Two supposedly favourite ones in Europa League this season, Ajax Amsterdam and Arsenal failed to live up their fans’ expectation in the continental campaign. Their chance to get through the semifinal is getting tougher.
De Amsterdammers were defeated 1-2 by AS Roma at their home turf. They took the lead at the first half by Davy Klaessen after taking advantage of Dusan Tadic’s pass in the six yard box. They had a chance to double their lead through a penalty. Unfortunately, the Serbia captain Dusan Tadic, was unable to find the back of the net as it was denied by Pau Lopez. At the early second half, it was Giallorossi which took control of the game. Paulo Fonseca’s men levelled the score sheet as Lorenzo Pellegrini’s free kick led to their young goalie’s error on 57th minute as he lost the ball out of his hand. Roma’s winning goal came on 87th minute as Ibanez blasted it home. Now Edin Dzeko and Co only need to pick up another win or draw without any concession in the second leg next week.
Ajax vs AS Roma 1-2
Goals: Davy Klaessen (39); Lorenzo Pellegrini (57), Ibanez (87)
Ajax: K Scherpen – Lisandro Martinez, Nicolas Tagliafico, Timber, Devyne Rensch (Sean Klaiber 79) – Davy Klaessen, Edson Alvarez, Ryan Gravenberch – Anthony (Oussama Idrissi 88), Dusan Tadic, David Neres (Brian Brobbey 64)
AS Roma: Pau Lopez – Gianluca Mancini, Ibanez, Bryan Cristante – Diawara, Jordan Veretrout (Gonzalo Villar 77), Leandro Spinazzola (Riccardo Calafiori 29), Bruno Peres – Edin Dzeko (Borja Mayoral 77), Pedro (Carles Perez 89), Lorenzo Pellegrini.
Meanwhile, in London, The Gunners wasted the opportunity to secure a win at their home turf. They could only muster a 1-1 draw while playing host to the dark horse Slavia Prague. After knocking on thr door of the Czech’s side’s defence, including two shots from Alexander Lacazette and Willian hitting the post, Arsenal could open the scoring on 86th minute through Nicolas Pepe. Nevertheless, before the final whistle, the rumble in Mikel Arteta’s men’s penalty box led to an equaliser by Tomas Holes’s header. It was an unfortunate event for Granit Xhaka and Co. Now they will have to struggle for sealing a semifinal ticket away from home. The two remaining games which involve two Spanish clubs, Granada and Villareal, ended in contrast to each other. Granada was unable to level Manchester United’s form and lost 0-2 by Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes’s penalty whereas Villareal could snatch a narrow 1-0 win over Croatia Zagreb.
Arsenal vs Slavia Prague 1-1
Goals: Nicolas Pepe (86); Tomas Holes (92)
Arsenal: Bernd Leno – Rob Holding, Cedric Soares, Gabriel Magalhaes, Hector Bellerin - Granit Xhaka, Thomas Partey (Mohammed Elneny 78), Bukayo Saka (Nicolas Pepe 78), Emile Smith Rowe (Dani Ceballos 88), Willian (Gabriel Martinelli 73) –
Slavia Prague : Kolar – Tomas Holes, Bah, David Zima, Boril – Provod, Nicolas Stanciu (Lukas Masopust 84), Jakub Hromada (Petrs Sevcik 46) – Peter Olayinka (Ibrahim Traore 86), Murphy Dorley (Ondrej Lingr 47), Abdallah Sima (Jan Kuchta 69)
Croatia Zagreb vs Villareal 0-1
Granada vs Manchester United 0-2