Wolves battled into the quarter-finals of the Europa League on Thursday night while Sevilla, Bayer Leverkusen and Basel enjoyed far more comfortable victories in the matches that brought the Europa League round of 16 to a belated close.
Raul Jimenez scored the only goal from the penalty spot in the ninth minute and Wolves survived a series of scares to edge Olympiakos 1-0 at Molineux for a 2-1 aggregate win in a tie that began in Athens on March 13.
Leverkusen beat visiting Rangers 1-0 to win 4-1 on aggregate while Basel beat Eintracht Frankfurt 1-0 for a 4-0 aggregate victory. Sevilla cruised past Roma 2-0 in a one-off Europa League game played at neutral Duisburg, which will one of the host grounds when the Rhineland region of Germany hosts the last three rounds of the competition from August 10-21.
At Molineux, Bobby Allain, the visitors’ Franco-Scottish goalkeeper, failed to control a back pass in the seventh minute. Daniel Podence, who scored for Olympiakos at Tottenham in September but moved to Wolves in January, darted in and stole the ball.
Allain clumsily bundled his former clubmate over and Jimenez converted the penalty. The Greek champions, who had drawn at Tottenham in the Champions League and won at Arsenal in the Europa League this season, responded by dominating possession. They created a string of chances but were thwarted by good saves by Rui Patricio, a tight offside decision and their own inaccurate finishing. Wolves, who began their Europa League campaign on July 25 last year against Crusaders in the second qualifying round, will next face Sevilla at Duisburg on August 11. “A long, long season,” Jimenez said. “Now we are in the quarter-finals and we want to keep going.”
In Basel, defender Fabien Frei scored the only goal in the 88th minute as the home team won 1-0 to complete an aggregate 4-0 victory over Eintracht Frankfurt. In Leverkusen, Moussa Diaby scored the only goal after 51 minutes to complete a comfortable victory for Bayer, who won 3-1 in Glasgow in March.
“We had the chances to score one or two more times tonight and in the rounds to come we have to make sure that we’re more clinical,” said Leverkusen captain Lars Bender. “But the most important thing about tonight was getting the ball rolling, avoiding injuries and re-establishing rhythm.”
In the quarter-finals, Bayer will make the short trip to Dusseldorf to face Inter Milan on August 10, Basel will play Shakhtar Donetsk in Gelsenkirchen the next night.
Ties are single matches at neutral venues in Germany (all games 1900 GMT):
Monday, August 10: At Dusseldorf:
Inter Milan (ITA) v Bayer Leverkusen (GER); At Cologne: Manchester United (ENG) v Copenhagen (DEN)
Tuesday, August 11: At Duisburg:
Wolverhampton Wanderers (ENG) v Sevilla (ESP); At Gelsenkirchen: Shakhtar Donetsk (UKR) v Basel (SUI)
LEAVE A COMMENT Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*
Qatar's Abbas impresses in 400m race
Duplantis shades Kendricks with pole vault win in Doha
It feels like home as Obiri powers to 3,000m victory
Ganna first Italian to win time trial world title
Qatar Racing’s Kameko wins Group 2 in Newmarket
Nadal eyes 20-Slam Federer record with 13th French title
Pakhtakor, Esteghlal clash set to be a cracking affair
Lost In Space finds the winning post for Qatar Racing
Manchester City, Liverpool reach fourth round