Section: Europa League

Europa League: Dynamo Kiev 5-2 Everton

England’s last remaining team exited European competition as Everton were soundly beaten in their last-16 Europa League tie against Dynamo Kiev.

In a week where Manchester City and Arsenal exited the Champions League, poor defending cost Everton in Ukraine, as they lost 6-4 on aggregate.

Romelu Lukaku’s strike cancelled out Andriy Yarmolenko’s wonderful opener.

But Lukasz Teodorczyk, Miguel Veloso, Oleg Gusev and Antunes scored, before Phil Jagielka’s headed consolation.

Everton’s resounding defeat ends a dismal month for English sides in Europe, with Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham also knocked out.

The collective failings mean the country does not have a side in the last eight of the Europa League or Champions League for the first time since 1995.

It will pose further questions on the strength of the domestic game and Martinez will likely be quizzed about his team’s defensive generosity as they surrendered a 2-1 first-leg lead in their first European away loss of the season.

Though they can look at two Ross Barkley efforts which hit the post as unfortunate, indecision littered their work at the back as hopes of a first European trophy since 1985 were ended.

Read more at BBC Sport

Europa League: Everton 2-1 Dynamo Kiev

Everton once again produced a Europa League performance in contrast to their domestic displays as Romelu Lukaku’s late penalty secured them a 2-1 come-from-behind victory in their last-16 first leg against Dynamo Kiev.

The Toffees started the contest at Goodison Park poorly and fell behind in the 14th minute to an Oleg Gusev finish, but they improved markedly as the first half went on and equalised in the 39th as Lukaku’s strength allowed him to set up a Steven Naismith strike.

Roberto Martinez’s side did their best to sustain the momentum after the break, but it looked as if they would be frustrated in their attempts to add another goal.

However, a handball from Danilo Silva eight minutes from time saw referee Carlos Velasco Carballo award a spot-kick which Lukaku converted, making him Everton’s all-time record European scorer with seven goals and sealing the advantage in the tie for his side.

Martinez’s men have been struggling in the Barclays Premier League this term but they continue to impress in continental action and will fancy their chances of emerging from next week’s second leg in Kiev with a quarter-final place booked.

They are the only British club left in the competition, and 24 hours after Chelsea’s dramatic exit from the Champions League, this result also lifted some of the gloom that has been surrounding the overall performance of Premier League and Scottish Premiership sides in Europe this term.

At first, Everton seemed afflicted by the same uncertainty they have shown domestically as they came under early pressure from a dynamic Dynamo outfit.

That pressure soon reaped dividends for the Ukrainian league leaders when Antolin Alcaraz sliced the ball behind for a corner.

Andriy Yarmolenko sent it into the box and, with the Everton defence slow to react, Gusev nipped around a clutch of blue shirts to meet the delivery with a neat volley past Tim Howard at the near post.

The hosts were initially unable to get much going at all in response, aside from Kevin Mirallas thrusting his hand into the face of Atunes to earn a booking.

 

Sergei Sydorchuk lashed a shot off-target and saw a low drive turned behind by Howard either side of Phil Jagielka blocking Dieumerci Mbokani’s header.

A chance of sorts did present itself for Everton just after the half-hour when Dynamo goalkeeper Oleksandr Shovkovskiy came haring out of his box and made a hash of his attempted clearance, with the ball falling to Lukaku, but the striker’s lob was off target.

Moments later, Alcaraz caused a scare at the other end by inadvertently playing in Mbokani, who was unable to take advantage.

However, Everton then suddenly came to life. Lukaku’s free-kick skimmed the top of the bar, a corner was given and from the delivery, Jagielka’s header was cleared off the line by Silva, with Alacaraz subsequently shooting narrowly over.

Within three minutes of that the game was level, Lukaku battling well to hold off several Dynamo players and tee up Naismith, who slotted home.

Another home goal appeared set to follow swiftly when Mirallas took the ball around Shovkovskiy but the winger failed to pick out fellow Belgium international Lukaku.

Everton looked to keep their foot on the pedal as the second half got under way and after an Alcaraz long-range shot was fumbled by Shovkovskiy, Naismith glanced a header wide from a corner.

Dynamo replied with Mbokani nodding onto the roof of the net and Martinez then replaced Mirallas with Arouna Kone, who swiftly saw Shovkovskiy get down to claim his header.

Further efforts were traded, with Yarmolenko shooting over and a Lukaku strike gathered by Shovkovskiy.

Everton then snatched victory on the night when substitute Leon Osman diverted the ball against the hand of Silva and the resulting penalty was slotted in — just about — by Lukaku.

In the dying moments Lukaku’s cross was nodded goalwards by Osman and Naismith failed to connect on the stretch — but Everton fans were happy enough at the final whistle.

 Read more at ESPN

Europa League: Everton 3-1 BSC Young Boys

Romelu Lukaku scored two goals to reach a total of five in the tie as Everton cruised past Young Boys to progress to the Europa League last 16.

The Belgian striker followed up his hat-trick in the 4-1 win in Switzerland with two more after Sekou Sanogo had given the visitors the lead.

Kevin Mirallas then made it 3-1 before the break as Everton ensured a safe passage into Friday’s last-16 draw.

They are now the only British side remaining in the Europa League.

The Merseysiders are flying the flag after Liverpool, Tottenham and Celtic all exited the competition on Thursday.

A similar fate was never likely to befall Roberto Martinez’s side after their exploits in Bern last week but a slow start to this encounter gave Young Boys a glimmer of hope and left the Goodison Park crowd frustrated.

Read more at BBC Sport

Europa League: Fiorentina 2-0 Spurs

Tottenham exited the Europa League after an error-strewn 2-0 defeat by Fiorentina gave the Italian side a 3-1 aggregate win.

Mario Gomez raced clear after a second-half mistake by Federico Fazio and slid the ball under Hugo Lloris.

Chelsea loanee Mohamed Salah sealed the win after a blunder by Jan Vertonghen.

Spurs needed to score in Florence, but were unable to make a breakthrough, with striker Roberto Soldado wasting a golden first-half opportunity.

The Spanish striker was played clean through by Erik Lamela’s swept pass after Spurs broke quickly from a corner, but he scuffed his attempt to square the ball to Nacer Chadli and keeper Neto gathered.

The result is a blow for Spurs before their biggest game of the season so far – the League Cup final against Chelsea on Sunday.

Read more at BBC Sport

Europa League: Besiktas 1-0 Liverpool (5-4 on penalties)

Liverpool lost their first European penalty shootout as Besiktas knocked them out of the Europa League.

Centre-back Dejan Lovren missed the crucial spot-kick after Tolgay Arslan’s 20-yard curler forced extra-time in the round of 32 second leg.

Daniel Sturridge’s shot was beaten out by Cenk Gonen as Liverpool failed to make their first-half superiority tell.

Besiktas were the better side after that, and almost sealed the tie in 90 minutes as Demba Ba hit the crossbar.

Slaven Bilic’s side deserved to go through after recovering from a dreadful opening 45 minutes to dominate the game, meaning that Liverpool are left with the FA Cup as their last realistic hope of a trophy this season.

Liverpool were missing a number of injured key players – including captain Steven Gerrard, vice-captain Jordan Henderson, centre-back Mamadou Sakho and playmaker Philippe Coutinho.

Read more at BBC Sport

Europa League: BSC Young Boys 1-4 Everton

Romelu Lukaku responded to recent fan criticism with a first Everton hat-trick in a fine Europa League round of 32 first-leg win over Young Boys.

The striker angered supporters earlier this month by telling a newspaper that he hoped to leave for a “top club”.

He struck with a header, a right-foot shot and a left-foot shot after Young Boys scored through Guillaume Hoarau.

Seamus Coleman scored Everton’s second, while Hoarau missed a second-half penalty after John Stones was sent off.

Since making a permanent £28m move to Everton from Chelsea in July, Lukaku has struggled to reach the levels of form he showed during a loan spell at Goodison Park last season.

But he had a prolific evening against a Young Boys side who struggled with their offside trap all evening, and could have had at least two more goals after completing his hat-trick.

Uli Forte’s side could point to the fact that two of Everton’s three first-half goals looked to be offside.

But Everton deserve immense credit for adapting so well to the synthetic surface at the Stade de Suisse, having spent time in the build-up to the match training on the artificial pitch of rugby league side Widnes Vikings.

They had to come back from a goal down as Young Boys, who had won their previous seven European games, scored with their first shot on target amid poor defending.

Raphael Nuzzolo broke down the left and played a square pass to former Paris St-Germain striker Hoarau, who was not closed down by Phil Jagielka and curled a right-foot shot beyond keeper Tim Howard from 25 yards.

Home keeper Yvon Mvogo made a fine double save to stop Lukaku’s shot on the turn and Ross Barkley’s follow-up, but perhaps should have kept out Everton’s equaliser.

Gareth Barry chipped a ball in from the left, and Lukaku got in front of centre-back Steve von Bergen to direct a downward header that bounced inside the post despite Mvogo getting a hand to it.

Everton were in front four minutes later thanks to a fine move, although Steven Naismith looked offside as he collected Barkley’s return pass before playing the ball through the keeper’s legs for Coleman to turn in at the far post.

The visitors were soon two goals clear as Bryan Oviedo’s back heel set up Barry to deliver a deflected cross that Lukaku touched in from three yards, as Young Boys appealed in vain again for offside.

Either side of that goal, Everton could have conceded, with Howard making a double save from Hoarau and Nuzzolo before James McCarthy made a remarkable clearance with his knee to turn Sekou Sanogo’s goalbound shot on to the post.

Lukaku broke away to complete his hat-trick shortly before the hour mark, coolly lofting the ball beyond Mvogo.

Everton’s night was soured when Stones received the first red card of his career, dragging down Hoarau and conceding a penalty after being beaten for pace by the France striker.

But Hoarau lifted his penalty well over the crossbar and it was the visitors who should have scored further goals, with Lukaku turning substitute Luke Garbutt’s cross wide from five yards, and then seeing a shot saved by Mvogo after being put through.

Read more at BBC Sport

Europa League: Liverpool 1-0 Besiktas

Mario Balotelli scored a late penalty to give Liverpool a narrow lead over Besiktas following a tense Europa League first leg at Anfield.

Liverpool were awarded the kick after Jordon Ibe was fouled by Ramon Motta.

Balotelli and Jordan Henderson disputed who would actually take the penalty before the Italy striker grabbed the ball and confidently converted.

Demba Ba went close for the Turkish side before the break when he broke clear but Simon Mignolet saved.

Read more at BBC Sport

Europa League: Spurs 1-1 Fiorentina

Tottenham face a battle to remain in the Europa League after being held to a round of 32 first-leg draw by Fiorentina at White Hart Lane.

Roberto Soldado volleyed in a sixth-minute opener from Paulinho’s corner as Spurs dominated the opening half-hour.

But Argentina centre-back Jose Maria Basanta scrambled in an away goal that gives Vincenzo Montella’s side the edge ahead of next week’s second leg.

Nacer Chadli hit the bar for Spurs, who faded after half-time.

Read more at BBC Sport

Europa League: Celtic v Inter, Liverpool v Besiktas

Celtic have been drawn against Inter Milan in the last 32 of the Europa League, with Liverpool facing Turkish side Besiktas.

Tottenham play Serie A side Fiorentina, Everton face Swiss club Young Boys, while holders Sevilla are up against Borussia Monchengladbach.

Europa League last-32 draw

Young Boys v Everton
Torino v Athletic Bilbao
Sevilla v Borussia Monchengladbach
Wolfsburg v Sporting Lisbon
Ajax v Legia Warsaw
Aalborg v Club Brugge
Anderlecht v Dynamo Moscow
Dnipro v Olympiakos
Trabzonspor v Napoli
Guingamp v Dynamo Kiev
Villarreal v Red Bull Salzburg
Roma v Feyenoord
PSV Eindhoven v Zenit St Petersburg
Liverpool v Besiktas
Tottenham v Fiorentina
Celtic v Inter Milan

The two legs will be played on 19 and 26 February 2015.

This season’s Europa League winners will qualify for next year’s Champions League play-offs.

Celtic’s tie against Inter Milan is a repeat of the 1967 European Cup final in Lisbon, which the Glasgow side won 2-1 to become Britain’s first European champions.

Inter, who appointed former Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini as their manager for a second time in November, are 12th in Italy’s top flight.

Tottenham could come up against England defender Micah Richards, who is on loan at Fiorentina from City. It is a first meeting between the London and Florence clubs.

Liverpool, who entered the Europa League after finishing third in their Champions League group behind Real Madrid and Basle, last played Besiktas in the 2007/8 season, winning 8-0 at Anfield.

Besiktas board member Ahmet Nur Cebi said: “Liverpool should be more concerned about us than we are about them. We will knock Liverpool out of the competition. There is an account which wasn’t settled in England from previous years. Yes, I mean that 8-0 defeat. We’ll settle the account now.”

Everton have never faced Young Boys before.

Read more at BBC Sport

Europa League: Besiktas 1-0 Spurs

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino bemoaned two “laughable” stoppages due to floodlight failure as his side slipped to a decisive defeat against Besiktas.

The 1-0 loss relegated Spurs to second place in their Europa League group and means they face a tougher draw in the next round.

Pochettino described the stoppages as “difficult to explain”, adding: “We had a chat with the referee and you need to accept the situation.

“It’s frustrating if that happens, it was laughable. It’s not good for reputation of the competition.”

Spurs dominated the first period, with Nacer Chadli having a goal ruled out and Roberto Soldado missing an excellent chance.

But the hosts improved in the second half and Cenk Tosun scored the decisive goal from Olcay Sahan’s low cross.

It was the second straight Europa League match in which Spurs have had to contend with temporary abandonments, after their game against Partizan was halted three times due to pitch invasions.

On that occasion, Tottenham kept their composure to win, but in Istanbul they could not find the goals needed to retain their advantage at the top of the group.

It means they could face one of the Europa League group winners or seeded Champions League teams in the next round – including Zenit St Petersburg, managed by former Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas.

The game was first disrupted after eight minutes – with fans creating an improvised illumination with their smartphones during the ensuing stoppage.

When the players returned to the pitch, Spurs – who welcomed back defender Kyle Walker after nine months out with an abdominal injury – seized the ascendancy and fashioned several good chances.

Soldado spurned a golden opportunity when he scuffed a Younes Kaboul knockdown straight at Tolga Zengin, before Nacer Chadli was denied a goal due to a marginal, but correct offside decision.

Besiktas were missing leading goalscorer Demba Ba through injury and they appeared toothless during the first half, but after the interval their back-up strikers proved their worth.

Tosun thundered a superb effort against the crossbar but Mauricio Pochettino’s side did not heed the warning and two minutes later they were behind.

From Gokhan Tore’s cross, Sahan knocked the ball across the six-yard box and Tosun converted.

Former Fulham winger Kerim Frei then wasted a golden chance to settle the match, firing into the side netting after a superb one-two with Jose Sosa.

The lights went out again after a minute of injury time, but Spurs could not find a crucial equaliser when the match briefly resumed.

Read more at BBC Sport