So Some fans of Chelsea will be speechless on this Thursday evening (9 pm in the F.A.Z. Liveticker Europa League and on RTL and DAZN). The followers of the Frankfurt Eintracht celebrates the Europa League this season, as they have celebrated – if at all – only a few fan camps before: with gigantic choreographies and rushing atmosphere at home games and away trips. In the first leg of the semi-final against the fourth-placed Premier League, the collective ecstasy should reach a new peak. For Chelsea, however, the Europa League is a kind of consolation prize. Actually, fans and club management are more likely to see themselves in the Champions League, Europe's most important club competition.

In view of this, the Europa League is also of great importance to the Londoners: the tournament winner will compete in the Champions League next season. Although they have it in the Premier League two games before the end of the season even in the hand to qualify by a placement among the top four teams for it. But the competition is stubborn: Arsenal and Manchester United have their sights set on Chelsea's fourth place – the lead is short. For Maurizio Sarri, coach of the Londoners since this season, participating in the Champions League after missing all the national trophies is the final goal. If this goes wrong, his first year at the FC would be considered a failure. The club leadership around owner Roman Abramovich is not known for her patience with coaches; Since the oligarch bought the club in 2003, he has changed the coach twelve times.

The expectations of the grateful Italian were high. In Serie A Sarri had formed before his change the SSC Napoli for the second strongest force behind series champion Juventus. In his three years with the club Napoli scored 251 league goals – more than any other club in Italy's first division. But at Chelsea, his "sarri-ball" style, which promises attractive attacking football in theory, threatens to flop. The team often played after a strong start to the season at best, the atmosphere in the team was not harmonious, the fans had seen enough soon – and made her frustration with "Fuck Sarri-Ball" songs air. Athletic low was the 0-6 defeat against Manchester City in February.

However, Sarri's personal injury may have been even more severe as goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga defied substitution in the final of the League Cup. Publicly Sarri presented the embarrassing scene after the defeat on penalties credible as a "misunderstanding" dar. If the "Blues" at the end of the season with empty hands there, it could be Sarri like many of his predecessors. "We fight for our place in the top four and are in the semifinals of the Europa League. It's a good season, "said the 60-year-old recently. He is expected to close the gap between Chelsea and the teams at the top – currently Manchester City and Liverpool. He asked for more time. "I'm sure we can approach them in two seasons," he promised, but he curtailed, "whether we'll be better than them in two seasons, I'm not sure."

Can not participate in the game in Frankfurt: National player Antonio Ruediger is injured.


The impending transfer ban by the World Association would make his work even more difficult. Chelsea is said to have foreign underage talents contracted contrary to the regulations. If they fail, they must not accept any entries in the next two transfer periods. Superstar Eden Hazard would not be prevented from changing to another club. Real Madrid is considered interested, the interest should be based on reciprocity.

On the way to the semi-finals, Chelsea has finished the comparatively easy group L as first place winner. In the second round, eighth and quarter-finals, they prevailed against Malmö FF, Dynamo Kiev and Slavia Prague. Football player Antonio Rüdiger, the German international, can not help his colleagues against Eintracht. For the central defender, the season is already over. The center-back underwent a meniscus operation in Italy. Rüdiger had suffered the injury last Sunday in the game at Manchester United (1-1).

. (tagsToTranslate) Roman Abramovich (t) UEFA Europa League (t) Chelsea (t) Premier League (t) Manchester United (t) Manchester City (t) Arsenal

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