Barring the postponed RB Salzburg vs Eintracht Frankfurt match, all of this round’s Europa League ties have now been decided.
The British clubs have had a mixed week in the competition – Wolves, Manchester United and Rangers all progressed to the next round, but Celtic and Arsenal found themselves on the wrong end of 3-1 and 2-1 scorelines of their respective second legs, which saw them crash out of the tournament.
Across all of ties, there were plenty of performances that caught the eye.
Here is Football FanCast’s Europa League Team of the Week.
Bono – no, not that one – came to Sevilla’s rescue time and time against CFR Cluj.
He made seven saves as the Spanish side kept out their Romanian counterparts in a goalless encounter, which saw them through to the next round after a 1-1 draw away in the first leg. If the five-time winners want to win the trophy once again, though, they can’t rely on the man between the sticks to get them out of trouble like he did here.
Wolves may have lost 3-2 against Espanyol, but Doherty can be more than happy with his display. Not only did he score, but he also managed two key passes, whilst also winning 10 of his 17 duels. After their 4-0 win in the home leg, the Molineux outfit’s work was all but complete, lending Nuno Espirito Santo the opportunity to give some of his fringe players the chance to impress. No doubt, he will be disappointed by some of those who failed to make the most of their opportunities.
It has been a fantastic few games for the Manchester United captain. The Red Devils have kept clean sheets in three of his last four starts, and he has played an important part in each defensive display. In the Old Trafford outfit’s 5-0 demolition of Club Brugge, it was no different.
The England international made two tackles, won six of eight duels, and also had an 91% pass accuracy as he steered his team to a convincing victory.
Istanbul Basaksehir has become something of a hub for former Premier League stars – no less than five featured in the second leg against Sporting Lisbon. The veterans got the job done, though, defeating Sporting Lisbon 4-1, and ex-Liverpool man Martin Skrtel put in a dominant display. The Slovakia international scored his side’s first goal, whilst also winning two tackles and prevailing in eight of 11 duels.
England international Shaw has looked rejuvenated in recent weeks, and he was once again impressive against the Belgian outfit. He made three interceptions, three tackles, won five from seven ground duels and also contributed offensively with two key passes. With Euro 2020 just around the corner, Gareth Southgate will be keeping a close eye on his players up and down the country – the former Southampton man will have done his chances no harm with this display.
There was a time when Fred was a pariah at Old Trafford. This season, though, he has started to show why he cost the Red Devils £52m in 2018, and he was in top form again against Club Brugge. He bagged a brace, provided one assist, and also landed 91% of his attempted passes. He has become one of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s most important players, featuring in each of the last six matches during which time the 20-time English champions have not lost.
Gent dominated Roma in the second leg of their round of 32 match – they had 23 shots to 10 – but the eventual 1-1 draw was not enough to see them progress. Their failure was through no fault of Odjidja-Ofoe though. The 31-year-old put in a captain’s performance, driving his side forward at every opportunity – he managed seven shots, two key passes and four dribbles, whilst also winning nine of 13 duels. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to beat the Serie A side.
20-year-old Havertz is one of the hottest properties on the continent right now – Liverpool are amongst the clubs to have been linked with his services – and he showed exactly why against Porto.
As Die Werkself won 3-1 in Portugal, the Germany international scored one and provided two assists, whilst also completing 92% of his passes. A £100m price-tag may be eye-watering to some, but based on this performance it is easy to see why he is valued so highly.
After losing 3-1 in Lisbon, Basaksehir had it all to do on Thursday. Fortunately, Edin Visca came to their rescue. The Bosnia international was twice on target for his side, whilst also contributing two key passes and winning five from eight ground duels. It could be a monumental season for the Turkish side – they are now through to the next round of this European competition, and they also lead the Super Lig domestically.
Rangers had a big test on their hands as they travelled to Braga for their second-leg clash – the Portuguese side had lost just one of their last 15 matches at home in all competitions before this game – but it was Steven Gerrard’s side who prevailed.
They were the more threatening side, managing five shots on target to the hosts’ one, and they got their just rewards, as well, with Kent scoring the only goal of the match to temporarily silence his vehement critics.
The former Liverpool man was the pick of the bunch, also completing three dribbles and winning six from nine duels.
Espanyol’s second-leg display against Wolves may have been too little too late, but it was still a top display from the Spanish side, and Calleri was clearly the man of the match. The Argentine scored all three of his side’s goals in their 3-2 victory, which came from just four shots. The 26-year-old, who had an ill-fated spell at West Ham a few years ago, now has five goals in all competitions this campaign.