Europa League Round-Up: AC Milan progressed to Last-16

Europa League round-up: AC Milan withstand Rennes fightback to progress to last-16 despite a 3-2 loss in the second leg.

Joining Rossoneri will be AS Roma, who edged Feyenoord after the breathtaking penalties.

Rennes 2-3 AC Milan (3-5 Agg.) Highlights

Milan beat the French opponent in the first leg at San Siro, but the return leg was no more hot knife through butter.

Benjamin Bourigeaud pulled a brilliant hat trick and gave the Ligue 1 outfit slight hope. Still, it was not enough, as Luka Jovic and Rafael Leao scored in each half to see the Italian preventatives advance.

Bourigeaud netted the opener in the 11th minute with a thunderous right-footed shot from over 20 meters to beat goalkeeper Mike Maignan. Forward Jović canceled it out 10 minutes later with a header off a cross by captain Theo Hernández.

Luka Jovic scored against Rennes in the Europa League play-off
Luka Jovic scored against Rennes in the Europa League play-off

Renne’s key player, Bourigeaud, made it 2-1 early in the second from the penalty spot, but Leão equalized after four minutes on a fine solo effort. Bourigeaud sent Maignan the wrong way with another spot kick to make it 3-2.

The eight runners-up in the Europa League group stage played the eight third-place teams from the Champions League group stage in the playoffs.

Other Europa League highlights

Milan’s neighbors, AS Roma, needed the shoot-outs to qualify for the knock-out stage.

Nicola Zalewski converted the decisive spot kick for Roma to prevail 4-2 in a penalty shootout over Feyenoord to qualify for the next round.

Roma needed their captain, Lorenzo Pellegrini’s leveler to tie it a 1-1 after Santiago Giménez’s fifth-minute header gave the Dutch team a 1-0 lead and silenced more than 67,000 fans at Stadio Olimpico. The teams also drew 1-1 in the opening leg in Rotterdam.

Europa League play-offs results including AC Milan
Europa League play-offs results including AC Milan

Qarabag edged past Braga 6-5 on aggregate after a stoppage-time goal from Nariman Akhundzade at the end of extra time.

Over to SC Freiburg, the Bundesliga side beat Lens 3-2 and progressed to next round after extra time, with the first leg in France ended in goalless. On German soil Roland Sallai scored twice, including a stoppage-time equalizer, as Freiburg recovered from 2-0 down on the night to beat the Ligue 1 side.

There was, though, no such drama as Benfica held out for a 0-0 draw at Toulouse to complete a 2-1 aggregate win.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was on target as Marseille beat Shakhtar Donetsk 3-1 at Stade Velodrome to go through 5-3 on aggregate. The former Arsenal and Dortmund star now became Europa League’s all-time top scorer with 31 goals.

Sparta Prague overturned a first-leg deficit to knock out Galatasaray.

The Czech league leaders had been beaten 3-2 in Istanbul but turned the tie around with a 4-1 home win after Galatasaray defender Kaan Ayhan had been sent off in the second half.

Sporting Lisbon drew 1-1 against Young Boys at Estadio Jose Alvalade to round off a 4-2 aggregate win.

Europa League Last-16 qualified teams

Group winners:

  • Liverpool
  • West Ham
  • Brighton
  • Leverkusen
  • Atalanta
  • Villarreal
  • Rangers
  • Slavia Prague
AC Milan will face strong opponents in the Last-16 ties of Europa League
AC Milan will face strong opponents in the Last-16 ties of Europa League

Advanced by Play-offs

  • AC Milan
  • AS Roma
  • Qarabag
  • Benfica
  • Marseille
  • Sparta Prague
  • SC Freiburg
  • Sporting Lisbon

The draw is scheduled for Friday.