With the group stage of the UEFA Europa League already over, some of Europe’s best teams have clinched their stop in the next round of the tournament. Strong teams like Fiorentina, Tottenham Hotspur and Sevilla were widely expected to advance and they secured their spot with ease, but the most dominant side was one that no one expected: Red Bull Salzburg.
The Austrian team has been absolutely dominant in a group stage that included Danish team Ebsjerg, who also qualified, along with Elfsborg from Sweden and Belgian outfit Standard Liege. Salzburg won all six matches, playing some dominant soccer and scoring 15 goals while allowing just three.
The Austrian side doesn’t have many stars on their squad, but they have had some stellar individual performances so far in the competition. Spanish striker Jonathan Soriano and Brazilian forward Alan have been the team’s deadliest offensive weapons with four goals each, and the South-American also has three assists to his name.
On defense, on the other hand, the team has been quite solid, surrendering less than a goal per game. Goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi has been a solid performer between the posts, and center-back Franz Schiemer is the undisputed leader of one the top defensive lines in the tournament.
While it’s highly unlikely that Red Bull Salzburg will make a deep run in the competition, their group stage performance was nothing short of spectacular. They already accomplished the objective to gather a lot of attention around Europe, and they could stun a few teams in the knockout stages if they have a favorable matchup.