Europa League’s Last 16 First Leg Part Two

Satish Sekar
By Satish Sekar March 20, 2016 14:27


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Europa League’s Last 16 First Leg Part Two

The Business End

The pick of the night’s matches was Liverpool against Manchester United at Anfield, although the all-Spanish tie of Valencia against Athletic Club of Bilbao at the San Mamés is not far behind after Valencia’s demolition of Rapid Wien in the last 32. Raúl García Escudero gave the hosts the lead after 20 minutes and Aritz Aduriz Zubeldia missed a golden opportunity to double their lead shortly afterwards. Rodrigo Moreno Machado had opportunities for Valencia that he spurned too.

Towards the end Valencia chased an equaliser but it never came. The tie is evenly poised for the second leg next week. Meanwhile, Villarreal beat Bayer Leverkusen at the Madrigal. French striker Cédric Bakambu gave the yellow submarines the dream start, scoring after 4 minutes and he added a second after 56 minutes.

Lazio travelled to the Czech capital to play Sparta Praha. They drew 1-1. Martin Frýdek put Sparta ahead after 13 minutes. 25 minutes later Marco Parolo equalised. Lazio take the away goal back to Rome for the second leg next week.

Back to Form

The quarter-final of the World Cup in Fortaleza aside, Carlos Velasco Carballo has a good reputation – firm but fair. He lived up to it again tonight. It took him just two minutes to brandish the yellow card at Jordan Henderson for a challenge with his foot up – there was no connection. Memphis Depay, was the next to earn Velasco Carballo’s wrath. Roberto Firmino’s pass wrong-footed Depay. The Dutchman caught Nathaniel Clyne – penalty. Daniel Sturridge beat a very impressive David de Gea.

Manchester United’s keeper denied Philippe Coutinho in either half, Sturridge and Adam Lallana – all presentable opportunities. The Spanish referee also booked Dejan Lovren for a foul on Depay, Marcus Rashford for fouling Alberto Moreno, and, in the second half, Coutinho for simulation and Marouane Fellaini for fouling Clyne.

Lallana picked up the scraps of a poor clearance by Michael Carrick to set up Firmino to double Liverpool’s lead from close range after 73 minutes. Fellaini could have received a second yellow for a high challenge on Henderson, but surprisingly Velasco Carballo was content with awarding the free-kick

Satish Sekar
By Satish Sekar March 20, 2016 14:27