Europa League roundup: Tottenham, Liverpool out; Everton, La Liga sides advance

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A roundup of Thursday’s Europa League round of 32 second-leg action:

Everton 3-1 BSC Young Boys

Roberto Martinez’s side picked up right where they left off in the first leg (4-1 victory) and put the tie to bed before halftime on Thursday, thanks to a pair of goals by up-and-down striker Romelu Lukaku and another from Kevin Mirallas.

Lukaku brought the game back to 1-1 when he converted a penalty kick in the 25th minute, and put the Toffees ahead on the day and clear of any trouble with his second five minutes later. Mirallas beat the goalkeeper one-on-one three minutes before halftime to put Everton ahead and through, 7-2 on aggregate.

Feyenoord 1-2 Roma

Following a 1-1 draw in the first leg, Roma couldn’t advance without grabbing at least an away goal of their own, which they did through Adem Ljajic in the first minute of first-half stoppage time. Once Mitchell te Vrede was shown red for Roma’s Dutch opponents in the 54th minute, Rudi Garcia’s side was prepared to see out the game from there, but it wouldn’t be as simple as that.

The game had to be suspended twice, once after the referee was nearly hit with objects thrown onto the field by fans. The first delay came shortly before halftime when a fan threw and inflatable banana onto the field in the direction of Roma’s Ivorian attacker Gervinho. Thursday’s incident comes just a week after traveling Feyenoord fans destroyed a 400-year-old fountain in Rome ahead of the first leg.

Shortly after the game was restarted, for the second time, Elvis Manu equalized for Feyenoord two minutes after entering the game. Three minutes later, Gervinho scored to put Roma back ahead on the day and in the tie, ran to the traveling Roma fans and threw up heart-shaped hands to the supporters.

Borussia Monchengladbach 2-3 Sevilla

Four goals — two from each side — inside the first half-hour was certainly a thrilling start after the first leg ended 1-0 to Sevilla. Carlos Bacca put the La Liga side ahead after eight minutes, Granit Xhaka equalized in the 19th, Vitolo put Sevilla back ahead in the 26th and Thorgan Hazard equalized once again in the 29th.

With the tie still hanging in the balance — Gladbach needing two more goals to undo Sevilla’s away-goals advantage — Vitolo netter his second of the game to put Sevilla comfortably through into the round of 16.

Elsewhere in Europa League (italicized teams advance to round of 16)

Dinamo Moscow 3-1 (3-1 aggregate) Anderlecht
Zenit St. Petersburg 3-0 (4-0 aggregate) PSV Eindhoven
Fiorentina 2-0 (3-1 aggregate) Tottenham Hotspur — FULL RECAP
Inter Milan 1-0 (4-3 aggregate) Celtic
Dynamo Kyiv 3-1 (4-3 aggregate) Guingamp
Red Bull Salzburg 1-3 (2-5 aggregate) Villarreal
Borussia Monchengladbach 2-3 (2-4 aggregate) Sevilla
Besiktas 1-0 (1-1 aggregate, 5-4 on PKs) Liverpool — FULL RECAP
Legia Warsaw 0-3 (0-4 aggregate) Ajax
Everton 3-1 (7-2 aggregate) BSC Young Boys
Athletic Bilbao 2-3 (4-5 aggregate) Torino
Sporting CP 0-0 (0-2 aggregate) Wolfsburg
Club Brugge 3-0 (6-1 aggregate) Aalborg
Olympiacos 2-2 (2-4 aggregate) Dnipro
Napoli 1-0 (4-0 aggregate) Trabzonspor
Feyenoord 1-2 (2-3 aggregate) Roma

Rodgers not-too-bothered by VAR as Leicester City back in Top Four

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Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers is keeping his cool about the Foxes’ decent start to the Premier League season.

The Foxes beat Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 on Saturday to move back into the Top Four, four points behind leaders Liverpool.

[ MORE: Match recap | Pochettino reacts ]

Leicester has now beaten Spurs, Bournemouth, and Sheffield United, drawn Wolves and Chelsea, and lost away to Manchester United last week (in a match it was arguably superior to the hosts).

Rodgers loved his team’s day, which was challenged by VAR taking away goals from both sides, but knows the big picture is a big challenge.

“A brilliant team performance,” he said. “Very early days, we have had a tough start. We will get into the New Year and see where we are February, March.”

As for VAR, Rodgers saw an early Leicester goal pulled back for offside, but the system also determined that Heung-Min Son was offside by the finest bit of his rotator cuff before Serge Aurier made it 2-0 to Spurs.

Back to 1-0, Leicester equalized within moments through Ricardo Pereira before James Maddison scored a wonder-strike to win it for the hosts.

“It’s what happens with VAR, you have to get your head round it. It works for you and against you. Worked both ways for us today. … We spoke with the players in pre season about VAR. You have to deal with it, sometimes for you and against you. Have to accept it and move on. It was a very important three points.”

Pochettino says VAR call inspired Leicester; Twitter has knives out

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Mauricio Pochettino worked a marvel with the English language in describing how VAR affected the late stages of Tottenham Hotspur’s 2-1 loss to Leicester City at the King Power Stadium on Saturday.

Spurs looked to have doubled its home lead with 20 minutes to play when Serge Aurier belted a far post shot past the reach of Kasper Schmeichel, but a lengthy video review showed Heung-Min Son‘s shoulder was maybe possibly offside.

[ RECAP: Leicester City 2-1 Tottenham ]

Clear and obvious? Mehhhhhhh.

Pochettino, oddly enough, chose not to debate the call but instead focused on the momentum he believes it provided to Leicester City en route to Ricardo Pereira‘s near-immediate answer and James Maddison‘s late winner.

“After 80 minutes, the game was going to be over. You gave massive belief to the team that was already dead. After we conceded the goal 1-1, we had some chances to score the second goal, but that’s what makes the Premier League the most beautiful league. You can never stop.”

He was optimistic on the overall performance following a disheartening 2-2 draw with Olympiacos at midweek, as Spurs threw away a 2-0 first half lead over the Greek hosts.

“Very disappointed because we lost the three points but in thinking the big picture I am very optimistic because the team showed great reaction after Olympiacos.”

Meanwhile, much of the rest of Twitter’s soccer world was a bit less forgiving of VAR. Even Leicester City legend Gary Lineker sent venom to the Video Assistant Referee.

Man City scores five times in first 18 minutes v. Watford (video)

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What a start. Emphasize it, bold it, underline it.

Manchester City scored five goals in the first 18 minutes of play on Saturday at the Etihad Stadium, relegating Watford to also-ran status before the match was a quarter finished.

[ STREAM: Man City v. Watford ]

It took 54 seconds for De Bruyne to assist David Silva with an outstanding opener, but Gerard Deulofeu nearly answered when he danced around Nicolas Otamendi to force a conceded corner out of Ederson.

Silva, marked for Inter Miami in a mid-week report, was the finisher for the 55th time in his Premier League career and 72nd for his club.

Ben Foster then gave away a useless penalty when he slapped a through ball out of bounds before felling Riyad Mahrez for an easy penalty. Aguero stepped to the spot calm as you like and dispatched the No. 2 to the scoreboard.

That was hardly the end to Watford’s woes, as Mahrez dazzled with a dribble through the heart of the field to earn a free kick atop the 18. There was only one destination, given the series of events. 3-0.

Bernardo Silva then got in on the act, when Otamendi nodded a De Bruyne corner to the back post for a prone finish and 4-0.

Not to be outdone, Otamendi was back post for a finish of his own, giving City its fifth goal off an Aguero assist.

Watch Live: Man City v. Watford headlines 10am ET games

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Three Premier League games take center stage at 10 a.m. ET on Saturday, as potential upsets are the focus.

[ STREAM: Every PL game live here ] 

Manchester City aim to get back on track as they play Watford, while Norwich head to Burnley and Everton host Sheffield United.

[ MORE: Sign up for NBC Sports Gold ] 

You can access additional games by purchasing the new “Premier League Pass” via NBC Sports Gold which also includes an extensive selection of shoulder programming such as Premier League News, Premier League Today and NBC Sports originals such as Premier League Download and much more.

[ STREAM: “Goal Rush” here ]

For those of you familiar with the Premier League Breakaway Show during busy days (Boxing Day, New Year’s Day, Championship Sunday etc.) in the PL, this will follow that model of being similar to the NFL RedZone with action shown from all of the games in the 10 a.m. ET window. More info is available here.

The schedule for the three games at 10 a.m. ET is below and you can stream each game live by clicking on the links.

10 a.m. ET: Man City v. Watford – NBCSN [STREAM]
10 a.m. ET: Burnley v. Norwich – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
10 a.m. ET: Everton v. Sheffield United – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]