We’re about to hit the business end of the Europa League group stages, with some teams able to book their place in the knockout rounds this evening.
Here’s whats went down on an eventful night of Hankook action …
Tottenham 4-0 Ludogorets
Scorers: Vinícius 16′, 34′, Winks 63′, Lucas 72′
Tottenham boosted their Europa League knockout stage hopes after beating Ludogorets 4-0 at the London Stadium.
After dominating the early stages, Spurs were ahead through Carlos Vinícius who finished well after a fortunate ricochet saw him through on goal – his first for the club.
And it was 2-0 shortly after when Vinícius smashed home into an empty net after selfless play from Dele Alli, who opted to pass from close range instead of shooting.
Harry Winks secured all three points after his overhit pass accidentally ended up lobbing goalkeeper Iliev Ivanov from 45 yards, before Lucas Moura added a late fourth.
Rangers 2-2 Benfica
Scorers: Arfield 7′, Roofe 69′; Ramos 79′, Pizzi 81′
Rangers were left stunned after surrendering a two goal lead to draw 2-2 against Benfica at Ibrox.
The hosts were ahead after just seven minutes, when Scott Arfield volleyed home from close range after an almighty penalty box scramble.
Rangers looked to have secured victory after doubling their lead through Kemar Roofe, who fired home a thunderous effort from 20 yards.
But Benfica fought back, first through Gonçalo Ramos, before Pizzi equalised just two minutes later to deny Steven Gerrard a crucial win.
Napoli 2-0 Rijeka
Scorers: Anastasio (og) 41′, Lozano 75′
On an emotional night for the city of Naples, Napoli secured a 2-0 win over Rijeka at the Stadio San Paolo – soon to be named after Diego Maradona.
The Azzurri went ahead just before half time after excellent play from Piotr Zielinski forced Armando Anastasio to put into his own net.
Napoli ensured victory through Chucky Lozano when his typically excellent forward run was found perfectly by Lorenzo Insigne, before finishing smartly.
Gennaro Gattuso’s side sit top of Group F after AZ Alkmaar and Real Sociedad drew.
Bayer Leverkusen 4-1 Hapoel Beer Sheva
Scorers: Schick 29′, Bailey 48′, Demirbay 76′, Alario 80′; Shviro 58′
It was a comfortable night for Bayer Leverkusen after they cruised past Hapoel Beer Sheva 4-1 at the BayArena.
Patrick Schick put the hosts ahead after tapping home from close range, before Leon Bailey finished clinically to double their lead.
A sloppy defensive mistake allowed Itamar Shviro to give Hapoel hope, but that hope was short-lived after Kerim Demirbay scored a stunning free-kick to restore parity.
Lucas Alario continued his prolific run of form by scoring shortly after his introduction as a second-half substitute.
Molde 0-3 Arsenal
Scorers: Pépé 50′, Nelson 55′, Balogun 83′.
Arsenal sealed their progress to the knockout rounds with a comfortable 3-0 win over Molde.
Sheriff Sinyan somehow failed to put the hosts ahead after 17 minutes, hitting the ball straight at Rúnar Alex Rúnarsson despite having the whole goal to aim at.
Nicolas Pépé was always going to have a say in the game following his red card against Leeds and was unlucky not to score when his curler from the edge of the box smashed the crossbar.
He made no mistake just minutes later. Pépé slotted the ball past Andreas Linde to give the Gunners the lead, before Reiss Nelson doubled their lead when sliding home Joe Willock’s cross.
Teenage striker Folarin Balogun secured all three points after coming off the bench to score – his first senior goal for the club.
Braga 3-3 Leicester
Scorers: Musrati 4′, Paulinho 24′, Fransérgio 90+1; Barnes 9′, Thomas 79′, Vardy 90+5.
A resilient Leicester booked their place in the last-32 after a dramatic 3-3 draw with Braga.
The hosts took the lead through Al Musrati’s beautifully-taken effort from 20 yards out which angled straight into the bottom corner before Harvey Barnes squeezed the ball home at Matheus’ near post to equalise for the Foxes.
However, Braga always looked like restoring their lead and did just that after 24 minutes.
A neat passing move released Andre Horta who rounded Kasper Schmeichel before playing it back across goal for Paulinho to tap home.
Brendan Rodgers’ men found a way to come back yet again when James Maddison’s brilliant work ended in a low cross across goal which was bundled home for his first goal for the club by Luke Thomas.
They couldn’t hold out and were punished when Fransérgio Barbosa slid the ball under Schmeichel to seemingly seal the three points in stoppage time.
The Foxes could not be beaten though and Jamie Vardy got on to Marc Albrighton’s assist to earn qualification with a dramatic last kick of the game.
Sparta Prague 4-1 Celtic
Scorers: Hancko 27′, Juliš 38′, 80′, Plavšić 90+5′ ; Edouard 15′.
Celtic are all but out of the Europa League after squandering a lead to lose in Prague.
It had all started so well for Neil Lennon’s side when Odsonne Edouard’s brilliant individual effort had given them the lead after 15 minutes.
However, the hosts took advantage of some terrible defending at a corner to level proceedings with Dávid Hancko prodding home from six yards out.
Celtic’s defenders were caught napping again for Sparta’s second, with a cross somehow beating three men to find Lukáš Juliš at the back post who forced the ball past Scott Bain.
Their fate was sealed when David Moberg Karlsson’s chipped cross found Juliš to add his second and Sparta’s third with ten minutes to go before Srđan Plavšić added some gloss to the scoreline sliding into an empty net in stoppage time.
Lille 1-1 Milan
Scorers: Bamba 65′; Castillejo 46′.
Lille remain top of Group H after coming from behind to earn a draw at home to Milan.
The visitors had taken the lead straight after the half-time break with a clinical counter-attack. Ante Rebić ran on to a through ball before sliding the ball back for Samu Castillejo to tap in.
Jonathan Bamba restored parity for the Ligue 1 side with 25 minutes to go when he latched on to Jonathan David’s touch to side foot past Gianluigi Donnarumma.
This group remains right in the balance with just two points separating Lille, Milan and Sparta Prague.
Other results …
- AZ Alkmaar 0-0 Real Sociedad
- CFR Cluj 0-2 Roma
- Dundalk 1-3 Rapid Wien
- Granada 2-1 Omonia
- Nice 1-3 Slavia Prague
- PSV 3-2 PAOK
- Standard Liege 1-1 Lech Poznan
Results from earlier …
- CSKA Sofia 0-1 Young Boys
- LASK 0-2 Royal Antwerp
- CSKA Moscow 0-0 Feyenoord
- RZ Pellets 0-3 Dinamo Zagreb
- Gent 0-2 Red Star Belgrade
- Slovan Liberec 0-2 Hoffenheim
- AEK Athens 0-3 Zorya
- Qarabag 2-3 Sivasspor
- Maccabi Tel-Aviv 1-1 Villarreal