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      All the drama across the continent this evening...

      UEL & UECL round-up

      2024/03/14 23:10

      The Round of 16 of the UEFA Europa League and the UEFA Europa Conference League concluded this evening with some thrilling ties across the continent.

      The quarter-final and semi-final draws for all three UEFA competitions take place tomorrow with some potentially heavyweight clashes set to be put together as the knockout stages really heat up when we return from the March international break.

      This is a round-up and look at the 16 teams that will be in the second-tier and third-tier European competitions’ final eight for the draw tomorrow…


      Atalanta 2-1 Sporting CP (3-2)
      Bayer Leverkusen 3-2 Qarabag (5-4)
      Brighton and Hove Albion 1-0 Roma (1-4)
      Liverpool 6-1 Sparta Prague (11-2)
      Rangers 0-1 Benfica (2-3)
      Slavia Prague 1-3 Milan (3-7)
      Villarreal 3-1 Olympique de Marseille (3-5)
      West Ham United 5-0 Freiburg (5-1)

      The biggest drama in the UEFA Europa League this evening game in Germany as Xabi Alonso’s Bayer Leverkusen scored in the 93rd and 97th minutes to turn it around and defeat Qarabag by five goals to four on aggregate after needing to score a second-half stoppage-time equaliser last week coming back from 2-0 down against the Azeri champions. Leverkusen are now unbeaten 37 matches across all competitions so far this season.

      @Getty /

      Another turnaround was a little more emphatic in London as West Ham United, inspire by a wonderful solo goal from Mohamed Kudus, hammered Freiburg by five goals to nil to win 5-1 on aggregate. Villarreal fought bravely to come from 4-0 down back to 4-3 on aggregate but eventually were beaten by Marseille at El Madrigal.

      There was early drama at Ibrox as an impressive Rangers side suffered defeat to a stalling and underperforming Benfica with Rafa Silva scoring the only goal of that game. Atalanta came from behind to knockout Benfica’s Portuguese title and capital city rivals, Sporting CP. Brighton restored some pride with Danny Welbeck scoring a 37th minute winning goal against Roma after losing the first-leg 4-0.

      Seven-time European champions AC Milan completed a 7-3 aggregate defeat of Slavia Prague in the Czech capital with Rafael Leao scoring a screamer in a 3-1 win for the Rossoneri, whilst six-time European champions Liverpool raced into a four-nil lead against Slavia’s biggest rivals Sparta at Anfield, settling for a 6-1 win on the night and 11-2 on aggregate. 


      Aston Villa 4-0 Ajax (4-0)
      Club Brugge 3-0 Molde (4-2)
      Fenerbahce 0-1 Royale Union Saint-Gilloise (1-3)
      Fiorentina 1-1 Maccabi Haifa (5-4)
      Lille 1-1 Sturm Graz (4-1)
      Maccabi Tel-Aviv 1-4 Olympiakos (AET 1-6)
      PAOK Salonika 5-1 Dinamo Zagreb (5-3)
      Viktoria Plzen 0-0 Servette (0-0)[AET 0-0 PENS 3-1]

      @Getty /

      There is only one place to start in the UEFA Europa Conference League and that is Backa Topola in Serbia where Robbie Keane’s Maccabi Tel-Aviv faced Jose Luis Mendilibar’s Olympiakos. It had appeared Keane’s Israeli’s were all but through when they won 4-1 in Piraeus last week but the 2023 UEFA Europa League winning-coach had other ideas, inspiring his much-improved Greeks to race into a 3-0 lead by half-time and then to react to win 4-1 after Eran Zahavi had pulled it back for Maccabi Tel-Aviv. Extra-time goals from Stevan Jovetic and Youssef El Arabi completed a remarkable turnaround for Olympiakos.

      Another Greek turnaround came in Thessaloniki as Greek Super League leaders, fresh off the back of losing the derby to Aris at the weekend, overturned a 2-0 defeat in Zagreb last week by beating Dinamo by five goals to one at the Toumba Stadium and forcing Dinamo to focus on their domestic competition, where they are outside of the top two for the first time in 20 years.

      We had drama in the Czech Republic, too, as Viktoria Plzen and Servette played out 210 minutes of goalless action before Viktoria won on penalties. Club Brugge overturned a 2-1 deficit against Molde with Ronny Deila’s side winning by three goals to nil at the Janbreydelstadion, whilst Aston Villa annihilated a sorry and inexperienced ten-man Ajax side at Villa Park to ease into the quarter-finals.

      Fiorentina squeezed past Maccabi Haifa with an underwhelming 1-1 draw at the Artemio Franchi. Heavily rotated and de-motivated Fenerbahce and Lille also stumbled over the line but did comfortably get through against Union SG and Sturm Graz, respectively.


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      2024-03-14 23h49m by omitchellsonjones
      What an incredible night of football! The Round of 16 in the UEFA Europa League and UEFA Europa Conference League did not disappoint. Can't wait for the quarter-final and semi-final draws tomorrow. It's going to be a nail-biting finish to these competitions after the international break. Bring on the heavyweight clashes!
      2024-03-14 23h35m by edavidson
      Wow, what a round of matches! The Europa League and Conference League never fail to disappoint with all the action and drama. Can't wait for the quarter-final and semi-final draws tomorrow, it's going to be epic!


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