessié’s display showing he’s capable of mixing it with the very best.
Key Talking Point
It was a slow start to the game for Juventus, who appeared to be sorely missing Paulo Dybala’s spark in attack. The Argentine was suspended and his replacement, Gonzalo Higuaín, was largely ineffective after being starved of any kind of service.
Things improved going forward in the second half, but Juventus were a shambles defensively. Daniele Rugani was poor and question marks must be raised against Szczesny’s positioning for Milan’s third goal.
Juventus’ mental implosion will be a huge worry for Sarri, particularly with a clash against in-form Atalanta coming up. Still, with Lazio also losing, I Bianconeri will feel they’ve got away with one as they remain seven points clear.
On a disappointing evening for Juventus, Rodrigo Bentancur was one of the few players to emerge from the game with any credit.
The midfielder was tenacious in the tackle, full of running and up until Juventus’ collapse, looked to have things under control in the centre of the park. The Uruguayan can’t do it all though, and will eagerly be anticipating the arrival of Arthur Melo next season.
Milan have the opportunity to show what they’re made once more, when they take on Napoli this weekend. Juventus, meanwhile, have a heavyweight clash of their own, as they take on free-scoring Atalanta in what could be one another crackerjack of a game.
Chelsea midfielder Jorginho has been linked with a move to Juventus and a reunion with former coach Maurizio Sarri that could help the Stamford Bridge club fund an approach for Bayer Leverkusen forward Kai Havertz and others.
Chelsea have already spent the best part of £90m ahead of next season to secure deals for Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner. The club has also raised additional funds through sales since last summer, but the ongoing squad rebuild is far from complete and other positions are still being targeted.
Jorginho could be seen as a saleable asset as the Italy international has surprisingly fallen badly out of favour since the season restarted last month.
Prior to the campaign being put on hold he was a regular starter and was even named captain against West Ham in November. But a 10-minute cameo in Tuesday night’s 3-2 win over Crystal Palace was his first appearance of the restart, having only been an unused substitute in the three previous Premier League games and the FA Cup quarter-final against Leicester.
The Daily Mirror writes that Juventus are ‘expressing interest’ in Jorginho. That would mean playing under Sarri at a third different club after already doing so at both Napoli and Chelsea.
Jorginho’s agent Joao Santos revealed to 90min in April that a new contract at Chelsea was actually being discussed. However, he added that there were offers from two other un-named clubs on the table, but admitted he had not so far had any contact with Juventus at that time.
“I have received official offers from two top clubs,” Santos said. “At the moment I haven’t talked to anyone at Juventus. We all know how highly Sarri thinks of him, but I can’t say if it is part of the Juventus technical project because, I don’t know what their plans are for next season.”
The Mirror also notes that N’Golo Kante is among those who could be sold to raise funds and make way for the future, something 90min revealed in May. Real Madrid are interested in the 29-year-old Frenchman, while Paris Saint-Germain are expected to make an approach if they believe he is available. Chelsea are happy with Kante but will consider selling if an acceptable comes in.
The Mirror goes on to suggest that Chelsea are eyeing West Ham midfielder Declan Rice, who was formerly a youth player with the Blues and remains close friends with Mason Mount.
Chelsea also still want a new left-back and new centre-back this summer, with Ben Chilwell the player primarily linked with the former role. 90min was informed by a source in March that the club would prefer to spend big on a striker (which they have done to get Werner) and centre-back, potentially finding a cheaper alternative at left-back to stretch their budget further.
Kalidou Koulibaly is on the radar, although it is understood signing the Senegalese star from Napoli would potentially cost a club-record fee. Dayot Upamencano at RB Leipzig and Lille’s Gabriel Magalhaes are other options being monitored. At left-back, Porto’s Alex Telles, Basel’s Blas Riveros and even Aston Villa’s Matt Targett are being considered.
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