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Europa League semi-final second leg talking points

Myron Markevych's tactical masterclass and an Italian goal drought are just two of the issues on the agenda as UEFA.com's reporters discuss the second legs.

Myron Markevych has come into his own in the knockout phase
Myron Markevych has come into his own in the knockout phase ©Getty Images

Dnipro defence to be admired
Yet again we find ourselves talking about Dnipro's defensive prowess. Denys Boyko was superb in goal in the 1-0 defeat of SSC Napoli, pulling off two particularly eye-catching saves in the first half to deny Gonzalo Higuaín. Douglas was his usual no-nonsense self at the heart of Myron Markevych's back four, while Artem Fedetskiy continues to impress at right-back. Sevilla may be joint-top scorers with 26 goals this campaign, but in Warsaw they are coming up against a back line that is sure to be tough to breach.
Igor Linnyk

Italy's forwards draw a blank
"In the two games we created so many chances to score; you cannot win if you miss so many goals," Napoli coach Rafael Benítez said after the 2-1 aggregate defeat. ACF Fiorentina also missed good opportunities to score against Sevilla FC, especially in the first leg in Spain. "I think Sevilla were close to 100% in terms of efficiency with the opportunities they created," Viola coach Vincenzo Montella said. "We had 0%."

Experienced and prolific strikers like Higuaín and Mario Gomez failed to leave their mark, to the cost of their teams. The Argentine international – 27 goals in all competitions for Napoli this term – missed a series of openings in the two games against Dnipro, while Gomez – the fourth highest-scoring German player in UEFA club competition history with 40 goals – was left out in Florence after disappointing to such an extent in the Andalusia.
Paolo Menicucci

Unai Emery will have his work cut out
Unai Emery will have his work cut out©Getty Images

Markevych the knockout mastermind
The Dnipro coach is in his element when it comes to knockout football. At the halfway point of the group stage his side sat bottom of Group F with just one point from three games after a 1-0 home defeat to Qarabağ FK. However, two wins from the last three games snuck them out of the section allowing Dnipro to show that the two-legged format is where they excel.

Olympiacos FC, AFC Ajax – both clubs who transferred from the UEFA Champions League – Club Brugge KV and Napoli were all nullified in the Ukraine leg and Markevych masterminded at least one away goal in three of the four knockout ties. The former FC Metalist Kharkiv coach has not had an equal in this competition over two legs – even outthinking grizzled European stalwarts such as Benítez. With the final a one-off affair can he adjust to get one over on Unai Emery? 
Igor Linnyk

Sevilla's Rico comes of age
Holders Sevilla are in the final again but the hero of last season's showpiece, Portuguese goalkeeper Beto, was only on the bench when the Spanish side won 2-0 at Fiorentina. The 21-year-old Sergio Rico has not looked back since replacing the injured Beto earlier in the season and once again proved his worth with a couple of outstanding saves, most notably from Gonzalo Rodríguez's close-range header, which doused home hopes before they had a chance to flicker into life.

"Sergio Rico se doctora en Europa" [Sergio Rico passes European exam] wrote Spanish newspaper Marca, stressing how the youngster came of age in Florence. Taking into account the heroics of Boyko against Napoli, it seems goals will be hard earned in Warsaw.
Paolo Menicucci

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