Arsenal, Frankfurt advance in Europa League
Teenager Bukayo Saka scored one goal and set up another to secure a 2-2 draw for Arsenal at Standard Liege yesterday and lead the Gunners into the next stage of the Europa League.
The result meant that Arsenal finished top of Group F ahead of Eintracht Frankfurt, who gave up a late lead to lose 3-2 at home to Vitoria.
Malmo, Copenhagen, Getafe, and Cluj also qualified for the knockout rounds in Europe’s second-tier competition on the final night of group-stage matches.
Malmo won Group B with a 1-0 away victory at Copenhagen, who still joined the Swedish side in the next round.
Getafe needed at least a draw from the last game against Krasnodar to advance from Group C and cruised to a 3-0 victory. Cluj advanced from Group E thanks to a 2-0 victory over group winner Celtic.
Manchester United and Sevilla were among 13 teams to have already clinched a spot in the round of 32. The eight third-place finishes in the UEFA Champions League – including Ajax, Benfica, and Inter Milan – will also enter the competition at that stage.
Five-time champions Sevilla failed to maintain its perfect record after losing the last game 1-0 to APOEL in Group A.
Austria’s LASK defeated 10-man Sporting 3-0 to top Group D.
Arsenal coach Freddie Ljungberg made nine changes to his line-up from a 3-1 win at West Ham United on Monday in the English Premier League. That victory ended a nine-match winless streak, the club’s worst run for 42 years.
After struggling in the first half, Arsenal were 1-0 down two minutes into the second half. Samuel Bastien’s shot from outside the area was deflected off defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos to beat goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez.
Selim Amallah doubled the lead for the hosts in the 69th with another deflected shot as Arsenal looked vulnerable at the back and lacked creativity in the middle.
But the second goal served as a wake-up call for Arsenal with Saka leading the rally.
The forward produced a perfect cross for Alexandre Lacazette in the 78th to head in from close range before curling in a shot from the edge of the area three minutes later.
Arsenal won the group with 11 points, two more than Frankfurt.
Italian club Lazio had to beat Rennes and hope that Celtic defeated Cluj to have a chance of advancing, but the opposite scenario unfolded. Lazio lost 2-0 after Joris Gnagnon scored twice for Rennes, giving the French team its first win of the campaign.
The draw for the round of 32 is scheduled for Monday.
Yesterday’s Europa League results:
APOEL 1-0 Sevilla
Qarabag 1-1 Dudelange
Dynamo Kiev 1-1 Lugano
Copenhagen 0-1 Malmo
Basel 2-0 Trabzonspor
Getafe 3-0 Krasnodar
LASK 3-0 Sporting
PSV 1-1 Rosenborg
Cluj 2-0 Celtic
Rennes 2-0 Lazio
Group FFrankfurt 2-3 Vitoria
Liege 2-2 Arsenal
Rangers 1–1 Young Boys
Porto 3–2 Feyenoord
Espanyol 0–1 CSKA
Ludogorets 1-1 Ferencvaros
Gent 2-1 Olexandriya
Wolfsburg 1–0 St Etienne
M’gladbach 1–2 Basaksehir
Roma 2–2 Wolfsberger
Bratislava 2-4 Braga
Wolves 4-0 Besiktas
Man United 4-0 Alkmaar
Partizan 4-1 Astana