The top 5 moments of the UEFA Europa League so far this season

Tom Gott
UEL Breakfast Show: Season Highlights Ahead Of The Round of 16 | Presented By Kia
UEL Breakfast Show: Season Highlights Ahead Of The Round of 16 | Presented By Kia / UEFA

The 2020/21 Europa League campaign has been one to remember, and we're not even past the last 16 yet. We've had thrills, spills and a boatload of goals, offering up something even neutral fans can enjoy.

To keep the excitement going, UEFA has launched the UEFA Europa League Breakfast Show, presented by official tournament partner Kia, providing fans with a run-down of the highlights so far and handing out all the info fans need to know right up until the end of the tournament.

To get you pumped up for the competitions return on Thursday evening though, read on as we run down through the top five moments of the Europa League so far this season.

5. Early worldies

If you're looking for record-setting strikes, the Europa League has not disappointed this season.

Matchday 1 brought us a worldie from Rangers striker Kemar Roofe, whose 50-metre strike in a 2-0 win over Standard Liege set the record for the longest goal in competition history...for just a few days.

Former Wigan star Jordi Gomez banged home from 56 metres for Omonia against PSV Eindhoven just one week later, taking a quick free kick and firing home without the ball even bouncing once.

4. Arsenal find their form

Arsenal became just one of ten teams in competition history to take maximum points from their group - something which came as a surprise given their domestic form was so underwhelming.

Matches against Rapid Vienna, Molde and Dundalk were where we saw the likes of Emile Smith Rowe and Eddie Nketiah grow into their own, with Arteta drafting them both into his Premier League squad to help stop the slump.

The Gunners fired home 20 goals in their six group-stage games, sending a real warning that they weren't there to mess about.

3. Matchday 1 goes goal crazy

Not only did matchday 1 bring us some special individual goals, but it also saw the record for most goals in a single game matched...twice!

Villarreal's 5-3 win over Sivasspor was a real cracker and could have even set the record if Carlos Bacca hadn't missed a penalty, but they weren't the only sides to enter the history books that night.

Bayer Leverkusen went and thumped Nice 6-2, with four of those eight strikes coming in the last 11 minutes.

As a little bonus record for you, matchday 3 saw 93 goals scored across all the games, obliterating the former record by a whopping 12 strikes.

2. Leverkusen nearly do the impossible

Despite their hot goalscoring form in the group stage, Leverkusen looked like they were heading out of the Europa League in the knockout stages as they fell 3-0 down to Swiss side Young Boys inside 45 minutes.

Leverkusen came out like a side possessed after the break, heading home twice in five minutes before Moussa Diaby's chip levelled things up with 20 minutes to go. Game on.

Unfortunately, they just couldn't keep it up, and in the 89th minute, Young Boys snatched the win with a cruel tap-in, and they used that momentum to win the return leg 2-0.

1. Tributes to Maradona

We've had some fun moments so far, but before matchday 4, the football world was hit with the crushing news of the passing of one of the all-time greats, Diego Maradona.

An icon of many, tributes poured in for Maradona from all over the globe, and teams in Europe took the opportunity to pay tribute to the man who led Napoli to UEFA Cup glory in 1989.

One of the most poignant tributes came from Napoli themselves as the Partenopei all lined up before the games in shirts with Maradona's name and favoured number 10 on the back.

For the past three seasons Kia has been rewarding their customers and fans of the UEFA Europa League with exclusive content from around the competition, as well as providing vehicles at the Finals and touring the iconic trophy around Europe alongside former winners of the coveted trophy, as part of the UEL Trophy Tour.

This additional media partnership for The Breakfast Show means that Kia will continue to grant exclusive access to their content and online player celebrations; and viewers of the show will also get direct access to other exclusive content on Kia’s own pages.