Europa League: 5 Italian sides reach last 16; Liverpool, Tottenham ousted
The UEFA Europa League field is down to 16 after an action-packed day of second legs across the continent. England's representation is down to one, while Serie A sides make up almost a third of the remaining field, with a record five teams making it through.
The teams going through are: Zenit, Ajax, Villarreal, Fiorentina, Sevilla, Inter Milan, Everton, Dynamo Kiev, Besiktas, Napoli, Torino, Roma, Dinamo Moscow, Club Brugge, Wolfsburg and Dnipo Dnipropetrovsk.
Here are the highlights of the day's second legs, starting with a lowlight:
Feyenoord fans followed up their vandalism of a 400-year-old Roman fountain ahead of the first leg by throwing objects on the field in the second leg, most notably, an inflatable banana targeted for Roma and Ivory Coast forward Gervinho. The unruly fans eventually caused the game to be suspended, something that also happened in Dinamo Kiev's clash with Guingamp.
Roma prevailed on a 3-2 aggregate, with none other than Gervinho scoring the decisive goal:
Liverpool returned to Istanbul, the site of its epic 2005 Champions League final triumph over AC Milan, and but fell in ironic fashion: penalties. After nine clinical PKs, summer signing Dejan Lovren blasted his attempt over the bar, sending Besiktas through and Liverpool home 5-4 on penalties after a 1-1 draw over two legs:
Besiktas had forced extra time through Tolgay Arslan's stellar strike in the 72nd minute:
Zenit St. Petersburg eased to the final 16 routing PSV 3-0 to advance on a 4-0 aggregate. Brazil striker Hulk had one of the moments of the day, with this thunderbolt of a right-footed strike:
That followed this, shall we say, less effective attempt on goal:
IN OTHER RESULTS
Mexico international Giovani dos Santos scored and assisted on a goal and brother Jonathan dos Santos assisted on another for Villarreal, helping the Yellow Submarine eliminate Salzburg on a 5-2 aggregate...Romelu Lukaku's two goals helped Everton finish off Swiss side Young Boys on a 7-2 aggregate, keeping Tim Howard's run in Europe alive...Vitolo's two goals helped defending champion Sevilla outlast Fabian Johnson's Borussia Monchengladbach 3-2 (4-2 on aggregate)...Mario Gomez and Mohamed Salah gave Fiorentina a 2-0 win over Tottenham, ousting Spurs on a 3-1 aggregate...Fredy Guarin's 88th-minute goal sealed Inter Milan's 4-3 aggregate triumph over Celtic.