Europa League rewind: Jones scores winner, Manchester clubs ousted & more

Jones (Getty Images)

Jermaine Jones was a Schalke hero on Thursday.

The U.S. national team midfielder scored the deciding goal and assisted on an insurance tally in Schalke's 4-1 victory over FC Twente, capping a furious comeback to keep the German side alive in the UEFA Europa League.

Twente led 1-0 on aggregate entering the match and scored a key away goal to put Schalke in a big hole in the 14th minute. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar scored twice to give Schalke a lifeline, though, and Jones stepped forward with a 71st-minute strike to nudge the club in front.

Jones then assisted Huntelaar, who completed his hat trick 10 minutes later to cap the impressive result and carry Schalke to the tournament quarterfinals.

Video of Jones' goal and results from Thursday's other Europa League action are after the jump:

BILBAO ELIMINATES UNITED

It's official: There will be no European silverware for Manchester United this season.

Marcelo Bielsa's Athletic Bilbao made sure of that, tacking a 2-1, second-leg victory onto their 3-2 advantage from the first leg to eliminate the Red Devils from the Europa League Round of 16 on a 5-3 aggregate.

Fernando Llorente capped a tremendous round with a stellar volley to open the scoring in the 23rd minute, and Oscar de Marcos added another in the second half to put the tie out of reach before Wayne Rooney scored a consolation goal in the 80th minute.

For United, their only chance at silverware this season — aside from August's Community Shield — is if they win the Premier League title. They failed to qualify for the UEFA Champions League knockout stage and were knocked out of the Carling Cup in the Round of 16 and FA Cup in the fourth round prior to Thursday's loss.

SPORTING CP ELIMINATES MAN CITY

There won't be any European silverware for Manchester City, either.

Oguchi Onyewu might be rehabbing his knee injury, but his teammates are moving on to the quarterfinals after getting by the favored English side.

Carrying a 1-0 edge into Thursday's action, Sporting advanced despite blowing a 2-0 lead and losing 3-2 in the second leg.

Matias Fernandez and Ricky von Wolfswinkel scored to put Sporting in control before halftime, but Sergio Aguero had two goals sandwich a Mario Balotelli penalty kick to level the aggregate score. Sporting advanced via its away goal from the first leg.

ALTIDORE, AZ HOLD OFF UDINESE

A second-minute red card and conceding two early goals figured to doom AZ Alkmaar, but the U.S. forward Jozy Altidore's side persisted to stay alive and move on to the quarterfinals despite a 2-1 loss in Italy.

AZ carried a 2-0 edge from the first leg into Thursday's match, but Nick Viergever's 2nd-minute red card allowed Antonio di Natale to pull back an early goal from the penalty spot. Di Natale struck again in the 15th minute to even the tie and 

Erik Falkenburg's 31st-minute goal restored confidence for AZ, accounting for an important away goal and giving the Dutch side the aggregate lead, and the 10-man outfit held on for a 3-2 series win. Altidore started, played all 90 minutes and picked up a yellow card for AZ.

CHERUNDOLO, HANNOVER CRUISE

Steve Cherundolo and Hannover 96 will be joining Altidore in the quarterfinals after making quick work of Standard Liege with a 4-0 pasting in Germany.

The two teams were level on a 2-2 aggregate entering the match, but Mohammed Abdellaoue scored in the 4th minute, and Liege's Kanu accounted for two own goals on either side of halftime to put things out of reach. Sergio Pinto tacked on the final score in second-half stoppage time.

Cherundolo started and went the distance for Hannover.

In the rest of the Round of 16 ties:

PSV 1, Valencia 1 (Valencia advances on 5-3 aggregate) 

Besiktas 0, Atletico Madrid 3 (Atletico Madrid advances on 6-1 aggregate)

Olympiakos 1, Metalist Kharkiv 2 (Metalist Kharkiv advances on 2-2 aggregate, away goal tiebreaker)

The quarterfinal draw featuring Schalke, AZ Alkmaar, Hannover 96, Sporting Lisbon, Athletic Bilbao, Atletico Madrid, Valencia and Metalist Kharkiv is slated for Friday.

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What do you think about the Europa League quarterfinal field? Impressed with Athletic Bilbao's showing? Surprised that both Manchester teams crashed out? Happy to see so many Americans still alive in European competition?

Share your thoughts below. 

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25 Responses to Europa League rewind: Jones scores winner, Manchester clubs ousted & more

  1. BBB says:

    I would like to nominate “Ricky von Wolfswinkel” for every possible award available.

  2. abc says:

    Hey hey hey, Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink, Altidore’s old forward partner from his days on loan with Hull City, was on the bench for PSV when they were eliminated by Valencia today.

  3. marco says:

    Great week for USMNT players’ sides in tournaments, 6 winning sides.

  4. mark says:

    I watched the AZ-Udinese game and I’m glad AZ won. However, Jozy did his usual jog around routine. He is just a scared player afraid to fight hard despite how big he looks.

    I hope Herculez Gomez can get a chance to start alongside Clint Dempsey for the USMNT sometime soon, b/c I’m so tired of seeing Jozy trot around the field.

  5. 2tone says:

    Congrats to Jozy, Jones, and Dolo. To bad Onyewu is out with an injury.

  6. 2tone says:

    He was man of the match the first leg there buddy. I love how haters will find just one thing in one game to hate against a player. Jozy is btter than Herc. I liek Herc, but I am just stating facts. Hercules Gomez is not suited for the lone CF position. he is better at RF in a 4-3-3 or the second forward in a 4-4-2.

  7. KenC says:

    Great turn by Jones. Is Farfan the Peruvian who played with Beasley at PSV? He was very good.

  8. SD says:

    Yup the same Farfan

  9. abc says:

    Gooch was hanging out with Stu:
    link to twitter.com

  10. john says:

    Most of the articles i read rated him at about a 7.0 or one of the top performers on his team. Either they all are wrong or you are the best soccer analyst in the world.

  11. Patrick says:

    I refuse to feed trolls!

  12. hogatroge says:

    You must not know what to watch for. By all other accounts, Jozy’s hold up play significantly contributed to AZ’s hanging in there.

    Also, Herc is a poacher. He can’t hold the ball up like Jozy, and in international competition, that’s pretty important. See Jozy’s assist against Italy.

  13. Ski Fast! says:

    That is EXACTLY the same question I had when I first watched the video here.

  14. Avaheli says:

    Where are you finding these players ratings? The only ones I can find seem to be either fan based or written by the most bias sources…

  15. paul says:

    totally unrelated post. but has anyone determined what universal sports’s online (/streaming) presence is for the men’s Olympic qualifiers?

    no cable here. streaming’s all I got.

  16. Dr Rosenrosen says:

    agreed, it almost sounds fake its that awesome

  17. steveo says:

    Europa League? More like Americana League, youknowhatI’msayin’

  18. Dave says:

    ” Sporting advanced via its away goal from the first leg.” ????

    Wouldn’t that be the 2 away goals in the 2nd leg?

  19. I didn’t watch the game, but I read a few reports, and it sounds like Altidore had a solid game. Watch the goal: He was instrumental in the goal by allowing his team to build an attack, which led to the winning goal. How do you not see this?

    link to 101greatgoals.com

  20. wildchild says:

    Jones is a beast. One of mu fav Nats up there Demps.

  21. wides says:

    haters gonna hate, nothing we say will convince this idiot.

    Jozy looked solid, held up play, drew fouls. Had some good touches. All that you would want from him.

  22. BbB says:

    You’re feeling me. With a name like that it wouldn’t matter if he was horrible or not.

  23. blaise213 says:

    my n@gga !

  24. Ryan says:

    I was so pissed when i discovered him in fifa and didnt have the money to sign him.

  25. marco says:

    Agree, he has been the best passer in the AZ attack for several months now. However he’s getting almost zero return service from the wings.