New Customer Opening Account Offers

18+, Ts & Cs Apply. New Customers Only.

Top Five British Europa League Heartbreaks

The Europa League, formally the Uefa Cup used to be a happy hunting ground for British clubs but not in recent years, we look at the heartbreaks for the likes of Fulham and Celtic.

Tottenham are now favourites to win this year’s Europa League with Chelsea just behind them in the odds but it has not always been a happy tournament for British teams. Tottenham and Liverpool may have shared the first ever two titles but only one British team has lifted the trophy in nigh-on 30 years now. There have been some close calls along the way since then though, here are the top five British heartbreaks in the competition according to us at FREEbets.org.uk.

 

5. Middlesbrough 2005-06

The run that saw Steve McLaren’s side reach the Uefa Cup Final in 2006 was a real fairy tale story; not only for a club like Middlesbrough to reach a European final, but the way they did it was like a Hollywood script.

They came in the round before the group stage where they saw off Greek minnows Skoda Xanthi before impressively topping their group which included AZ Alkmaar. Things would begin to get really tough in the knockout rounds though.

First up came Stuttgart who would go on to win the Bundesliga the following year, Boro scraped through on away goals before then doing the same to Roma in the round of 16. Miracles began to happen in the last eight though when they recovered from 2-0 down in the first leg and 1-0 down in the second to somehow come through against Basel and make the semis.

They again gave their opponents a head start in the final four as they lost the first leg 1-0 then were 1-0 down in the reverse fixture only to win 4-1 and make the final in Eindhoven. It was a sensational run that was unfortunately brought to an abrupt halt by an excellent Sevilla side who comfortably won the final 4-0, but it should not take the shin off what was a great achievement for the English side.

 

4. Rangers 2007-08

Teams that drop down from the Champions League group stages are often expected to do well in the Europa League but it is safe to say that few expected Rangers to make as big an impact in the competition as they did in 2008.

It may not have been the most spectacular of cup runs with just five goals scored in their five games in the competition but their fans didn’t care as a Scottish team made it to the final of the tournament for only the third time in history.

Wins of any kind over the likes of Panathanaikos, Werder Bremen, Sporting Lisbon and Fiorentina are impressive and that’s exactly what the Gers managed that year before losing out to the impressive Russian side Zenit St Petersburg in the final. Even then it looked like their rear-guard action might see them through as after 70 minutes it was goalless in Manchester. However, Zenit scored twice late on to put an end to Rangers’ great run.

 

3. Dundee United 1986-87

In the not too distant past the Uefa Cup final was played over two legs (the last being in 1997) and Dundee United suffered defeat in one such of these finals, only after a quite superb run in the competition though.

Jim Mclean’s side were a respected European side at the time having reached the semi-finals of the European Cup just a few years earlier but were certainly not considered as favourites going into their Uefa Cup campaign. They kicked off with wins over RC Lens and Romanian side Universitatea Craiova before beating Hajduk Split to reach the quarter-finals.

The last eight was the scene of a memorable achievement which would seem inconceivable nowadays as the Scots beat the mighty Barcelona both home and away to make it into the semis. Borussia Monchengladbach were then seen off and the Terrors were into the final.

There they met IFK Goteborg who had seen off Inter Milan earlier in the competition. The first leg in Sweden ended just 1-0 to the home side so United had hope of turning it around but the 1-1 draw at Tannadice was not enough and they were left with runners-up medals.

 

2. Celtic 2002-03

Martin O’Neill came incredibly close to masterminding one of Celtic’s greatest moments when his side, led by the inspirational Henrik Larsson narrowly lost out in the final of the Uefa Cup in 2003.

Back when there was no group stage in the competition Celtic kicked off their campaign with a massive 10-1 aggregate win over Lithuanian side Suduva before the real test started in the second round with a big match against Blackburn Rovers. The Bhoys scored a memorable win both home and away to comfortably progress to see off Celta Vigo and Stuttgart, both of which were tight encounters that the Scots just scraped through in the end but were impressive victories nonetheless.

Then came a massive game against another English club but this time in the more intimidating shape of Liverpool who had won the competition two years prior. Things looked to be in the Reds’ favour as well when they drew the first leg 1-1 in Glasgow but a famous 2-0 win at Anfield saw Celtic progress and go on to beat Boavista in the semis to reach the finals.

There they met the mighty Porto where two goals from Henrik Larsson (his 10th and 11th of the tournament) were enough to take it into extra-time before the Brazilian Derlei scored the winner in the 115th minute. It was a cruel end to a tremendous journey for the Scots.

 

1. Fulham 2009-10

In one of the longest cup runs of all time Fulham miraculously made it all the way from the third preliminary round to the final of the 2009-10 Europa League.

The Cottagers began their campaign at the end of July 2009 with a two-legged encounter against Lithuanian side Vetra before having to see off Russian team Amkar Prem in a play-off round before they could even enter the group stage.

They made it through a tough league campaign finishing second behind Roma and displacing former Champions League sides Basel and CSKA Sofia in the process. Things got no easier for Roy Hodgson’s side though as during the knockout stage they had to overcome Shakhtar Donetsk, Juventus, Wolfsburg and Hamburg on their way to the final with a 4-1 win over the Italian side in the quarter-finals the highlight.

They were faced with their toughest task yet in the final against Athletico Madrid, a game they took into extra time before cruelly being beaten with a 116th minute Diego Forlan goal. It was a heart-breaking end but an incredible achievement just to be in the showpiece event.

Bet365 - Full Time Result - Enhanced Prices

This Bet365 offer gives you the option of taking an enhanced price on the full time result of a game for selected matches only applies to games being played in the English competitions, Champions League and Europa League.

Risk Free 20 Racing

New Paddy Power customers can place an initial qualifying bet on the sportsbook and will receive a refund in cash (up to a maximum of £20) if it is a loser.

New customers only, limited to one per person. If you’ve previously had a Paddy Power account, you will not qualify for the offer. Place your first bet on any Sportsbook market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £/€20. Only deposits made using Cards or Paypal will qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply.
Risk Free 20 Football

New Paddy Power customers can receive their stake back in cash up to a maximum of £20 if their first qualifying bet on the sportsbook is a loser.

New customers only, limited to one per person. If you’ve previously had a Paddy Power account, you will not qualify for the offer. Place your first bet on any Sportsbook market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £/€20. Only deposits made using Cards or Paypal will qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply.
 Black Friday - Bet £10 Get £40 in free bets Racing

Register a new account using the promo code 'Racing' and after placing a qualifying bet of £10, you will receive £40 in free bets.

New Customers only - £10 minimum deposit using promo code "RACING" - First bet must be placed on any market - Minimum stake £10 at odds of 1/2 (1.5) - Free bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expire after 7 days - Free bet stakes not included in returns - Deposit balance is available for withdrawal at any time. General deposit method & withdrawal restrictions apply & Full Ts & Cs.
Black Friday Offer - Bet £10 Get £40 in free bets Football

New 888sport customers can receive a total of £40 on free bets if registering a new account and placing a qualifying bet of £10 on a sports market.

New Customers only - £10 minimum deposit using promo code "FOOTBALL" - First bet must be placed on any market - Minimum stake £10 at odds of 1/2 (1.5) - Free bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expire after 7 days - Free bet stakes not included in returns - Deposit balance is available for withdrawal at any time. General deposit method & withdrawal restrictions apply & full T&Cs apply.
BET £10 ON WEST HAM V ARSENAL GET £5 FOR ALL TUES CHAMPIONS LEAGUE GAMES

New Paddy Power customers betting £10 on the West Ham v Arsenal game on Monday can receive £5 free bets for use on all of Tuesday's Champions League matches.

New customer offer, min £10 single Sports bet, min odds 1/2 (1.5), on West Ham v Arsenal taking place on Monday 9th of December. Deposits using credit/debit cards or PayPal only. Free bets are limited to one match and are awarded after the qualifying bet has been settled. Free bet stakes not returned with winnings. T&Cs apply.
JOSHUA V RUIZ JR – RISK FREE £20 BET MONEY BACK IN CASH IF IT LOSES

New Paddy Power customers who then place a losing bet on the world heavyweight title bout between Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr will receive their stake back in cash up to a max £20.

New customers only, Limited to one per person. Bet on any Sportsbook market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £20. Only deposits made using Cards or Paypal will qualify. T&Cs apply.
Ruiz Jr 15/1 v Joshua 6/1

New 888sport customers can receive enhanced odds on the world heavyweight title rematch between Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr.

New customers only. £10 minimum deposit using promo code "888ODDS" required. Qualifying bet must be placed at the normal odds Min bet £5, max bet £5. Extra winnings paid in FREE BETS and added within 72 hrs of qualifying bet settlement. Free bet stakes not included in bet returns. Free bets expire 7 days after credit. This offer may not be combined with any other offer. Deposit balance is available for withdrawal at any time. General deposit method & withdrawal restrictions apply & Full T&Cs apply
PADDY POWER FANTASY – GET UP TO £20 BACK AS CASH

New customers can receive a refund of up to £20 in cash on their first Paddy Power Fantasy entry.

New Customer offer, min £5 deposit via Credit/Debit Card or Paypal. Your qualifying entry will be your first settled paid entry. No refund will be applied if you finish in the prize positions. Refunds will be processed within 48 hours after the contest has settled. Max £20 refund. T&Cs apply.
Bet £5 get £30 Horse Racing Welcome Offer

New BetVictor customers wagering £5 receive three £10 free bets - one for any horse race, one for their Lengthen the Odds market and another for any virtual racing market.

New Customers Only. Deposit and bet £5 on Horse Racing at odds of 2.00 or greater within 7 days of registration; excludes cashed out bets. Get 3x £10 Free Bets, for set events only, at odds of 2.00+ expires in 7 days. Credit/Debit Card deposits only. Geo Restrictions apply.  T&C's apply. Please Gamble Responsibly
Topical Feature Lists

If you fancy a break from the serious side of betting, take a look at our Topical Feature List for a bit of a giggle.

Click Here To View The List »
Download Our App
Free Bets IPhone App
Get the Freebets App on iTunes

Download the free bets finder.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE APP »
Betting Blog

View our latest sports articles in our betting blog

Read Our Blog »
bet365
Back to Top