Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Europa League Quarter Finals Review

The month of May is within sight and the European season has begun the final straight, this review focuses on the Europa League quarter finals.

The first legs began with Ajax securing a 2-0 aggregate lead over Schalke 04. An opener from Davy Klaassen from the penalty spot put the hosts ahead on 23 minutes before he struck for a second time seven minutes after half time to complete the victory.

A five goal thriller saw Celta Vigo secured a narrow 3-2 aggregate advantage over Genk.The visitors struck first with an effort from Boetius inside ten minutes before two goals in as many minutes from Sisto and Iago Aspas put the hosts 2-1 ahead.

A 38th minute strike from Guidetti made it 3-1 to the Spanish side before the visitors set up a tight final period with a second goal on 67 minutes from Buffel for 3-2.

Olympique Lyonnais secured a 2-1 aggregate advantage as they defeated Besiktas.

The Turks opened the scoring with 15 minutes played through Ryan Babel and the early strike looked to be enough to secure a potentially crucial away win. However, the hosts turned the game around in the space of two minutes late on as Tolliso levelled on 83 minutes before Morel sealed the win seconds later.

Anderlecht and Manchester United would go into the second leg level after drawing 1-1 in the first leg.

United opened the scoring through Henrikh Mkhitaryan with 36 minutes played and the visitors were on course to secure a narrow win with their away goal as the game entered the final stages but the Belgians had other ideas as Dendoncker levelled four minutes from the end of the 90.

After a smash and grab in the first leg, Lyon secured a place in the last four as they won 7-6 on penalties after suffering a 2-1 defeat to Besitktas on the night.

The sides ended the tie level at 3-3 on aggregate after Talisca had levelled the tie at 2-2 with the night's opening goal on 27 minutes. Lacazette levelled at 1-1 (2-3 agg) before a second from Talisca on 58 minutes made it 2-1 (3-3) and led to extra tie before the crucial penalty shootout.

Another tie which had to be settled in extra time was the five goal thriller between Schalke 04 and Ajax. The Germans went 2-0 up before the hour to level the tie at 2-2 as Goretzka and Burgstaller struck. Ajax suffered a blow with the dismissal of Veltman and the hosts took advantage in extra time to lead 3-0 and 3-2 on agg. However, the ten men of Ajax staged a superb fightback with Viergever scoring on 111 minutes for 3-1 (3-3) before a last-gasp strike from Younes made it 3-2 but secured a 4-3 aggregate win for the Dutch side.

Celta Vigo secured a spot in the last four as they drew 1-1 at Genk but progressed 4-3 on aggregate.

Celta opened the scoring on the night through Sisto on 63 minutes for a 2-4 aggregate lead. The hosts levelled on the night at 1-1 through Trossard just four minutes later but they were unable to avoid an exit on aggregate.

The final tie of the round was to be the third decided after normal time as Manchester United advanced after a 2-1 win and 3-2 aggregate success.

United raced into an overall lead after Henrikh Mkhitaryan struck inside ten minutes only for his effort to be levelled by Hanni's 32nd minute strike to level the tie. The sides could not be separated across the 180 minutes of both legs which led to extra time. United secured the win with a strike on 107 minutes from Marcus Rashford.