The 2014–15 UEFA Europa League was the 44th season of Europe's secondary club football tournament organised by UEFA, and the sixth season since it was renamed from the UEFA Cup to the UEFA Europa League.
1 July – 28 August 2014
18 September 2014 – 27 May 2015
|Teams||Competition proper: 48+8|
Total: 162+33 (from 54 associations)
|Champions||Sevilla (4th title)|
|Goals scored||548 (2.67 per match)|
|Attendance||4,066,128 (19,835 per match)|
|Top scorer(s)||Alan (Red Bull Salzburg)|
Romelu Lukaku (Everton)
8 goals each
The 2015 UEFA Europa League Final was played at the Stadion Narodowy in Warsaw, Poland, with Spanish side and title holders Sevilla defeating Ukrainian side Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk 3–2 to win a record fourth title.
This season was the first where clubs must comply with UEFA Financial Fair Play Regulations in order to participate. Moreover, this season was the first where a club from Gibraltar competed in the tournament, after the Gibraltar Football Association was accepted as the 54th UEFA member at the UEFA Congress in May 2013. They were granted one spot in the Europa League, which was taken by College Europa, the runners-up of the 2014 Rock Cup.
Starting from this edition, the UEFA Europa League winners automatically qualify for the subsequent UEFA Champions League season even if they do not qualify for the Champions League through their domestic performance. Therefore, the winners of this tournament qualify for the 2015–16 UEFA Champions League. They are guaranteed to enter at least the play-off round, and since the group stage berth reserved for the Champions League title holders will not be used (the winners of the 2014–15 UEFA Champions League are guaranteed to qualify for the group stage through domestic performance), they will be elevated to enter the group stage via this berth.
On 17 July 2014, the UEFA emergency panel ruled that Ukrainian and Russian clubs would not be drawn against each other "until further notice" due to the political unrest between the countries. Another ruling centred in regional instability was also made where Israeli teams were prohibited from hosting any UEFA competitions due to the 2014 Israel–Gaza conflict (whilst the ruling ended a short time after the war, all the country's sides were eliminated before it ended). The rules regarding suspension due to yellow card accumulation were also changed such that all bookings expired on completion of the quarter-finals and were not carried forward to the semi-finals. Moreover, this was the first season in which vanishing spray was used.
Association team allocation edit
A total of 195 teams from all 54 UEFA member associations participate in the 2014–15 UEFA Europa League. The association ranking based on the UEFA country coefficients is used to determine the number of participating teams for each association:
- Associations 1–6 each have three teams qualify.
- Associations 7–9 each have four teams qualify.
- Associations 10–51 (except Liechtenstein) each have three teams qualify.
- Associations 52–53 each have two teams qualify.
- Liechtenstein and Gibraltar each have one team qualify (Liechtenstein organises only a domestic cup and no domestic league; Gibraltar as per decision by the UEFA Executive Committee).
- The top three associations of the 2013–14 UEFA Respect Fair Play ranking each gain an additional berth.
- Moreover, 33 teams eliminated from the 2014–15 UEFA Champions League are transferred to the Europa League.
The winners of the 2013–14 UEFA Europa League are given an additional entry as title holders if they do not qualify for the 2014–15 UEFA Champions League or Europa League through their domestic performance. However, this additional entry is not necessary for this season since the title holders qualified for European competitions through their domestic performance.
Association ranking edit
For the 2014–15 UEFA Europa League, the associations are allocated places according to their 2013 UEFA country coefficients, which takes into account their performance in European competitions from 2008–09 to 2012–13.
Apart from the allocation based on the country coefficients, associations may have additional teams participating in the Europa League, as noted below:
- (FP) – Additional berth via Fair Play ranking (Norway, Sweden, Finland)
- (UCL) – Additional teams transferred from the Champions League
Since title holders Sevilla qualified for the Europa League through their domestic performance, the spot which they qualified for in the group stage (as the fifth-placed team of the 2013–14 La Liga) is vacated, and the following changes to the default allocation system were made:
- The domestic cup winners of association 7 (Ukraine) were promoted from the play-off round to the group stage.
- The domestic cup winners of association 16 (Austria) were promoted from the third qualifying round to the play-off round.
- The domestic cup winners of association 19 (Israel) were promoted from the second qualifying round to the third qualifying round.
- The domestic cup winners of associations 33 and 34 (Finland and Bosnia and Herzegovina) were promoted from the first qualifying round to the second qualifying round.
|Teams entering in this round||Teams advancing from previous round||Teams transferred from Champions League|
|First qualifying round
|Second qualifying round
|Third qualifying round
Redistribution rules edit
A Europa League place is vacated when a team qualifies for both the Champions League and the Europa League, or qualifies for the Europa League by more than one method. When a place is vacated, it is redistributed within the national association by the following rules:
- When the domestic cup winners (considered as the "highest-placed" qualifier within the national association with the latest starting round) also qualify for the Champions League, their Europa League place is vacated. As a result, either of the following teams qualify for the Europa League:
- The domestic cup runners-up, provided they have not yet qualified for European competitions, qualify for the Europa League as the "lowest-placed" qualifier (with the earliest starting round), with the other Europa League qualifiers moved up one "place" (the 2014–15 season is the last with this particular arrangement).
- Otherwise, the highest-placed team in the league which have not yet qualified for European competitions qualify for the Europa League, with the Europa League qualifiers which finish above them in the league moved up one "place".
- When the domestic cup winners also qualify for the Europa League through league position, their place through the league position is vacated. As a result, the highest-placed team in the league which have not yet qualified for European competitions qualify for the Europa League, with the Europa League qualifiers which finish above them in the league moved up one "place" if possible.
- For associations where a Europa League place is reserved for the League Cup winners, they always qualify for the Europa League as the "lowest-placed" qualifier (or as the second "lowest-placed" qualifier in cases where the cup runners-up qualify as stated above). If the League Cup winners have already qualified for European competitions through other methods, this reserved Europa League place is taken by the highest-placed team in the league which have not yet qualified for European competitions.
- A Fair Play place is taken by the highest-ranked team in the domestic Fair Play table which have not yet qualified for European competitions.
- TH: Title holders
- CW: Cup winners
- CR: Cup runners-up
- LC: League Cup winners
- 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, etc.: League position
- P-W: End-of-season European competition play-offs winners
- FP: Fair Play
- UCL: Transferred from the Champions League
- GS: Third-placed teams from the group stage
- PO: Losers from the play-off round
- Q3: Losers from the third qualifying round
- Gibraltar (GIB): A meeting was held by the Gibraltar Football Association to decide whether College Europa (runners-up of the 2014 Rock Cup) or Manchester 62 (runners-up of the 2013–14 Gibraltar Premier Division) would represent Gibraltar in the 2014–15 UEFA Europa League. The association had to back-track on a decision taken at the beginning of the season as to who would qualify for European competitions, as they were mistaken to go against the competition rules.
- Hungary (HUN): Újpest, the winners of the 2013–14 Magyar Kupa, would have qualified for the Europa League second qualifying round, but failed to obtain a UEFA licence. As a result, Győr, the runners-up of the 2013–14 Nemzeti Bajnokság I, entered the second qualifying round instead of the first qualifying round, and the first qualifying round berth was given to Diósgyőr, the runners-up of the cup.
- Latvia (LVA): Skonto, the runners-up of the 2013 Latvian Higher League, would have qualified for the Europa League first qualifying round, but had been excluded from participating by the UEFA Club Financial Control Body due to overdue payables. As a result, the berth was given to Daugava Rīga, the fourth-placed team of the league.
- Republic of Ireland (IRL): Derry City are a club based in Northern Ireland, but participate in the Europa League through one of the berths for Republic of Ireland as they finished fourth in the 2013 League of Ireland Premier Division (any coefficient points they earn count toward Republic of Ireland and not Northern Ireland).
- Serbia (SRB): Red Star Belgrade, the champions of the 2013–14 Serbian SuperLiga, would have qualified for the Champions League second qualifying round, but was banned by UEFA for breaching UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations. As a result, Partizan, the runners-up of the league, entered the Champions League instead of the Europa League second qualifying round. Moreover, Jagodina, the third-placed team of the league, entered the Europa League second qualifying round instead of the first qualifying round, and the first qualifying round berth was given to Čukarički, the fifth-placed team of the league.
- Turkey (TUR): Fenerbahçe, the champions of the 2013–14 Süper Lig, would have qualified for the Champions League, but was banned by UEFA because of the 2011 Turkish football match-fixing scandal. As a result, Beşiktaş, the third-placed team of the league, entered the Champions League instead of the Europe League play-off round, and Trabzonspor, the fourth-placed team of the league, entered the Europa League play-off round instead of the third qualifying round. Moreover, Sivasspor, the fifth-placed team of the league, and Eskişehirspor, the runners-up of the 2013–14 Turkish Cup, which would have entered the Europa League third qualifying round and second qualifying round respectively, were also banned by UEFA due to match-fixing. The two berths were given to Karabükspor and Bursaspor, the seventh- and eighth-placed teams of the league respectively, as Kasımpaşa, the sixth-placed team of the league, failed to obtain a UEFA licence.
- Ukraine (UKR): Metalurh Donetsk, the sixth-placed team of the 2013–14 Ukrainian Premier League, would have qualified for the Europa League second qualifying round, but had been excluded from participating by the UEFA Club Financial Control Body due to overdue payables. As a result, the berth was given to Zorya Luhansk, the seventh-placed team of the league.
Round and draw dates edit
|Phase||Round||Draw date||First leg||Second leg|
|Qualifying||First qualifying round||23 June 2014||3 July 2014||10 July 2014|
|Second qualifying round||17 July 2014||24 July 2014|
|Third qualifying round||18 July 2014||31 July 2014||7 August 2014|
|Play-off||Play-off round||8 August 2014||21 August 2014||28 August 2014|
|Group stage||Matchday 1||29 August 2014
|18 September 2014|
|Matchday 2||2 October 2014|
|Matchday 3||23 October 2014|
|Matchday 4||6 November 2014|
|Matchday 5||27 November 2014|
|Matchday 6||11 December 2014|
|Knockout phase||Round of 32||15 December 2014||19 February 2015||26 February 2015|
|Round of 16||27 February 2015||12 March 2015||19 March 2015|
|Quarter-finals||20 March 2015||16 April 2015||23 April 2015|
|Semi-finals||24 April 2015||7 May 2015||14 May 2015|
|Final||27 May 2015 at Stadion Narodowy, Warsaw|
Matches in the qualifying, play-off, and knockout rounds may also be played on Tuesdays or Wednesdays instead of the regular Thursdays due to scheduling conflicts.
Qualifying rounds edit
In the qualifying rounds and the play-off round, teams were divided into seeded and unseeded teams based on their 2014 UEFA club coefficients, and then drawn into two-legged home-and-away ties. Teams from the same association could not be drawn against each other.
First qualifying round edit
The draw for the first and second qualifying rounds was held on 23 June 2014. The first legs were played on 1 and 3 July, and the second legs were played on 8, 10 and 11 July 2014.
- Order of legs reversed after original draw.
Second qualifying round edit
The first legs were played on 17 July, and the second legs were played on 22 and 24 July 2014.
- Order of legs reversed after original draw.
Third qualifying round edit
The draw for the third qualifying round was held on 18 July 2014. The first legs were played on 31 July, and the second legs were played on 7 August 2014.
- Order of legs reversed after original draw.
Play-off round edit
The draw for the play-off round was held on 8 August 2014. The first legs were played on 20 and 21 August, and the second legs were played on 28 August 2014.
- Order of legs reversed after original draw.
Group stage edit
The draw for the group stage was held in Monaco on 29 August 2014. The 48 teams were allocated into four pots based on their 2014 UEFA club coefficients, with the title holders being placed in Pot 1 automatically. They were drawn into twelve groups of four, with the restriction that teams from the same association could not be drawn against each other.
In each group, teams played against each other home-and-away in a round-robin format. The matchdays were 18 September, 2 October, 23 October (one home match of Metalist Kharkiv played on 22 October), 6 November, 27 November, and 11 December 2014.
A total of 26 national associations were represented in the group stage. Wolfsburg, Torino, Feyenoord, Guingamp, Saint-Étienne, Rio Ave, Dynamo Moscow, Krasnodar, Lokeren, Asteras Tripoli, Qarabağ, HJK, Astra Giurgiu, Dinamo Minsk and AaB made their debut appearances in the UEFA Europa League group stage (not counting UEFA Cup group stage appearances), although Wolfsburg had already disputed the 2009–10 UEFA Europa League knockout phase after a third place in the 2009–10 UEFA Champions League group stage.
The group winners and runners-up advanced to the round of 32, where they were joined by the eight third-placed teams of the 2014–15 UEFA Champions League group stage. See 2014–15 UEFA Europa League group stage#Tiebreakers for tiebreakers if two or more teams are equal on points.
Group A edit
|1||Borussia Mönchengladbach||6||3||3||0||14||4||+10||12||Advance to knockout phase||—||1–1||3–0||5–0|
Group B edit
|1||Club Brugge||6||3||3||0||10||2||+8||12||Advance to knockout phase||—||0–0||2–1||1–1|
Group C edit
|1||Beşiktaş||6||3||3||0||11||5||+6||12||Advance to knockout phase||—||1–0||1–1||2–1|
Group D edit
|1||Red Bull Salzburg||6||5||1||0||21||8||+13||16||Advance to knockout phase||—||2–2||4–2||5–1|
Red Bull Salzburg's 21 goals scored set a new Europa League group stage record.
Group E edit
|1||Dynamo Moscow||6||6||0||0||9||3||+6||18||Advance to knockout phase||—||1–0||1–0||2–1|
Group F edit
|1||Internazionale||6||3||3||0||6||2||+4||12||Advance to knockout phase||—||2–1||2–0||0–0|
Group G edit
|1||Feyenoord||6||4||0||2||10||6||+4||12||Advance to knockout phase||—||2–0||2–0||2–1|
Group H edit
|1||Everton||6||3||2||1||10||3||+7||11||Advance to knockout phase||—||4–1||0–1||3–0|
Group I edit
|1||Napoli||6||4||1||1||11||3||+8||13||Advance to knockout phase||—||3–0||3–1||3–0|
Group J edit
|1||Dynamo Kyiv||6||5||0||1||12||4||+8||15||Advance to knockout phase||—||2–0||3–1||2–0|
Group K edit
|1||Fiorentina||6||4||1||1||11||4||+7||13||Advance to knockout phase||—||3–0||1–1||1–2|
Group L edit
|1||Legia Warsaw||6||5||0||1||7||2||+5||15||Advance to knockout phase||—||2–0||1–0||2–1|
Knockout phase edit
- In the draw for the round of 32, the twelve group winners and the four third-placed teams from the Champions League group stage with the better group records were seeded, and the twelve group runners-up and the other four third-placed teams from the Champions League group stage were unseeded. The seeded teams were drawn against the unseeded teams, with the seeded teams hosting the second leg. Teams from the same group or the same association could not be drawn against each other.
- In the draws for the round of 16 onwards, there were no seedings, and teams from the same group or the same association could be drawn against each other.
|Round of 32||Round of 16||Quarter-finals||Semi-finals||Final|
|Club Brugge||3||3||6||Club Brugge||2||3||5|
|Beşiktaş (p)||0||1||1(5)||Club Brugge||0||0||0|
|Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk||2||2||4||Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk||0||1||1|
|Olympiacos||0||2||2||Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk (aet; a)||1||1||2|
|Legia Warsaw||0||0||0||Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk||2|
|Red Bull Salzburg||1||1||2||Villarreal||1||1||2|