Aubameyang kicks Gunners into Europa League last 16, Man U, Tots in but Leicester falls.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang rescued the Gunners Arsenal's Europa League campaign from the jaws of defeat as his late winner secured a dramatic 3-2 victory over Benfica in Greece.

Arsenal were staring down the barrel of elimination at the round-of-32 stage for the second successive season after Diogo Goncalves' stunning first-half free-kick and Rafa Silva's second - after a costly Dani Ceballos error - gifted Benfica the advantage after Aubameyang's opener.

The collapse left Arsenal with half an hour to salvage their season, and they rose to the challenge in thrilling fashion.

Kieran Tierney's venomous strike sparked the comeback, which was sealed with three minutes remaining when Aubameyang peeled away to the back post to head in Bukayo Saka's cross, and Arsenal into the last 16 of the Europa League after a 4-3 aggregate win.

Man United are also into the Europa League last-16 as they beat Real Sociedad 4-0 on aggregate following a goalless draw at Old Trafford Thursday evening.

The Red Devils cruised to a 4-0 first-leg away win over Sociedad last time out, leaving the Spanish side needing to score a minimum of four goals in 90 minutes to avoid exiting the round of 32.

That impressive away victory meant Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was able to make some changes as the games come thick and fast for United, though Bruno Fernandes captained a surprisingly strong starting lineup.

Solskjaer’s side are sitting second in the Premier League table, but the race for a top-four finish could go down to the wire. With Europa League glory offering automatic qualification for next season’s Champions League, United secured the result necessary while also bringing on the likes of Amad Diallo and Shola Shoretire to finish the game with half the players on the pitch having come through the academy.

Jose Maurinho boys in the Tottenham HotSpurs roasted Granad with a 4-0 win on Thursday to make an 8-1 posting; Rangers blasted Belgian club Antwep 5-2 to post a 9-2 victory while Molde dismissed Hoffenheim 2-0 making a 5-3 victory and Ajax defeated Lille 2-1 to make 4-2 scaling.

Shaktar Donestsk managed a good 1-0 victory over MTel Aviv after a 2-0 away win; Zagreb got 1-0 victory over Krasnodaro and it was 4-2 aggregate win; Roma moved on with 3-1 bashing of Bruga after a 2-0 away win.

The big losers were Leicester that lost 0-2 to Slavia Praha after earning an goalless away game; Milan crashed out on away goals with a 1-1 draw ending 3-3 on aggregate; giant killers Young boys shocked Leverkusen with a 2-0 win at Lever ground after 4-3 Ist leg game and mighty PSV though won Olympiacos of Greece 2-1 on Thursday but the Greek team sailed into the last 16 on 5-4 aggregate.

UEFA Europa League round of 16 draw comes up at Nyon - Friday 26 February 2021, 04:00 – Nigerian time.



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