Europa League roundup: Spurs cruise to win group, Dortmund stumbles
The Europa League knockout round is set with the finality of the group stage. Both Liverpool and Tottenham won their groups and will be seeded in the knockout stage, while Borussia Dortmund stumbled on the final day and fell to second, finding itself unseeded despite progressing.
Monaco and Ajax were the biggest names to find themselves eliminated from the competition, as none of them were able to find victory on the final day.
Tottenham 4-1 Monaco
Erik Lamela scored a hat-trick in 35 minutes - one more goal than he has in the entire Premier League season thus far - and Spurs cruised over the French side easily in the North London rain. Heung-Min Son was outstanding in attack for the Premier League side, and Mauricio Pochettino’s gang won Group J with four wins in six.
Sion 0-0 Liverpool
There was little excitement in Liverpool’s visit to Switzerland, but it was enough for the Reds to top Group B as both these teams progressed into the group stage. Australian left-back Bradley Smith was impressive on his debut as Liverpool faced just one shot on target all match, while Divock Origi was bright in the attack, but could not convert a few half-chances.
Borussia Dortmund 0-1 PAOK
Adnan Januzaj was kept quiet on the wing and Borussia Dortmund fell at home, still progressing to the knockout round but unable to top Group C as they miss out on the head-to-head tiebreaker with Kuban Krasnodar. Robert Mak was the match’s lone goalscorer just past the half-hour mark as the Greeks earn their first and only win of the group stage.
Slovan Liberec 2-4 Marseille
Undeterred by a miserable start to the year, Olympique Marseille has improved its fortunes both home and abroad. Amid four unbeaten in Ligue 1 play to push them back into the top half of the table, and they won three straight to finish group stage play and salvage a place in the knockout round, completed with today’s storming win in the Czech Republic. Four goals from four different scorers put them through, led by Moroccan international Abdelaziz Barrada who put one home and assisted two more.
FC Midtjylland 1-1 Club Brugge
Having embarrassed Southampton in the playoff stages to make it this far, Danish side FC Midtjylland has surprisingly advanced to the knockout rounds ahead of their Belgian opponents who needed a win today to progress. They were led by this insane goal from 20-year-old Danish international Pione Sisto.
Napoli 5-2 Legia Warsaw
The Italians had already wrapped up the top spot in Group D weeks ago, but they completed the perfect six wins in six by rolling Legia Warsaw. Chelsea loanee Nathaniel Chalobah opened the scoring 30 minutes in, while Dries Mertens bagged a pair and Jose Callejon got on the scoresheet as well. Napoli finished with a perfect 18 points in group stage play.
Ajax 1-1 Molde
This scoreline completed a pair of surprising finishes in Group A: Norwegian club FC Molde topped the bunch to ensure a seeded position in the knockout round, while the Dutch giants are out of the competition. Ajax needed a win to catch Fenerbahce, but could not procure all three points, while Molde finished as the only team in the group with three wins.
Schalke 4-0 Asteras Tripoli
The Germans stormed their way towards victory in Group K as they finished all six matches without a loss. Franco Di Santo had a first-half hat-trick and Kaas Jan Huntelaar added a fourth as the Germans secured a two-point margin atop the group.
Rapid Wien 2-0 Dinamo Minsk
35-year-old Stephen Hoffman scored the winner 54 minutes in and Rapid Wien topped Group E ahead of Villareal with 15 points.