Two former winners of the UEFA Cup meet in the quarter-finals of the UEFA Europa League as Internazionale face Bayer Leverkusen in Düsseldorf.
Two former winners of the UEFA Cup meet in the quarter-finals of the UEFA Europa League as Internazionale face Bayer Leverkusen in the German city of Düsseldorf.
• Inter entered the UEFA Europa League after failing to negotiate a way through their UEFA Champions League section, finishing third behind Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund. They cruised past Bulgarian champions Ludogorets in the round of 32 (2-0 a, 2-1 h) before overcoming Getafe 2-0 in a single-leg round of 16 encounter in Gelsenkirchen, Romelu Lukaku and substitute Christian Eriksen scoring the goals that have put the three-time UEFA Cup winners into the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals for the first time.
• Leverkusen joined the UEFA Europa League in the knockout phase after also crossing over from the UEFA Champions League, where they finished third in Group D behind Juventus and Atlético de Madrid on six points. They were convincing conquerors of 2010/11 winners Porto in the round of 32, winning 2-1 at home and 3-1 away, before also claiming victories in both legs of their round of 16 tie against Rangers (3-1 a, 1-0 h)
• The clubs have been drawn together only once previously in UEFA competition, Inter winning both games in the 2002/03 UEFA Champions League second group stage (2-0 a, 3-2 h) en route to the semi-finals, where they lost to city rivals AC Milan.
• Inter's victory over Getafe in Gelsenkirchen ended a run of four games without a win in Germany (D1 L3); a 3-2 victory at Bayern München in March 2011 is their only victory in their last nine games away to Bundesliga clubs (D3 L5). Indeed, one of only four wins in their last 18 matches against German clubs (D4 L10) came against Bayern in the 2010 UEFA Champions League final (2-0 in Madrid).
• Leverkusen's record in Germany against Italian sides in UEFA competition is W4 D2 L3, all of those games having taken place in Leverkusen. They were defeated 2-0 at the BayArena by Juventus in this season's UEFA Champions League group stage.
• Fourth in Serie A in 2018/19, Inter's European campaign ended with defeat by Eintracht Frankfurt in the UEFA Europa League round of 16 after they had finished third in their UEFA Champions League section behind Barcelona and Tottenham Hotspur – the first time the Nerazzurri had failed to progress from their group in nine UEFA Champions League campaigns.
• History repeated itself this season as Inter could only manage another third place in their UEFA Champions League group, a closing home defeat to Barcelona scuppering their chances and leaving them with seven points – one fewer than in the previous campaign.
• Victory over Ludogorets took Inter into the UEFA Europa League round of 16 for the fourth time, and the win against Getafe ended a run of three straight eliminations at that stage of the competition.
• Inter's record in the UEFA Europa League knockout phase is W9 D2 L4. Three of the four defeats have been against German opposition, two to Wolfsburg (1-3 a, 1-2 h) and one to Eintracht Frankfurt (0-1 h).
• Fourth in the 2018/19 Bundesliga, Leverkusen thus entered the UEFA Champions League group stage for the 12th time. In last season's European campaign they were eliminated from the UEFA Europa League round of 32 by Krasnodar after topping a group featuring Ludogorets, FC Zürich and AEK Larnaca.
• The German club's bid to reach this season's UEFA Champions League round of 16 was undone by defeats in their opening three matches – 1-2 at home to Lokomotiv Moskva, 0-3 at Juventus and 0-1 at Atlético de Madrid – and although they rallied to beat Lokomotiv away (2-0) and Atlético at home (2-1), that BayArena defeat by Juve on Matchday 6 left them in third place.
•.Victory over Porto in February put Leverkusen into the UEFA Europa League round of 16 for the third time. They made it third time lucky at that stage of the competition – and also ended a run of six successive round of 16 eliminations in both European competitions - by knocking out Rangers.
•.The Werkself lost successive UEFA Cup quarter-finals in 2006/07 (to Osasuna) and 2007/08 (to Zenit) and have not reached a European semi-final since 2001/02 when they beat Liverpool 4-3 on aggregate (0-1, 4-2) in the last eight of the UEFA Champions League.
• The Werkself are undefeated in nine UEFA Europa League matches (W6 D3), winning all four this season. They have not lost any of their last eight UEFA Europa League games in Germany (W5 D3) and their overall home record in the competition, play-offs included, is W11 D5 L2.
Links and trivia
• Leverkusen's Moussa Diaby (Crotone, 2017/18) and Tin Jedvaj (Roma, 2013/14) have both appeared in Serie A; team-mate Charles Aránguiz was briefly on Udinese's books in 2014 but never played a league game in Italy.
• Jedvaj is an international team-mate of Inter's Croatian midfielder Marcelo Brozović, with whom he also played for Dinamo Zagreb in 2012/13, while Aránguiz plays alongside Nerazzurri forward Alexis Sánchez for Chile. There are also Argentinian internationals in both squads – Lautaro Martínez for Inter and Lucas Alario and Exequiel Palacios for Leverkusen.
• Inter's Nicolò Barella scored his first international goal past Leverkusen goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky as Italy defeated Finland 2-0 in a UEFA EURO 2020 qualifier in Udine on 23 March 2019. Lukaku, for Belgium, and Antonio Candreva, for Italy, had also scored against a Finland side with Hradecky in goal in June 2016 friendlies.
• This is the only tie in the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals between two clubs that have won a major UEFA competition.
• While Inter have won the Italian league title 18 times, Leverkusen have never been crowned champions of Germany.
• Inter and Leverkusen are two of three UEFA Champions League group stage participants to have reached the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals, alongside Shakhtar Donetsk.
• Italian clubs have scored 499 goals in the UEFA Europa League, group stage to final.
• Leverkusen's victory over Rangers in the second leg of the round of 16 was their 19th in the UEFA Europa League, group stage to final, the most by a German club in the competition – one more than Eintracht Frankfurt.
• Inter finished runners-up in Serie A in 2019/20, one point behind champions Juventus, thanks to a final-day 2-0 win at third-placed Atalanta. They will return to the UEFA Champions League group stage next season.
• Leverkusen ended up fifth in the 2019/20 Bundesliga, securing a return to the UEFA Europa League next term. They also finished runners-up in the DFB-Pokal, losing 4-2 to champions Bayern München in the final.
• Inter's record in four UEFA penalty shoot-outs is W2 L2:
5-4 v Celtic, 1971/72 European Champion Clubs' Cup semi final
3-4 v Aston Villa, 1994/95 UEFA Cup first round
5-3 v Grazer AK, 1996/97 UEFA Cup second round
1-4 v Schalke, 1996/97 UEFA Cup final
• Leverkusen's record in three UEFA penalty shoot-outs is W1 L2:
3-2 v Espanyol, 1987/88 UEFA Cup final
3-5 v Tirol Innsbruck, 1995 UEFA Intertoto Cup quarter-final
2-3 v Atlético Madrid, 2014/15 UEFA Champions League round of 16
• A combative and versatile midfielder, Antonio Conte is most commonly associated with Juventus, where he spent 13 seasons as a player, winning a treasure trove of trophies including the 1995/96 UEFA Champions League. He also coached the club to three successive Serie A titles between 2012 and 2014, going on to take charge of Italy for two years, including the UEFA EURO 2016 finals, and then leaving for Chelsea, where he won the Premier League and FA Cup before being replaced by compatriot Maurizio Sarri. After a year's sabbatical, Conte was appointed as Inter boss in May 2019.
• A Dutch champion and three-time domestic cup winner with Feyenoord in the 1990s, Peter Bosz's eventful coaching career, which began in earnest at De Graafschap in 2002, peaked when he led Ajax to the final of the 2016/17 UEFA Europa League. The former Oranje midfielder spent just that one season in Amsterdam, subsequently replacing Thomas Tuchel at Borussia Dortmund, where his reign lasted only six months. After a year's absence he returned to the Bundesliga to coach Bayer Leverkusen in December 2018 and succeeded in qualifying the Werkself for the UEFA Champions League.