United embarrassed, Neville happy, Dortmund formidable – Europa League Roundup

on 19.02.2016

It proved to be a very interesting night of Europa League last-32 action on Thursday, and we round-up the key events that unfolded.

AUGSBURG, GERMANY - Thursday, February 18, 2016: Liverpool and FC Augsburg players before the UEFA Europa League Round of 32 1st Leg match at the Augsburg Arena. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool earned a 0-0 draw in their first-leg clash with FC Augsburg in Germany, in what was an instantly forgettable 90 minutes of football.

Jurgen Klopp will be content with the result, however, and the Reds should now progress after the second-leg at Anfield next week.

There were 16 matches in total on Thursday evening, with a perfect blend of shocks, great goals and absolute hammerings.

Here are some standout moments from the night.

Joy for Neville, misery for United

Gary Neville has endured a tough time of things at Valencia, but having earned his first La Liga win last weekend, the former England right-back had a night to cherish in his side’s home tie against Rapid Vienna.

Valencia produced a staggering first-half showing, in which they were 5-0 up at half-time, and Rodrigo’s late strike put the icing on the cake.

It was very different for Neville’s boyhood team, however, as Man United’s embarrassing season continued away to unknown Midtjylland.

Louis van Gaal’s side were beaten 2-1, despite Memphis Depay opening the scoring for the visitors, and the United manager is closer than ever to being relieved of his duties.

Injury to David de Gea in the pre-match warm-up compounded their misery, and it could also have an enormous impact on the Red Devils’ season, should the Spaniard miss a chunk of action.

Draw for Spurs in Florence

Tottenham’s last-32 tie against Fiorentina looked the toughest that any of the remaining three English clubs faced in the competition.

Despite resting a few key players, Mauricio Pochettino’s side came away with a very credible draw, and are now favourites to make it into the next round.

Nacer Chadli’s penalty gave Spurs a first-half lead but Federico Bernadeschi levelled the scores after 59 minutes. Dele Alli, meanwhile, was very lucky not to be sent-off after kicking Nenad Tomovic.

There are many who feel the north Londoners’ cup commitments could affect their brilliant Premier League form, and it will be intriguing to see how Pochettino’s men cope with the fixture pile-up.

Formidable Dortmund march on

Borussia Dortmund were the bookies’ favourites to win this season’s Europa League prior to the first-leg action, and they backed that up ruthlessly on Thursday.

Thomas Tuchel’s side hosted a potentially dangerous Porto team at Signal Iduna Park, but a 2-0 win was sealed thanks to goals from Lukasz Piszczek and Marco Reus.

The German giants really do look like the team to beat, especially as much-fancied Napoli are in a precarious position, following a 1-0 defeat at Villarreal.

They will take some stopping, especially in front of the most passionate crowd in European football.

Sevilla continue superb Europa form

Almost without noticing, Sevilla have won four Europa League titles in the last decade, which is a commendable achievement.

The La Liga outfit are looking for a third straight triumph in the competition, and they look strong contenders without question.

Two goals from Fernando Llorente, and another for Kevin Gameiro, clinched a routine 3-0 win at home to Molde, all but booking their place in the last-16 in the process.

Sevilla are a team Liverpool will very much want to avoid, should they both get through their respective second-leg showdowns.

Goal of the Season contender in Marseille

Marseille’s clash with Athletic Bilbao always looked like a tight game on paper, with both sides relatively evenly matched.

It felt like a tie that would be separated by fine margins, and Bilbao completed a vital 1-0 win thanks to a piece of sheer brilliance.

Aritz Aduriz, the club’s veteran striker, sent a stunning 35-yard volley into the Marseille net, in what was easily the best goal of the night, and one of the finest of 2015/16 so far.

Aduriz is having a season to remember, with the 35-year-old scoring 26 goals in 39 appearances to date.

Full list of results

AUGSBURG, GERMANY - Thursday, February 18, 2016: Liverpool's Roberto Firmino in action against FC Augsburg during the UEFA Europa League Round of 32 1st Leg match at the Augsburg Arena. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Borussia Dortmund 2-0 Porto
Favourites to progress: Dortmund

FC Midtjylland 2-1 Man United
Favourites to progress: Man United

Fiorentina 1-1 Tottenham
Favourites to progress: Tottenham

Anderlecht 1-0 Olympiakos
Favourites to progress: Olympiakos

Sevilla 3-0 Molde
Favourites to progress: Sevilla

Saint-Etienne 3-2 FC Basel
Favourites to progress: FC Basel

Villarreal 1-0 Napoli
Favourites to progress: Napoli

FC Augsburg 0-0 Liverpool
Favourites to progress: Liverpool

FC Sion 1-2 Sporting Braga
Favourites to progress: Sporting Braga

Galatasaray 1-1 Lazio
Favourites to progress: Lazio

Marseille 0-1 Athletic Bilbao
Favourites to progress: Athetic Bilbao

Shakhtar Donetsk 0-0 Schalke
Favourites to progress: Schalke

Sparta Prague 1-0 – FC Krasnodar
Favourites to progress: Sparta Prague

Sporting 0-1 Bayer Leverkusen
Favourites to progress: Bayer Leverkusen

Valencia 6-0 Rapid Vienna
Favourites to progress: Valencia (just!)


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          • ..and Spurs and Schalke. I expect the last 16 just like the last 32 to pit some favorites against each other. Win the home leg and get a good draw in last 16, I’m confident we will see some top clubs gone before the last 8. I hope after losing twice to LvG, we get the chance of knocking them out of Europa. Let Dortmund, Seville, Spurs and Napoli play each other in the last 16

  1. Anderlecht 1-0 Olympiakos
    Favourites to progress: Olympiakos

    Really? Anderlecht were the better team by miles. Olympiakos were absolutely abysmal. No way they’re the favourites.

      • Never thought I would say such a thing, but I truly love this UTD team. They are a joy to watch, I love it!!
        Thank you LVG…. You too Ed, you are actually the best!

        • Your a very confident,undeservedly me thinks!!it’d not like we have a team full of world class players,in fact,we have none,and a bunch mediocre shyte like milner,Henderson and mignolet!! Next week is going to be tough!!!we just might lose it on penalties!

          • Yes, because Augsburg was nothing but a side full of World Class players. They just worked their socks off to get a good result at home mate. Stop overreacting.

          • So Liverpool dominating the home leg, going 1-0 up and then failing to take a glut of chances to kill the game off, and Augsburg equalizing in the last 10 minutes isn’t a possibility?
            What about Migs fumbling, or the back 4 failing to deal with a cross delivered into the box, after one of our players give away a silly free-kick? You can’t see them scoring, so 2-1 going into the last 10 minutes. They have nothing to lose and push forward and just like v West Ham we concede late on…that couldn’t happen either, no?
            I am fairly confident if we play much better that we should progress, but to be certain of it…with this team!? Thrash City and Chelsea, then lose to Watford and Newcastle and scrape past Norwich. The only thing you can be certain of with this team, is not knowing if they are going to put in a performance or not!

          • Yet Augburg to score at Anfield is 8/11, whilst even one player player being struck by Lightening is 960,000-1

  2. Dortmund is absolutely a formidable team and the current squad has largely been left by kloppo. Their net expenditure must be marginal compared to what we have spent in recent years.

    Not a time to moan, but to reflect on the quality of our current coach. And those who watched the game, Reus is not overrated at all.

    I can see Germany cursing to the Euro finals with Reus and Ozil in the same team.

    • It’s a good last 32 draw in truth as many good teams playing each other. If we can get past Augsburg and get a reasonable draw in the last 16, I’m sure the last 16 will also pit some strong teams against each other. Dortmund v Seville would be nice.

        • My post was a counter to all those assuming Dortmund would run away with it/ I was just pointing out that a lot of good teams will go out in the last 32, and I expect the same in the last 16. A fortunate draw and any team could find themselves in the QF’s. I hope we get United after the two defeats, and hope Spurs, Napoli, Dortmund and Seville have to play each other.
          Yes we could get a bad draw, but we could also get a good draw and see the likes of Napoli and Spurs getting knocked out.
          I said at the end of last season that I thought Dortmund would win it, and Seville would go close, with Spurs being my dark horses, I also predicted we would get to the QF’s

          • Yeah fair enough…a lot depends on the draws as you said. Porto vs BVB sounds like a Champions League match legit.

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