Scottish teams lose automatic spot in Champions League group stages

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From next season, Scottish Premiership champions will no longer automatically make it into the group stage of the Champions league, after Czech Republic overtook Scotland to take 10th spot in Uefa’s coefficient rankings.

Viktoria Plzen’s goalless draw at Fiorentina in their Europa Conference League quarter-final first leg on Thursday was the crucial part of the jigsaw which means Scottish title-winners beyond the current campaign will enter the Champions League in a playoff round against a side from outside the top 10 European leagues.

In the Europa League, Roma upset hosts Milan as Gianluca Mancini scored to end the capital club’s nine-match winless run against Stefano Pioli’s side. The visitors, who had last beaten Milan in 2019, took the lead thanks to Mancini’s pinpoint header from Paulo Dybala’s corner in the 17th minute.

“We should have been more courageous,” Milan coach Stefano Pioli said. “We created some chances, but I didn’t see the same quality as in the last matches. This team can do more, I know that. I didn’t expect the defeat, we weren’t precise, we lacked the flair.”

Portuguese champions Benfica claimed a 2-1 home win over Marseille through goals by Rafa Silva and Argentinian forward Ángel Di María.

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The second legs will be played next Thursday.


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