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Europa League: Arsenal, Dortmund, Leipzig survive 2nd-leg charges

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A roundup of all of Thursday’s action in the Europa League…

[ MORE: Premier League TV schedule | Man United vs. Chelsea ]

Arsenal 1-2 (4-2) Ostersunds FK

Ostersunds so nearly pulled off the most shocking upset of the 2017-18 season, as the Swedish side scored twice in 70 first-half seconds (WATCH HERE) to pull itself to within a goal of the Premier League giant.

Alas, the Gunners were awakened at halftime, and Sead Kolasinac restored a bit of order less than 90 seconds into the second half, putting Arsenal 4-2 ahead on aggregate and effectively ending the tie after one horrifically botched Ostersunds clearance.

The draw for the round of 16 will be held on Friday, at which point Arsenal and 15 other sides will learn their opponent for the next round.

RB Leipzig 0-2 (*3-3) Napoli

After a disastrous first leg at home, Napoli needed at least three goals to overcome the three away goals scored by RB Leipzig last week in Naples. The Serie A leaders controlled the game in every facet and created more than enough chances over the course of 90 minutes, but came up just short at the final whistle.

Piotr Zielinski bagged the opener after 32 minutes, but the following 50 would prove a frustrating exercise in futility for Napoli, as Lorenzo Insigne’s 86th-minute tally proved to be too little, too late. Now out of both domestic and European cup competitions, Maurizio Sarri’s side can turn its full focus to dethroning Juventus, the six-time defending Serie A champions.

Atalanta 1-1 (3-4) Borussia Dortmund

For the majority of Thursday’s second leg, Dortmund had one step out the door as they trailed Serie A side Atalanta 1-0 on the night, making the aggregate score 3-3 with no away goals of their own (two in the first leg for Atalanta).

Atalanta goalkeeper Etrit Berisha will have nightmares about his 83rd-minute howler, which turned a totally innocuous, speculative ball into a golden opportunity for Marcel Schmelzer to make it 4-3 on aggregate and bail Peter Stoger’s side out of embarrassment.

Atletico Madrid 1-0 (5-1) Copenhagen

Thanks to a 4-1 away victory in Copenhagen last week, Atletico Madrid had very little to play for on Thursday. That didn’t stop Diego Simeone from selecting a largely first-team lineup, a decision which was vindicated when Kevin Gameiro dashed any Danish dreams very early on, as the Frenchman bagged the game’s only goal after seven minutes.

Elsewhere in Europa League

Villarreal 0-1 (1-4) Lyon
Athletic Bilbao 1-2 (4-3) Spartak Moscow
Red Bull Salzburg 2-1 (4-3) Real Sociedad
AC Milan 1-0 (4-0) Ludogorets Razgrad
Lazio 5-1 (5-2) Steaua Bucharest
Zenit St. Petersburg 3-0 (3-1) Celtic
Braga 1-0 (1-3) Marseille
Lokomotiv Moscow 1-0 (4-2) Nice
Sporting CP 3-3 (6-4) FC Astana
Viktoria Plzen 2-0 (3-1) Partizan Belgrade
Dynamo Kyiv 0-0 (*1-1) AEK Athens
CSKA Moscow 1-0 (1-0) Red Star Belgrade

Europa wrap: Arsenal, Atleti, Celtic on top

Andrew Milligan/PA via AP
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There wasn’t a single nil-nil to be found as the Europa League returned Thursday with its Round of 32.

[ RECAP: Ostersunds 0-3 Arsenal ]

Borussia Dortmund and Arsenal won, as did a number of big names, but several names — Zenit and Napoli among them — slid behind the 8-ball with first leg setbacks.

[ RECAP: BVB 3-2 Atalanta ]


Copenhagen 1-4 Atletico Madrid

The Danish hosts struck first, but the lead didn’t last for long as Atletico Madrid hung a quartet of away goals on Copenhagen.

Viktor Fischer put Copenhagen up after just 15 mintues, but it was level six minutes later through Saul Niguez. By the time all was said and done, Kevin Gameiro, Antoine Griezmann, and substitute Vitolo had scored to complete the blowout.

Celtic 1-0 Zenit Saint-Petersburg

Callum McGregor was set-up by Chelsea loanee Charly Musonda as the Bhoys crucially held Zenit without a goal ahead of the return leg in Russia.

Napoli 1-2 RB Leipzig

The Serie A title contenders are having a rough time in Europe this season, now down a goal with two away goals conceded to RB Leipzig before next week’s second leg in Germany.

Adam Ounas put Napoli ahead early in the second half, but Timo Werner equalized after the hour mark and Bruma made it 2-1 with 16 minutes to play in Italy.

[ MORE: Wenger, Mkhi on Arsenal win ]

Elsewhere
Red Star Belgrade 0-0 CSKA Moscow — Tuesday
Ostersunds 0-3 Arsenal
Borussia Dortmund 3-2 Atalanta
Astana 1-3 Sporting Lisbon
Ludogorets Razgrad 0-3 AC Milan
Marseille 3-0 Sporting Braga
Nice 2-3 Lokomotiv Moscow
Real Sociedad 2-2 Red Bull Salzburg
Spartak Moscow 1-3 Athletic Bilbao
AEK Athens 1-1 Dynamo Kiev
Steaua Bucharest 1-0 Lazio
Lyon 3-1 Villarreal
Partizan Belgrade 1-1 Viktoria Plzen

Keita scores, RB Leipzig take over 2nd place in the Bundesliga

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LEIPZIG, Germany (AP) Leipzig defeated Augsburg 2-0 to rise to second in the Bundesliga on Friday.

Dayot Upamecano netted on the rebound in the 17th minute after Marwin Hitz had saved from Yussuf Poulsen, the 19-year-old French defender becoming Leipzig’s youngest goal-scorer in the Bundesliga.

The visiting team pushed hard for an equalizer towards the end of the first half but its hopes were dashed in the 70th minute when Naby Keita’s free kick took a deflection off Augsburg defender Martin Hinteregger and went past Hitz.

Hitz then made a good save to deny Poulsen late on.

Leipzig moved three points above third-place Bayer Leverkusen, which hosts Hertha Berlin on Saturday, the same day as runaway leader Bayern Munich entertains Schalke.

Leipzig debts, turnover grew after Bundesliga promotion

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LEIPZIG, Germany (AP) Leipzig’s reliance on backer Red Bull increased with Bundesliga promotion according to financial figures released for 2016.

The club owed the energy drinks manufacturer about 52.4 million euros ($64.1 million) at the end of 2015, and that grew by more than 30 million to 83.2 million euros by the end of the following year.

[ MORE: Top PL storylines — Week 27 ]

Leipzig secured promotion from the second division in 2016 and went on to boost the team with the signings of coach Ralph Hasenhuettl from Ingolstadt, Timo Werner from Stuttgart, Oliver Burke from Nottingham Forest, and Naby Keita, Bernardo and Benno Schmitz from sister club RB Salzburg.

The club also secured a loan deal for Kyriakos Papadopoulos from Bayer Leverkusen, while Lukas Klostermann’s and Diego Demme’s contracts were extended.

Wages increased from 32.7 million euros to 53.7 million. Turnover increased to 118.6 million euros from 79.5 million the previous year.

The figures were initially reported by the Saechsische Zeitung and Mitteldeutsche Zeitung newspapers.

Leipzig finished second in its first Bundesliga season. The team is currently third with 13 rounds of the league remaining.

Bundesliga wrap: Everton loanee Lookman an instant hero

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Bayern Munich continues to run away with the Bundesliga, but the race for second — let alone the Top Four –remains as wild as ever in Germany.

[ MORE: Johannsson stars for Werder Bremen ]

Second and seventh are separated by just two points on a weekend which saw a load of ex- and current-Premier League property putting their names on the score sheet.

Mainz 0-2 Bayern Munich

Frank Ribery and James Rodriguez scored two goals 11 minutes apart as the visitors took an 18-point lead on the field.

Borussia Monchengladbach 0-1 RB Leipzig

Ready for this, Everton fans? Ademola Lookman, the guy Big Sam didn’t need at Goodison Park? Well, he’s only gone and scored a huge goal for RBL, becoming the first English player to score in the Bundesliga in over a decade.

 

Elsewhere
Koln 2-3 Borussia Dortmund — Batshuayi bags brace
Freiburg 0-0 Bayer Leverkusen
Hertha Berlin 1-1 Hoffenheim
Wolfsburg 1-1 Stuttgart
Werder Bremen 2-1 Schalke
 — Johannsson leads comeback
Augsburg vs. Eintracht Frankfurt — 9:30 a.m. ET Sunday
Hamburger SV vs. Hannover 96 — Noon ET Sunday

STANDINGS

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 Bayern Munich 21 17 2 2 51 16 35 9-1-0 8-1-2 53
 Bayer Leverkusen 21 9 8 4 41 27 14 5-4-1 4-4-3 35
 RB Leipzig 21 10 5 6 33 29 4 6-3-1 4-2-5 35
 Borussia Dortmund 21 9 7 5 45 29 16 4-3-3 5-4-2 34
 FC Schalke 04 21 9 7 5 33 27 6 5-4-2 4-3-3 34
 Eintracht Frankfurt 20 9 6 5 26 20 6 3-3-4 6-3-1 33
 Mönchengladbach 21 9 4 8 30 33 -3 6-2-3 3-2-5 31
 FC Augsburg 20 7 7 6 29 26 3 4-4-2 3-3-4 28
 1899 Hoffenheim 21 7 7 7 32 33 -1 5-3-2 2-4-5 28
 Hertha BSC Berlin 21 6 9 6 28 28 0 4-4-3 2-5-3 27
 Hannover 96 20 7 6 7 28 30 -2 5-3-2 2-3-5 27
 SC Freiburg 21 5 10 6 22 35 -13 4-6-1 1-4-5 25
 VfL Wolfsburg 21 4 12 5 24 25 -1 2-7-2 2-5-3 24
 VfB Stuttgart 21 6 3 12 17 27 -10 6-1-3 0-2-9 21
 Werder Bremen 21 4 8 9 18 26 -8 2-4-4 2-4-5 20
 FSV Mainz 05 21 5 5 11 24 37 -13 5-1-5 0-4-6 20
 Hamburger SV 20 4 4 12 16 29 -13 3-2-5 1-2-7 16
 1. FC Köln 21 3 4 14 17 37 -20 2-2-7 1-2-7 13