Europa League: Dzeko rampant, Ajax held, Fiorentina wins

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The first leg of the Europa League knockout phase came and went, and gave fans a picture to what will likely come.

For Premier League sides, Tottenham looked poor on the road in Belgium en route to a 1-0 to KAA Gent.

[ MORE: Listless Spurs falls to Gent as goal drought continues ]

Meanwhile, Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored three of his less impressive goals as Manchester United survived at home against French side St. Etienne thanks to the striker’s hat-trick.

[ MORE: Manchester United wins 3-0 behind a trio from Zlatan ]

Elsewhere around the Europa League, Edin Dzeko looked unbeatable as he scored a hat-trick to put Roma through by a whopping 4-0 score on the road at Villareal. Brazilian youngster Emerson scored the opener just past the half-hour mark, but Dzeko took over in the second half as Roma made the second leg in the Italian capital a formality.

Alexander Lacazette scored twice as Lyon took command of their matchup with AZ Alkmaar thanks to a 4-1 road win in the Netherlands. Lyon fans have turned on Lacazette since he announced he would leave the club in the summer, but goals and wins assuage all problems, and his pair has the French side close to a berth in the final 16.

Fiorentina snatched a big 1-0 away victory at Borussia Monchengladbach despite the German side’s attacking intent. Federico Bernardeschi scored the game’s only goal in the 44th minute with an absolute peach of a free-kick from a good distance outside the top of the box. Dutch giants Ajax were held to a 0-0 draw on the road in Poland. Ajax held 64% possession but could only put five shots on target against Legia Warsaw, and were reduced to 10 men with six minutes to go as 21-year-old full-back Kenny Tete was shown as second yellow card.

Athletic Bilbao won 3-2 over Cypriot side Apoel Nicosia, but the visitors bagged an important second away goal in the 89th minute via Giannis Gianniotas on a superb one-two with former Gladbach and Hoffenheim striker Igor de Camargo. Anderlecht picked up a 2-0 home win over Russian giants Zenit thanks to a pair from 23-year-old Ghanan international Frank Acheampong.

FINAL SCORES:

Manchester United 3-0 St. Etienne
KAA Gent 1-0 Tottenham Hotspur
AZ Alkmaar 1-4 Lyon
Villareal 0-4 AS Roma
Borussia Monchengladbach 0-1 Fiorentina
Legia Warsaw 0-0 Ajax
PAOK 0-3 Schalke
Anderlecht 2-0 Zenit St. Petersburg
Athletic Bilbao 3-2 Apoel Nicosia
Olympiacos 0-0 Osmanlispor
FC Krasnodar 1-0 Fenerbahce
Celta Vigo 0-1 Shaktar Donetsk
FC Rostov 4-0 Sparta Prague
Astra Giurgiu 2-2 KRC Genk
Ludogorets 1-2 FC Copenhagen
Hapoel Be’er Sheva 1-3 Besiktas