Europa Round-Up: Napoli exit, Arsenal complacent, Lazio advance

0
240

Serie A leaders Napoli came agonisingly close to pulling off a dramatic Europa League comeback when they won 2-0 at RB Leipzig but went out on away goals at the last 32 stage on Thursday.

The Italians lost 3-1 at home in last week’s first leg with a performance that embarrassed coach Maurizio Sarri, although he has emphasised that winning Serie A is the priority.

They restored some pride in the return as Piotr Zielinski scored from a rebound in the 33rd minute and Lorenzo Insigne turned in Jose Callejon’s cross with five minutes to go.

That set up a rousing finale and Callejon could even have won the tie in stoppage time but his shot sailed over.

Lazio striker Ciro Immobile scored a hat-trick to lead his side to a 5-1 win over FCSB, formerly Steaua Bucharest, after a 1-0 defeat in the first leg.

Igor Denisov’s first-half goal gave Lokomotiv a 1-0 win over Nice, completing a 4-2 aggregate victory, while Zenit beat Celtic 3-0 to go through 3-1 with goals from Branislav Ivanovic, Daler Kuzyaev and Aleksandr Kokorin.

We dominated the game. We didn’t concede any chances until the 70th minute,” said Zenit coach Roberto Mancini after a match which kicked off in a temperature of minus 13 Celsius.

After 70 minutes we tired a bit but this is normal, but in the end we deserved to win.”

Sloppy

Arsenal were complacent as they survived a huge scare against Swedish minnows Ostersunds FK to claim a place in the last 16 of the Europa League.

The Gunners won the first leg 3-0 but one of football’s great shocks looked possible at half-time after the visitors struck two goals in 70 seconds.

Graham Potter’s side, who have risen from Sweden’s fourth tier since 2010, were on top in the first half and led 2-0 thanks to Calum Chambers’ own goal – deflecting in Hosam Aiesh’s shot – and Ken Sema’s clinical strike.

But the Gunners – who named a reasonably strong side only three days before their Carabao Cup final with Manchester City – improved slightly after the break and Sead Kolasinac finished from Hector Bellerin’s cross to relieve the sense of dread inside Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal have never won the Uefa Cup or Europa League.

Atletico Madrid, leading 4-1 from the first leg, completed the formality at home to FC Copenhagen when Kevin Gameiro’s early goal gave them a 1-0 win.

Meanwhile Dynamo Kiev, Sporting, Viktoria Plzen and Olympique Lyonnais also reached the last 16.