Aubameyang sends Arsenal into Europa League last 16 as Rangers advance
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored two goals, including a late winner when Arsenal qualified for the last 16 of the Europa League on Thursday. In the home game against Greece there was an exciting 3-2 win against Benfica.
The Gabonese striker gave Arsenal the lead at Karaiskakis Stadium in Piraeus after a 1-1 draw in the first leg that was played in Rome between Portugal and the UK due to Covid-19 travel restrictions.
Diogo Goncalves tied the tie with a great curling free kick and Rafa Silva put Benfica 2-1 ahead on the night as he took advantage of Dani Ceballos' mistakes every hour on the hour.
Kieran Tierney equalized and Aubameyang headed the decisive goal from Bukayo Saka's cross in the 87th minute. The Gunners scored a 4-3 aggregate victory and saved them from an unusual away goal.
"Everyone is happy tonight. It gives me strength every day, takes past mistakes and turns me into strength," Aubameyang told BT Sport.
"The team showed a lot of character and we deserved the win. It was a tough game. What we showed tonight will set an example for the future."
Steven Gerrard's Rangers have evolved after their 5-2 win over Belgian club Antwerp at Ibrox. Five different players were on target for the Scottish leaders.
After a dramatic 4-3 first leg win last week, goals from Alfredo Morelos, Nathan Patterson and Ryan Kent brought Rangers under control before Borna Barisic and Cedric Itten's late penalties closed the draw 5-10.
Napoli's sad run continued when they were beaten 3-2 by Granada after winning 2-1 in the second leg in Italy.
Ajax eliminated French Ligue 1 leaders Lille with a 2-1 win in Amsterdam and took them 4-2 on aggregate. Gerard Moreno scored both goals when Villarreal beat Salzburg 4-1 overall.
Former winners Shakhtar Donetsk scored a 3-0 aggregate win over Maccabi Tel-Aviv, while Norwegians Molde beat Hoffenheim 5-3 after a 2-0 win in Germany.
Manchester United already have one foot in their last 16 after beating Real Sociedad 4-0 last week. This moved the first leg of this game from Spain to Italy after the Spanish government introduced a ban on arrivals by air from Great Britain.
Meanwhile, Leicester City, behind second-placed United in the Premier League only because of the goal difference, has a lot to do after a 0-0 draw last week in the second leg against Czech champions Slavia Prague.
AC Milan face Red Star Belgrade after a 2-2 draw in Serbia.
The draw for the last 16 will take place on Friday, with Tottenham Hotspur also being in the mix, who sold Wolfsberg from Austria with a total score of 8: 1.
mw / dj
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