Chelsea sail through, Arsenal overturn deficit: Europa League Round-up


In the earlier kick off, Krasnodar welcomed Spanish side Valencia, trailing 2-1 from the first leg. With just five minutes of the game left and the scoreline goalless, there was a dramatic climax to the tie; Krasnodar struck through winger Magomed Suleymanov on what they hoped would book them a place in the quarter finals.

However, in the dying embers Valencia snatched a 93rd minute equaliser from Goçalo Guedes which was enough for Valencia to scrape through 3-2 on aggregate. 

Napoli narrowly avoided a late scare in their away fixture to Red Bull Salzburg. After taking the lead courtesy of Arkadiusz Milik, Napoli appeared to be cruising into the next round. Yet, the Italian side took their foot of the gas and got beaten 3-1 in the match, just managing to edge out the Austrian leaders 4-3 on aggregate.

Chelsea visited Dynamo Kiev with a 3-0 lead from the first leg. Any small hopes the Ukrainian side harboured of a famous comeback soon vanished after just five minutes as Olivier Giroud scored his first in what would turn out to be a hat-trick for the Frenchmen.

Goals from Marcos Alonso and Callum Hudson-Odoi rounded off a comfortable 5-0 win for the Blues, who may look at the Europa League as their best possible route of getting into the Champions League next season.

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Oliver Giroud celebrates as he seals his hat-trick Image: BBC Sport

Despite trailing 3-1 following a torrid night in France last week, Arsenal levelled the tie after just fifteen minutes, putting to bed any potential nerves. Rennes game-plan of frustrating the Gunners and being difficult to break down soon came unstuck as Arsenal came out the traps fast and blitzed the French side in the first quarter of an hour with goals from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Ainsley Maitland-Niles. The former then struck once more twenty minutes from time to ensure Arsenal overturned the deficit from the first leg and are in the hat for the next round.

A Carlos Bacca inspired Villarreal progressed into the quarters with a 5-1 win on aggregate against Zenit St. Petersburg. Already leading 3-0 from the first leg, Gerard Moreno struck on the half hour mark for the yellow submarine with Carlos Bacca the provider.

Two minutes into the second half it was Carlos Bacca’s turn to get in on the goal-scoring action with a glancing header to compile Zenit’s misery. Despite Branislav Ivanovic grabbing a consolation goal for the visitors in added time, the Russian side are sent crashing out in a convincing defeat.

A Luka Jovic fifth minute goal for Eintracht Frankfurt sent Italian giants Inter Milan crashing out of the Europa League, putting the San Siro into total shock. Heading to Milan with the tie goalless, the German side’s early strike sent the 15,000 travelling supporters into sheer ecstasy. Luciano Spalletti’s side huffed and puffed but Luka Jovic proved the conclusive difference as Eintracht Frankfurt reach the final eight.

Luka Jovic early goal was the difference between the two sides – Image: Getty Images

Slavia Prague’s extra time heroics gave the Czech football club a dramatic 4-3 win against Sevilla, sealing a 6-5 win on aggregate in a scintillating, goal-fest tie. The Europa League’s most successful ever club visited Prague with the tie all square after a 2-2 draw in Spain a week ago.

With nothing to separate the two teams, they both were forced into extra time after the second leg also finished 2-2. However, it was Sevilla who appeared to be making their way into the quarter finals after Franco Vazquez struck in the 98th minute. 

Yet once again, Slavia Prague displayed their never die attitude. Just four minutes later, Mick Van Buren’s deflected shot found it’s way just inside the far post, levelling the tie up. Knockout football was at it’s finest, both teams were battling hard, giving this competition the respect it deserves, with the constant will to win on show.

The game looked set to head to penalties, but Slavia Prague had other ideas; producing one of the finest moments in their history. With tension at fever pitch and in the 119th minute, Slavia Prague’s stadium erupted as Ibrahim Traore’s shot found it’s way into the bottom left corner to leave Sevilla stunned and crashing out. 

In the match between Benfica and Dinamo Zagreb, the Portuguese side required extra time to overcome Zagreb 3-1 on aggregate. Nothing could seperate the sides over the duration of 180 minutes as they headed into an extra half an hour with the score 1-1. However goals from Ferro and Alex Grimaldo in the first period ensured there were no late scares as Benfica reach the next stage. 

The draw for the quarter finals takes place at 12PM GMT on Friday. 



About Author

Football, Boxing and Cricket correspondent from Hampshire, covering southern sport. Editor and Head of Boxing at Prost International. Accreditated EFL & EPL journalist.

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