The first edition of the 2021/22 UEFA Europa Conference League has served its purpose by widening access to top-flight football and drawing attention to some low-key talent, including Norwegian miracle workers Bodø/Glimt.
As the campaign heads to an exciting conclusion with the final between Roma and Feyenoord on 25 May, UEFA.com picks out ten matches that kept us guessing. What was your favourite?
Feyenood 3-2 Marseille
28/04/2022, semi-final first leg
“There is a high risk factor in the way we play, but it brings a lot of rewards,” Cyriel Dessers said of Feyenoord’s style after this end-to-end thriller. Dessers took advantage more than most and helped the hosts lead 2-0 before OM were level again before the break. Dessers restored the advantage seconds after the restart and, although the chances continued to arise, it completed the scoring. “Completely crazy” was La Provence’s assessment.
Inescapable moment: Luis Sinisterra’s clever back heel to launch Dessers for the opening goal.
PSV Eindhoven 1-2 Leicester
14/04/2022, quarter-final second leg
A 0-0 draw in the first leg forced PSV to take command and they did, with Eran Zahavi giving them the lead in the 27th minute. The hosts had chances to extend their advantage, but the Foxes struck twice late in the game to turn the tide. “It was a very intense game,” said Leicester’s James Maddison.
Inescapable moment: Maddison’s ferocious finish for Leicester’s equalizer, or the celebrations that followed Ricardo Pereira’s 88th-minute winner.
Feyenoord 3-3 Slavia Prague
07/04/2022, quarter-final first leg
Having met before in the group stage, both sides knew what to expect and looked to be going even stronger, with Ibrahim Traore equalizing for Slavia on death. “Two good teams, six goals and plenty to satisfy the fans,” Traore said. “It was fun to play.”
Inescapable moment: In a game full of drama, Orkun Kökçü’s free kick for Feyenoord’s third stands out.
Rome 1-1 Speed
03/17/2022, round of 16 second leg
Winner 1-0 in the first leg in Arnhem, the second leg looked like a formality for Roma, until Maximilian Wittek’s strike just after the hour mark changed the scenario. There was time for another twist, however, as Tammy Abraham’s late, late finish spared her team some extra time. “We know how to handle pressure,” said Roma boss José Mourinho.
Inescapable moment: Wittek’s fabulous volley for Vitesse; Kudos to Eli Dasa for an inviting ball to tee off for his teammate.
PSV Eindhoven 4-4 Copenhagen
10/03/2022, round of 16 first leg
Copenhagen came to the Netherlands with a host of absentees but still managed to lead 1-0, 3-1 and 4-3 at various stages before Zahavi struck late to seal the draw for PSV. “Although we have no players, we scored four goals and that’s amazing,” said FCK boss Jess Thorup.
Inescapable moment: Pep Biel’s venture earned Vitesse its fourth; watch him pounce on a loose pass, then rise to deliver a fine finish.
Partizan 2-5 Feyenoord
10/03/2022, round of 16 first leg
Bibras Natcho was injured scoring Partizan’s first goal, setting the tone for a dizzying encounter in Belgrade. “It could have been a little less exciting but the positive feeling remains,” said Feyenoord captain Jens Toornstra, who scored his team’s first and last goal.
Inescapable moment: Watch Luis Sinisterra take full advantage of a clearing attempt with a long-range strike for Feyenoord’s fourth.
Celtic 1-3 Bodø/Glimt
02/17/2022, round of 16 first leg
Roma could attribute their defeat to Bodø/Glimt to the rotation of the squad, but Celtic had no excuse as they crashed out at home against a side still in pre-season mode. Hugo Vetlesen smashed their third in line. “We stayed attacking and kept believing,” said striker Runar Espejord.
Inescapable moment: Ola Solbakken runs down the right before throwing the ball into the box as Bodø/Glimt’s second goal approaches.
Qarabag 2-2 Omonia
25/11/2021, group stage Matchday 5
A man down with two minutes of regulation time remaining, Omonoia had every right to despair when they went down 2-1 in Azerbaijan, Patrick Andrade’s shot taking a cruel deflection on the entrance. However, magic was in the air for the Cypriot side.
Inescapable moment: Listen to the silence in the stadium as Jordi Gómez catches goalkeeper Qarabağ off his line with a shot from halfway.
Tottenham 3-2 Speed
04/11/2021, group stage Matchday 4
With five goals before the interval and three red cards after the break, it was a topsy-turvy affair, with Spurs relieved to hold on after leading 3-0 at one stage. “Winning while suffering is good for this team, these players,” said new Spurs boss Antonio Conte.
Inescapable moment: Discreet but extremely elegant finish from Matúš Bero from a tight angle for the second from Vitesse.
Bodø/Glimt 6-1 Roma
21/10/2021, group stage Matchday 3
“At least the positive thing from now on is that no one will ask me why I always use the same players,” Mourinho said, as his marginal selection endured a miserable night in Norway. No Mourinho side had previously conceded six goals in a game.
Inescapable moment: Ola Solbakken’s strange non-celebration for Bodø/Glimt’s sixth, as if to say: ‘Is this really happening?’