Man United, Wolves through to Europa League last 16, but Arsenal crash out
Manchester United and Wolverhampton Wanderers cruised into the Europa League last 16 with emphatic aggregate wins, while Arsenal were booted out after losing in extra time on Friday morning (Feb 28, Singapore time).
United breezed to a 6-1 aggregate win over 10-man Brugge after a 5-0 return-leg rout of the Belgian side at Old Trafford, while Wolves advanced with a 6-3 overall victory against Espanyol despite a 3-2 second-leg defeat in Spain.
Arsenal’s hopes of joining them were extinguished after a 2-1 extra-time loss to Olympiakos at the Emirates, which meant that the tie ended 2-2 on aggregate, with the Greek side advancing on away goals.
Defending a 1-0 first-leg lead, the Gunners were taken to extra time after a Pape Cisse goal early in the second half levelled the contest at 1-1 on aggregate.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang made it 2-1 overall in the extra period, but Olympiakos' Youssef El-Arabi delivered the killer blow in the last minute of extra time.
At Old Trafford, Odion Ighalo celebrated his first start for Manchester United with his maiden goal for the club after Bruno Fernandes had fired the home side ahead with a 27th-minute penalty which also produced a red card for Brugge defender Simon Deli.
The centre-back was dismissed after he dived in goalkeeping fashion to handle a Daniel James shot before Fernandes sent Simon Mignolet the wrong way with the spot-kick.
Scott McTominay made it 3-0 on the night with a fine first-time shot from 18 metres just before the break and Brazilian midfielder Fred put the icing on the cake with a late brace for United, who won Europe’s second-tier competition in 2016.
Wolves took a 4-0 first-leg lead to Espanyol and never looked in danger as Adama Traore scrambled in a close-range effort and Matt Doherty also scored as they twice cancelled out goals from Jonathan Calleri, who scored a hat-trick.
Roma, 1-0 winners against Gent in the first leg, looked to have a struggle on their hands when Jonathan David levelled the tie on aggregate after 25 minutes, but Justin Kluivert eased the Serie A side’s nerves with a quick equaliser as they progressed.
Leverkusen blew Porto away with a 3-1 win on the road, after taking a 2-1 lead in Germany last week, thanks to goals from Lucas Alario, Kerem Demirbay and Kai Havertz before Moussa Marega netted a consolation for the home side.
Sporting exited after losing 4-1 at Istanbul Basaksehir following extra time to go down 5-4 on aggregate after Edin Visca gave the hosts a lifeline with a late goal in normal time and then netted a penalty to take them through.
Vfl Wolfsburg beat Swedish side Malmo 3-0 away to breeze through 5-1 on aggregate. FC Basel also progressed with a 1-0 home win over Apoel Nicosia for a 4-0 aggregate success. – REUTERS