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Arsenal made a brilliant comeback in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday, after a 3-0 win against Rennes at Emirates Stadium in Rennes, which allowed them to qualify for the quarter-finals 4-3 overall.
Elsewhere, Eintracht Frankfurt won a big win by beating Inter Milan 1-0 at San Siro to qualify for the last eight. Luka Jovic's quick goal was enough to separate the two teams in two tight games.
Earlier in the season, Chelsea had ended the game against Dynamo Kiev, imposing 5-0 away and getting a 8-0 total win. Valencia and Naples were other prestigious names, but none won at night.
It can be argued that the match of the evening saw Slavia Prague upset Sevilla, who won 4-3 after overtime. Ibrahim Traore scored the winning goal for the Czech team in the 119th minute.
Here's a summary of Thursday's action in front of what promises to be a fascinating draw for the quarter-finals on Friday.
Europa League, Results of the last 16 first leg matches (total)
Dynamo Kiev 0-5 (0-8) Chelsea
Krasnodar 1-1 (2-3) Valencia
Red Bull Salzburg 3-1 (3-4) Napoli
Arsenal 3-0 (4-3) Rennes
Inter Milan 0-1 (0-1) Frankfurt
Villarreal 2-1 (5-2) Zenit Saint Petersburg
Slavia Prague 4-3 (6-5) Seville
Benfica 3-0 (3-1) Dinamo Zagreb
After collapsing until the 3-1 loss in France, Arsenal has recovered decisively on national soil.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored in both halves – either side of a head from the Ainsley Maitland-Niles – and notably scored an early goal to give the Gunners a vital boost. The second goal of Aubameyang sparked the extravagant celebration:
ESPN FC @ESPNFC
From Batman to Black Panther.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang loves to save the world. https://t.co/HsAOeC0b0H
In what many hoped would be the link of the last 16 games, Frankfurt was able to defeat Inter.
There was little distance between the two camps during both stages, but visitors created the best openings on Thursday. In the end, a mistake by Stefan de Vrij and a fantastic finish from Jovic were enough to see the Bundesliga advance in the last eight.
German football journalist Archie Rhind-Tutt explained why this victory was so huge for Frankfurt:
Archie Rhind-Tutt @archiert1
Winning the DFB Cup with Niko Kovac after being in the playoffs not long ago was an achievement by Eintracht.
At Adi Hütter, they managed to modernize, to make fun of a team with a modest budget, who is doing so well in Europe + with an excellent championship season. https://t.co/BQREubIYtH
Jovic, loaned to Frankfurt by Benfica, has been linked to Barcelona recently. Frankfurter Allgemeine (h / t sport). The speed and composure that he highlighted to mark the decisive goal showed why there was such an interest.
Per OptaFranz, a long time ago a top German club did not find the bottom of the nets at San Siro:
1 – The last player to have scored for a German team in Guiseppe Meazza before Luka #Jovic was @ bendtnerb52 for Wolfsburg, when they faced Inter in the 2014-2015 round of 16 of the Europa League. Lord. #InterSGE @eintracht_us @eintracht_eng https://t.co/8m1xHeokXF
Earlier in the day, Chelsea won an emphatic victory in Kiev. Olivier Giroud to make a good treble.
After winning the first leg 3-0 tied, the goal of the Frenchman outside after five minutes put an end to his chances of returning before the Blues dominate the match. In addition to Giroud's hat-trick, Marcos Alonso and Callum Hudson-Odoi scored for Maurizio Sarri's side.
The three goals have allowed Giroud to continue his momentum in the Europa League, with nine overall in the competition this quarter. Then he commented on the contrast between his national and European record:
Liam Twomey @liam_twomey
Giroud laughs when BT asks him why he scores more in Europa League: "Do you want me to answer? When I'm on the field, I try to give everything to the team. I play mostly in matches of the Europa League, so that's why I score maybe fewer goals in the [Premier League]"#cfc
The most spectacular match of the second stage allowed Valencia to overtake Krasnodar thanks to a tying goal.
The Russians were on the right track to progress after Magomed Suleymanov's victory in the 85th minute. However, their heart broke three minutes later when Goncalo Guedes jumped (USA only):
The goal of the evening was undoubtedly in the match between Slavia Prague and Seville, when Munir El Haddadi sounded the death knell for this incredible volley for the latter (United Kingdom only):
Football on BT Sport @btsportfootball
WHAT. A KNOCK! 😍
Munir El Haddadi with a sensational volley for Seville!
When you catch it perfectly on the laces 👌 https://t.co/oZRSJnZ0EE
However, sending Sevilla was not enough. After another 2-2 draw, the match was extended and the La Liga formation appeared to be about to progress after a 3-2 lead in front. But Mick van Buren gave Slavia a chance with a quick equalizer before Traore won for the hosts with just one minute.
Elsewhere, Napoli managed to get through despite the lack of performance in Salzburg.
Despite their domestic struggles, Villarreal produced another great performance against Zenit. A 3-1 win for the locals was enough to lead them 5-2 overall.