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Successful night for La Liga sides in Europe – UEFA Europa League Round Up

Successful night for La Liga sides in Europe – UEFA Europa League Round Up

Five times Europa League winners Sevilla were 1-0 victors over Lazio in their first leg in Rome, thanks to a goal from Wissam Ben Yedder.

The only goal of the game came midway through the first half when a Sevilla counter attack ended with Pablo Sarabia playing a low ball across goal to Ben Yedder to tap the ball into the empty net.

Lazio almost grabbed a quick equaliser five minutes later when Adam Marusic’s shot squirmed through Tomas Vaclik, but Simon Kjaer was on hand to clear the ball off the line.

Sevilla’s best chance of the second half fell the way of Sergio Escudero when he drilled a shot goalwards, but Francesco Acerbi managed to block the effort.

Lucas Leiva came close to levelling the game late on when his placed effort went just wide of the post from the edge of the box.

Due to neighbours Real Betis also playing at home next week, the second leg of the tie with Lazio will take place on Wednesday at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.

SS Lazio v Sevilla - UEFA Europa League Round Of 32 : News Photo

Valencia also won away from home in their first leg, defeating Celtic 2-0 in Glasgow.

Los Che went close to opening the scoring after 18 minutes when Daniel Wass sent a header on target but Scott Bain was able to scramble across goal to claw the ball away for a corner.

Three minutes before the break however, the Spaniards did take the lead through Denis Cheryshev.

Ruben Sobrino was played onside by Emilio Izaguirre and the former Alaves man then set up Cheryshev to roll the ball into the net.

The same pair combined after the restart to double Valencia’s lead when Cheryshev’s cross from the left was sidefooted past Bain by Sobrino.

Cristian Piccini then forced Bain into another save soon after as the Celtic defence began to look nervous.

In the end however, it was a comfortable victory for the La Liga side and they’ll look to complete the job at Mestalla next week.

Real Betis scored in stoppage time to complete an impressive comeback in a 3-3 draw with Ligue 1 side Rennes at Roazhon Park.

Los Verdiblancos got off to the worst possible start, falling behind after just two minutes when Mehdi Zeffane’s low cross found Adrien Hunou who had the simple task of knocking the ball into the back of the net.

Hatem Ben Arfa then smashed a free kick against the crossbar with a slight touch from Joel Robles in the Betis goal.

From the resultant corner however, Ismaila Sarr returned the ball goalwards with Robles getting a hand to it, but unfortunately for him, the ball rebounded off the leg of Javi Garcia and into the net.

Just after the 30 minute mark, Betis halved the deficit when Joaquin won back possession and found Loren Moron who in turn set up Giovani Lo Celso to find the net, despite slipping as he took his shot.

The goal seemed to give the away side the confidence to attack and they went close on several occasions in the next ten minutes with both Diego Lainez and Loren denied by Tomas Koubek while Sergio Canales fired a shot wide.

Despite the La Liga side looking the more likely to score, it was the hosts who got the fourth goal of the game when they were awarded a penalty in stoppage time.

Sarr went down under a challenge from Andres Guardado and was awarded a penalty, although replays appeared to show Guardado got a touch of the ball.

Ben Arfa sent Robles the wrong way from the spot to restore the French side’s two goal lead at the break.

At the start of the second half, Canales saw his volley pushed onto the post by Koubek but on 63 minutes, they did make it 3-2.

Joaquin’s free-kick to the back post found Sidnei who headed the ball into the net.

Just as it looked like Rennes had done enough to hold on however, a corner found its way to the back post where Diego Lainez volleyed the ball across into the far corner to level the score.

FBL-EUR-C3-RENNES-BETIS : News Photo

A third minute goal from Alfonso Pedraza was enough to earn Villarreal a first leg win over Sporting Club in Lisbon.

Full back Pedraza was on hand to slam the ball home from just inside the box when it broke his way in the early stages of the game.

In the second half, Pablo Fornals forced a save from Romain Salin while at the other end, a fantastic reaction save by Andres Fernandez denied Bas Dost an equaliser for the Portuguese.

Marcos Acuna was then shown a second yellow card with 13 minutes remaining as Villarreal saw out the game to give them the advantage for the return.

Sporting CP v Villarreal - UEFA Europa League Round of 32: First Leg : News Photo

Fixtures:

Wednesday 20th February

Sevilla vs Lazio (1-0) 5pm

Thursday 21st February

Valencia vs Celtic (2-0) 5:55pm

Villarreal vs Sporting Club (1-0) 5:55pm

Real Betis vs Rennes (3-3) 8pm