Europa League: Arsenal Advance, Everton Dumped

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Arsenal progressed to the last 32 stage of the Europa League Thursday after a drab 0-0 draw with Red Star Belgrade at the Emirates Stadium.

The draw was however enough to see Arsene Wenger’s men through to the knockout rounds with two games to spare in Group H. Jack Wilshere, strong on the comeback trail, had the best chance of the game but saw a second-half effort cleared off the line.

Marseille remain second in Group I after losing 1-0 at Vitoria Guimaraes in a game that saw defender Patrice Evra sent off for launching a karate-style kick at one of his team’s supporters during warm-up.

Struggling Everton crashed out of the competition after a 3-0 defeat in Lyon to compound their woes in the wake of former manager Ronald Koeman’s exit.

It was a third straight defeat for the Toffees since Dave Unsworth was appointed interim manager, heightening the crisis at the club.

Bertrand Traore rounded Jordan Pickford to break the deadlock on 68 minutes, before Memphis Depay set up 19-year-old Houssem Aouar to steer in a slick second goal for the hosts on 76 minutes.

The former Manchester United winger completed the scoring himself late on after another ex-United player, Morgan Schneiderlin, was sent off for a second booking.

Seven-time European champions AC Milan continued their poor run of form with a 0-0 draw at AEK Athens to pile on the pressure on under-fire manager Vincenzo Montella.

Ricardo Montolivo hit the post on 57 minutes, while Turkey midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu had a powerful drive turned away as Milan remained two points clear of their Greek hosts in Group D.

Vitaliy Buyalskiy fired Dynamo Kiev into the knockout phase after the Ukrainian side secured a 1-0 victory over Group B rivals Young Boys in Switzerland, while Villarreal are on course to advance from Group A after a 2-0 victory at Slavia Prague.

Lazio downed Nice 1-0 in Group K to power into the last 32 with a 100 percent record, but Hoffenheim will have to hope for maximum points in the remaining Group C fixtures after conceding a late equaliser at Istanbul Basaksehir.

Emmanuel Offor

An avid sports fan who is also hooked on movies, music and books. Basically, I PLAYpen & PUNCHlines

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