Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Galatasaray advance and knock Marseille out of Europa League

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Galatasaray reached the Europa League knockout stages with a pulsating 4-2 home win over Olympique de Marseille on Thursday which eliminated the Ligue 1 side from Europe’s second-tier competition.

Lazio joined the Turkish side from Group E after two Ciro Immobile penalties helped the Italians to a 3-0 win at Lokomotiv Moscow, while Bayer Leverkusen advanced from Group G after a rollercoaster 3-2 home win over Celtic.

Roared on by a fervent home crowd, Galatasaray took a 12th-minute lead as Alexandru Cicaldau rifled in a shot from 15 metres before Duje Caleta-Car turned the Romanian’s low cross into his own net.

Sofiane Feghouli made it 3-0 with a tap-in before Arkadiusz Milik pulled one back when he scored on the rebound after Mulsera parried the Polish striker’s penalty.

Ryan Babel netted Galatasaray’s fourth with a sublime finish and Milik’s late header was scant consolation for Marseille.

Lazio had a Toma Basic header cleared off the line before Immobile converted his second-half spot-kicks in quick succession, sending home keeper Daniil Khudyakov the wrong way with the first before he drilled in the second off the post.

Pedro Rodriguez sealed Lazio’s win after a quick break.

Robert Andrich fired Leverkusen ahead and grabbed an 82nd-minute equaliser after Josip Juranovic and Jota had turned the tide for Celtic, with Moussa Diaby netting an 87th-minute winner to send the Bundesliga side through.

They were joined by Spaniards Real Betis, who eased to a 2-0 home win over Hungary’s Ferencvaros thanks to goals from Cristian Tello and Sergio Canales.

West Ham had already booked their place in the knockout stages and they stayed top of Group H after first-half goals from Andriy Yarmolenko and Mark Noble secured a 2-0 win at Rapid Vienna.

Dinamo Zagreb missed a chance to join them as they were held to a 1-1 home draw by Belgium’s Genk, with both sides still in contention to clinch the runners-up spot in the last round of games on Dec.7.

Group F is still wide open after Red Star Belgrade beat Ludogorets 1-0 thanks to a Mirko Ivanic effort and Midtjylland ground out a 3-2 home win over Braga, Evander Ferreira netting a stoppage-time penalty for the Danish side.

Red Star, Braga and Midtjylland are vying for the two knockout berths.

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