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Europa League Roundup: Arsenal and Tottenham secure wins; Man Utd frustrated by late draw against AC Milan

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Arsenal overturned a seemingly frustrating game to win 3-1 away at Olympiakos in their first-leg round of 16 tie as Spurs also enjoyed an easy win on the night leaving only Manchester United as the only English side who played a draw.

The Gunners had late goals scored by Gabriel Malaghaes and a belter from Mohamed Elneny after yet another horrendous defense almost cost them.

The Gunners dominated for the largest part in Athens and went ahead deservedly before half-time as Martin Odegaard’s long-range shot earned him his first goal for the club – although Olympiakos missed a gilt-edged chance to level from a David Luiz error.

Shortly after half-time, the hosts had less mercy on the visitors following another defensive mix-up when Dani Ceballos was robbed by Youssef El-Arabi as he miss-controlled an ill-conceived pass from Bernd Leno before the Olympiakos top scorer levelled from distance.

Arsenal, however, were much more determined this time around as they wouldn’t allow a repeat of last year’s Europa League when this same team knocked them out.

They seemed out of sorts but 11 minutes from time, the North London club restored their lead when Gabriel pounced to power home Willian’s cross before substitute Elneny fired in a powerful third to give Mikel Arteta’s side a commanding lead ahead of next week’s second leg in north London.

Stats and facts from the match (Backed by Opta)

  • Arsenal have won eight of their nine UEFA Europa League games this season (D1), and are the highest scorers in the competition so far this term (27 goals).
  • Having won their first three home meetings with Arsenal in all competitions, Olympiakos have now lost their last three against the Gunners at home.
  • Willian has provided more assists for Arsenal in all competitions than any other player this season (7), including setting up all three of Gabriel Magalhães’ strikes for the Gunners.
  • All four of Mohamed Elneny’s goals for Arsenal have come in European competition (1x Champions League, 3x Europa League), with three of those coming from outside the box.
  • Martin Ødegaard’s first half strike was his first ever goal for Arsenal. The Gunners have now had more different goalscorers in the UEFA Europa League this season than any other side (14).
  • No player has made more errors leading to a goal in the Europa League this season than Arsenal’s Dani Ceballos (2), with the Spaniard’s two errors coming in his last two games (also vs Benfica).
  • Olympiakos’ Youssef El-Arabi has scored in his last two Europa League games against Arsenal, with his two goals against the Gunners accounting for 50% of his total in the competition.

Tottenham 2-0 Dinamo Zagreb: Harry Kane inspires Spurs to an easy win to take control of Europa League last 16 tie

Europa League Roundup

Tottenham are one step closer to sealing a spot in the quarter-finals of the Europa League as Harry Kane’s double inspires a comfortable 2-0 win over Dinamo Zagreb on Thursday night.

Kane’s finish put the hosts ahead on 25 minutes before the striker doubled his tally for the evening after pouncing on a slack clearance from Kevin Theophile-Catherine.

The England captain, Harry Kane, would have to wait for his second European hat-trick of the season after he was replaced late on as a precautionary measure following a challenge from Arijan Ademi.

The result puts Tottenham in a strong position ahead of the last 16 second leg on March 18 as Jose Mourinho’s side now turn their focus towards facing Arsenal in the North London derby, live on Sky Sports, on Sunday.

Stats and facts from the match (Backed by Opta)

  • Spurs have progressed from each of their previous three knockout ties in the UEFA Europa League when they’ve won the first leg – versus Lyon and Internazionale in 2012-13, and RZ Pellets WAC earlier this season.
  • Dinamo Zagreb remain winless away to English opponents in European competition (D2 L7), with each of their last six trips ending in defeat.
  • Spurs have won each of their last five games in all competitions, equalling their longest winning streak under manager José Mourinho (five – previously done in November 2020).
  • Including qualifiers, Dinamo Zagreb suffered their first loss in European competition since September 2020 (1-2 v Ferencváros), ending a run of nine games unbeaten and six consecutive wins coming into tonight’s defeat.

Man Utd 1-1 AC Milan: Simon Kjaer grabs late away goal after Amad Diallo’s expertly improvised header

Europa League Roundup

Simon Kjaer scored a last-gasp header to gift AC Milan a draw against Manchester United and they also got a vital away goal in the 1-1 draw when both sides clashed in the Europa League last 16 first leg.

Milan were in control of the game in the first half and Franck Kessie could have put them ahead but saw his fine volley was ruled out by VAR for a handball.

Manchester United’s captain while Harry Maguire somehow missed a sitter from a yard out just before the break, shinning his effort onto the post.

But just minutes after coming on at half-time, Diallo headed in a brilliant goal with his back to goal from Bruno Fernandes.

It was the 18-year-old’s first goal for the club since his £37m move from Atalanta in January.

Dan James missed another clear opportunity in the second half to extend United’s lead, and they paid dearly for it as Kjaer headed Rade Krunic’s corner past Dean Henderson, who got a touch to the effort and should have done better.

It means Milan take an away goal back to Italy for the second leg on March 18.

Stats and facts from the match (Backed by Opta)

  • Amad Diallo became the youngest non-British player to score for Manchester United in major European competition (18y 243d), netting with his first ever shot for United.
  • When failing to win the first leg at home, Manchester United have been eliminated from six of their last eight ties in European competition, most recently against Barcelona in the 2018-19 Champions League.
  • Milan’s leveller ended a run of 503 minutes in which Manchester United hadn’t conceded in all competitions.
  • Milan’s equaliser was the first UEFA Europa League goal Manchester United have ever conceded in the 90th minute or later.
2 Comments
  1. Deji says

    United had just one job

  2. Anthony Abraham says

    Europa league is coming to England

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