Sunday, 20 March 2016

Europa League Last 16 Second Leg Review

After excitement in the first legs, the Europa League continued with the second legs of the last 16 on Thursday night with the majority of the eight ties in close contention.

Bayer Leverkusen hosted Villarreal looking to overturn a 2-0 deficit from the first leg but the Germans were unable to do so in a tight 90 minutes which saw the sides draw 0-0 on the night and ensure that the La Liga side advanced into the last eight with a 2-0 success on aggregate.

Lazio hosted Sparta Prague with the sides level at 1-1 after a close first leg but such equality was soon forgotten within 12 minutes of the second leg as Sparta raced into a 2-0 lead which put them 3-1 ahead on aggregate. Dockal opened the scoring in the tenth minute before Krejci doubled the lead two minutes later and the Italians' hopes were all but over by half-time as Julis made it 3-0 on 44 minutes. The lead held until the end as the Czechs reached the last eight with a 4-1 aggregate success.

The all La Liga tie saw Valencia host Athletic Bilbao hoping to overturn a narrow one goal deficit from the first leg and they took just 13 minutes to level the tie as Lorenzo fired the hosts ahead on the night. Santos doubled the lead on 37 minutes to give the hosts a 2-1 lead overall but despite leading long into the second half, they were denied a place in the next round by a 75th minute strike from Aduriz. His effort wasn't enough to prevent a defeat on the night but the away goal secured a spot in the last eight after a 2-2 aggregate.

Manchester United hosted Premier League rivals Liverpool hoping to overturn the Reds' 2-0 advantage from the first leg at Anfield as the sides met at Old Trafford. The hosts struck the first piece in their puzzle as Anthony Martial converted a 32nd minute penalty to cut the gap to 2-1 overall. However, Liverpool restored the two goal lead on aggregate right on the stroke of half-time as Philippe Coutinho levelled the game at 1-1 thereby making it 3-1 overall. The score remained level for the entirety of the second half as Liverpool celebrated dumping their fierce rivals out of the competition.

Anderlecht hosted Shakthar Donetsk with a huge task ahead of them after suffering a 3-1 defeat in the first leg. The sides were evenly matched in this game with the score remaining goalless deep into the final ten minutes. Both sides suffered a blow with the dismissal of Kucher for the visitors on 84 minutes before the hosts lost Kara Mbodji just a couple of minutes later. The visitors secured a win in added time as Eduardo struck to confirm a 4-1 aggregate win.

Sevilla looked to edge a step closer to retaining their title as they hosted FC Basel, the sides drew the opening leg 0-0 but there would be no draw this time around as Rami fired the hosts ahead in the 35th minute. A rapid brace for Gameiro just before half-time made it 3-0 and his strikes proved to be the nail in the hopes of the Swiss as Sevilla sealed a 3-0 aggregate success.

Sporting Braga hosted Fenerbache looking to overturn a narrow 1-0 deficit from the first leg and they took just 11 minutes of the second leg to make their mark as Hassan put them 1-0 up and levelled the tie overall. The visitors levelled the game in the 45th minute as Potuk struck before they suffered a blow on 66 minutes with the dismissal of Topal.

The hosts took control of the tie with two goals in five minutes as Josué converted a 69th minute penalty before Stojiljkovic made it 3-0 on the night in the 74th minute. Silva wrapped up the win and the tie as a whole with a fourth goal on 83 minutes before the Turks collapsed late on with goalscorer Potuk and Sen dismissed as they suffered a 4-2 exit on aggregate.

The final tie of the night saw Tottenham facing the huge task of overturning a 3-0 deficit from the first leg against Borussia Dortmund. Their mission became even harder inside the first half an hour as Pierre Aubameyang put the Germans ahead and extended the overall lead to 4-0. The tie was over as a contest as Aubameyang struck his second and the Germans fifth overall in the 70th minute before Tottenham had the last say with a strike from Son Heung-Min on 73 minutes to make it 2-1 on the night but only a consolation overall in a 5-1 aggregate defeat.