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Thursday, January 21, 2021

Europa League: Arsenal and Hoffenheim qualify, emotional win for Napoli

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Arsenal’s report signing Nicolas Pepe acquired again in supervisor Mikel Arteta’s good books with the opening aim in his membership’s 3-0 win at Molde on Thursday that sealed his facet’s place within the Europa League knockout levels with two video games to spare. Arteta’s facet could be struggling within the Premier League however they’re 100% in Group B of the Europa League, making them one among solely two groups to have received their opening 4 video games.

The opposite is Bundesliga outfit Hoffenheim who beat Slovan Liberec 2-0 away to qualify from Group L. On a busy night time of motion throughout the continent there have been many tributes to Argentine nice Diego Maradona whose dying rocked the soccer world on Wednesday.

Nowhere was his passing felt extra keenly than in Naples the place Napoli, the membership the place he’s adored, beat Rijeka 2-0 to prime Group F. On an emotionally-charged night, Napoli’s whole workforce took the sphere sporting quantity 10 shirts with Maradona’s title emblazoned on the again, whereas {a photograph} of the idol stared down from the digital scoreboard.

No followers have been allowed contained in the stadium however many gathered outdoors to chant “Diego, Diego” and different anthems.

Arsenal’s win towards Molde was sparked by Pepe who was despatched off within the Premier League on the weekend for a headbutt Arteta described as unacceptable. However the Ivorian made amends with a well-taken opener that means he has been straight concerned in 9 objectives in his 10 Europa League video games for Arsenal. Reiss Nelson transformed Joe Willock’s cross to make it 2-0 earlier than 19-year-old substitute Folarin Balogun rounded it off.

Leicester Metropolis additionally certified for the final 32 after an enthralling 3-3 draw away to Sporting Braga in Portugal. Fransergio seemed to have received it for Braga within the ninetieth minute however Jamie Vardy struck late in stoppage time. Leicester are prime of Group G with 10 factors with Braga second on seven. AEK Athens have three factors.

AS Roma additionally sealed a spot within the knockout spherical after a 2-0 win away to Romanian facet CFR Cluj stored them prime of Group A.

MILAN HELD

In Group H seven-time European champions AC Milan have been held to a 1-1 draw by Lille after a well-worked Jonathan Bamba aim cancelled out Samu Castillejo’s effort for the Italian facet. Lille are prime with eight factors, one forward of Milan, with Sparta Prague nonetheless very a lot within the hunt on six after beating Celtic 4-1 for the second time within the group.

Premier League leaders Tottenham Hotspur boosted their hopes of reaching the knockout part as two objectives by Carlos Vinicius, his first strikes for the membership, helped them to a 4-0 win over Bulgarian facet Ludogorets in Group J.

Royal Antwerp beat LASK 2-0 to remain prime though they and Spurs each have 9 factors. In Group C Bayer Leverkusen look poised to achieve the final 32 after a 4-1 win over Hapoel Beer-Sheva left them on 9 factors, alongside Slavia Prague who beat Good.

Benfica got here again from two objectives down to attract 2-2 with Rangers in Group D. The Scottish membership led with objectives by Scott Arfield and Kemar Roofe. Nevertheless, an personal aim by James Tavernier threw Benfica a lifeline earlier than Pizzi scored a brilliantly-worked leveller.

Rangers and Benfica each have eight factors and are on track to qualify. Spanish membership Granada stay in charge of Group E after Alberto Soro scored the winner in a 2-1 overcome Omonoia whereas fellow La Liga outfit Villarreal head Group I after a 1-1 draw with Maccabi Tel-Aviv who’re second.



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