United, Juventus and Sevilla like Feyenoord to Europa League quarter-finals
Manchester United, Juventus and Sevilla, like Feyenoord, have qualified for the quarter-finals of the Europa League.
Coach Erik ten Hag’s United already had one leg in the next round after last week’s 4-1 home victory over Real Betis and added the second leg as well through a 1-0 win at Sevilla.
Tyrell Malacia and Wout Weghorst had been given a starting place by Ten Hag. Weghorst, who made it 4-0 last week, was soon close to scoring the opening goal. Casemiro headed the ball through from a corner in the eighth minute and the diving Weghorst just couldn’t reach it with his head.
Betis still believed in a miracle, supported by the fans, and had the necessary chances in the open first half. Juanmi, for example, shot wide when he came face to face with goalkeeper David De Gea and the 41-year-old captain Joaquín hit the outside of the post.
Almost Weghorst again
Just before halftime, Weghorst was again close to a goal, when Uruguayan Facundo Pellistri – in the starting lineup for the first time – shot the ball against the post and the Dutchman fell just short of exploiting the rebound.
Marcus Rashford was ultimately the one who dealt Sevilla the final blow: with a superb strike from over 20 yards, he made it 1-0 ten minutes after halftime, breaking Betis’ resistance.
Flekken eliminated with Freiburg
Juventus reached the quarter-finals through a 2-0 win at SC Freiburg, following a 1-0 victory last week in Turin. Referee Serdar Gözübüyük played a starring role in the return in Germany.
Freiburg, with Mark Flekken on goal, was equal to the defensive Juventus before halftime. After just under half an hour, Dusan Vlahovic seemed to head the Italians to 1-0, but VAR pointed out Gözübüyük’s offside of the Serbian.
Then followed a turbulent end to the first half: first Flekken saved handsomely on a Moise Kean effort, but in the following attack Federico Gatti shot hard from very close range against the arm of Manuel Gulde. Gözübüyük looked at the footage on the monitor, gave Juve a penalty and Gulde his second yellow card.
Vlahovic shot the penalty kick hard through the middle, although Flekken was still at it. With a man down, Freiburg still tried in the second half, but the Germans could not really make things difficult for the ailing Old Lady. In injury time, substitute Federico Chiesa even made it 2-0.
Sevilla through despite defeat
Sevilla – which had been too strong for PSV in the intermediate round – lost the away match at Fenerbahçe 1-0, but still advanced to the quarter-finals thanks to last week’s 2-0 home victory.
The only goal of the match fell four minutes before halftime: Ecuadorian World Cup hero Enner Valencia scored on a penalty kick. Fenerbahçe featured former NEC player Ferdi Kadioglu and former FC Twente player Jayden Oosterwolde in the starting lineup.