Europa League Rewind: Zenit holds on vs. Liverpool, Spurs advance, and more

If there was something missing from Thursday’s UEFA Europa League action, it certainly was not drama.

Sixteen teams advanced to the next round of the competition, including a Zenit St Petersburg side that suffered a big scare against Liverpool. The Russian club nearly allowed Liverpool to come back in the two-legged series, giving up three unanswered goals at Anfield to lose, 3-1, but still advancing on away goals on a 3-3 aggregate courtesy of an early strike at from Hulk.

Tottenham were more fortunate, as Spurs advanced on a 3-2 aggregate score after tying Lyon late in their match at Municipal de Gerland. Lyon were on the brink of advancing to the Round of 16 on away goals, but Mousa Dembele broke their hearts with a last-gasp finish that left the home crowd stunned and in disbelief.

One of the biggest surprises in this round was Steaua Bucuresti edging out Ajax on penalty kicks. Steaua Bucuresti rallied from two goals down to pull level on aggregate at 2-2 and after a scoreless extra 30 minutes, the Romanian club won via penalty kicks.

While Steaua Bucuresti completed their comeback, Radamel Falcao and Atletico Madrid could not do the same against Rubin Kazan. Atletico Madrid pulled within one goal on aggregate courtesy of a late strike from Falcao, but the Spanish club never found the equalizing goal and was eliminated despite winning the second leg, 1-0.

Here is a full rundown of today’s results (aggregate score in parenthesis):

FK Rubin Kazan 0-1 (2-1) Atletico Madrid

CFR Cluj-Napoca 0-3 (0-5) Inter Milan

Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk 1-1 (1-3) FC Basel

FC Metalist Kharkiv 0-1 (0-1) Newcastle United

Lazio 2-0 (5-3) Borussia Moenchengladbach

Lyon 1-1 (2-3) Tottenham

Racing Genk 0-2 (1-3) VfB Stuttgart

Benfica 2-1 (3-1) Bayer Lverkusen

Bordeaux 1-0 (2-1) Dynamo Kiev

Chelsea 1-1 (2-1) Sparta Prague

Fenerbahce 1-0 (1-0) BATE Borisov

Hannover 96 1-1 (2-4) Anzhi Makhachkala

Liverpool 3-1 (3-3) Zenit St Petersburg

Olympiakos 0-1 (0-4) Levante

Steaua Bucuresti 2-0 (2-2, 2-1 on penalty kicks) Ajax

Viktoria Pizen 2-0 (5-0) Napoli

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What do you think of these results? Which result surprise you the most? Who do you see winning the tournament?

Share your thoughts below.

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8 Responses to Europa League Rewind: Zenit holds on vs. Liverpool, Spurs advance, and more

  1. Francois says:

    The Czech League looks like it is growing in quality by leaps and bounds. The rest of Europe should be on high alert, because they Czech teams have quality, and play together as a team working hard for one another. They can compete with any team outside of the top tier club teams in Europe.

  2. Span16 says:

    Every young American player should clearly go play in Bucharest to develop. Romania > Holland

  3. Good Jeremy says:

    How did Atletico Madrid get beat in the lowly UEFA league??? Aren’t they the second best team in the best league in the world? Or can we finally admit that the EPL is deeper than anyone else but without the Real Madrid-Barcelona duo at the top.

    • span16 says:

      Or you could make the argument that Serie A is the deepest/best based upon CL and UEFA results from this year and that La Liga and Bundesliga are no good. Or…..you could not make grand assumptions on the strength of a league based upon a tiny sample size.

    • RK says:

      They blew it in the first leg — unable to score in the second half despite being a man up, and gave up a shorthanded goal.

  4. Fiveboroball says:

    Steaua -Ajax 4-2 on pks. Not 2-1

  5. JJ says:

    Germany is by far the deepest league in the world plain and simple

  6. slyboy says:

    Wish there was a blurb or something about Benfica’s win…. plus that first goal from John is literally a must see goal. Also, The Portuguese league is seriously ignored by most despite their consistently strong results