Europa League

UEL Roundup: Wolves thrash Pyunik, and more

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For the second time in as many games, Pyunik was no match for Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Wolves dominated throughout and a quick-fire three-goal barrage in the second half gave the Premier League club a 4-0 victory (8-0 on aggregate) over its Armenian opponents, Pyunik, on Thursday at Molineux Stadium. New Wolves signing Pedro Neto scored the opening goal on his Wolves debut, with homegrown star Morgan Gibbs-White scoring his first of the season as well.

After creating numerous chances in the first half, Wolves finally found the breakthrough in the 54th minute. Adama Traore found space down the right side of the box, and he cut back towards the center where Neto slid and re-directed a shot home. Gibbs-White then followed in the 58th minute with a similar finish from four yards out, before Ruben Vinagre fired home from the top of the box in the 64th minute. Diogo Jota put the icing on the cake in the 87th minute to give Wolves a massive European win at home.

With the win, Wolverhampton Wanderers advance to the Europa League Play-Off Round where it will face Torino, one round before the group stage. Matches will be played on the next two Thursdays, August 22 and August 29.


Rangers advance past Midtjylland

While Celtic endured a disappointing defeat on Tuesday night, its rivals Rangers took care of business at home to advance to the final round of qualifying in the Europa League.

Rangers defeated Danish side FC Midtjylland, 3-1, at Ibrox, to win handily, 7-3 on aggregate. Rangers’ Colombian striker Alfredo Morelos scored a pair, as did new signing Sheyi Ojo. Midtjylland grabbed a second-half goal from Evander, but the club needed four more goals just to advance, and it ran out of time.

Rangers advance to face Legia Warsaw in the next round. American right back Matt Polster didn’t make the 18 for the Scottish club.

Here’s a roundup of the rest of the Europa League action from Thursday:

HJK 2 – 2 Riga
Dinamo Tbilisi 1 – 1 Feyenoord
Spartak Moskva 2 – 1 Thun
Sūduva 2 – 1 Maccabi Tel Aviv
BATE 0 – 0 Sarajevo
AIK 1 – 1 Sheriff
Shakhtyor 1 – 1 Torino
Apollon 3 – 1 Austria Wien
Mladá Boleslav 0 – 1 FCSB
Yeni Malatyaspor 1 – 0 Partizan
Zrinjski 1 – 0 Malmö FF
Zorya 1 – 0 CSKA Sofia
Bnei Yehuda 2 – 1 Neftçi
The New Saints 0 – 4 Ludogorets
Hapoel Be’er Sheva 3 – 1 Norrköping
Trabzonspor 2 – 1 Sparta Praha
Valletta 0 – 4 Astana
Viktoria Plzeň 2 – 1 Antwerp AET
AEK Athens  1 – 1 Universitatea
PSV 0 – 0 Haugesund
Aris 3 – 1 Molde AET
Strasbourg 1 – 0 Lokomotiv Plovdiv
AZ 4 – 0 Mariupol’
Gent 3 – 0 AEK Larnaca
Eintracht Frankfurt 1 – 0 Vaduz
Sporting Braga 3 – 1 Brøndby
Rangers 3 – 1 Midtjylland
Aberdeen 0 – 2 Rijeka
Espanyol 3 – 0 Luzern

FOLLOW LIVE: Liverpool, Chelsea clash in UEFA Super Cup

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For the first time ever, two English teams are set to face off in the UEFA Super Cup, as Champions League winners Liverpool and Europa League winners Chelsea face off in Istanbul on Wednesday (3 p.m. ET).

[ FOLLOW: Liverpool v. Chelsea, live from Istanbul ]

The Reds and Blues were on very different ends of very similar drubbings on the opening weekend of the 2019-20 Premier League season.

Liverpool kicked off the campaign with a 4-1 thrashing of newly promoted Norwich City on Friday, while Chelsea went to Old Trafford and were hammered by Manchester United to the tune of 4-0.

Hit the link above to follow all of Wednesday’s action, and check back on PST for a full recap and analysis after the final whistle.

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Klopp, Lampard back Frappart’s ‘historical moment’: ‘Finally, it’s time’

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Stephanie Frappart is set to make history on Wednesday, when she becomes the first woman to referee a major UEFA’s men fixture — the UEFA Super Cup between Champions League winners Liverpool and Europa League winners Chelsea, in Istanbul, Turkey.

[ MORE: Frank de Boer calls equal pay at international level “ridiculous” ]

The 35-year-old Frenchwoman made history earlier this year when she took charge of a Ligue 1 fixture between Amiens and Strasbourg. It’s that experience, along with her years of experience and training, which have her and her crew featuring two female assistants — the same group that together officiated the Women’s World Cup final in July — feeling plenty prepared for the occasion (quotes from talkSPORT):

“Of course we feel ready. We train a lot, all the time, we’re not afraid of this game as we’re always ready for all the games.

“I think there is not a lot of difference, because football is the same. Refereeing is the same, football is the same, I would do the same I do in women’s football.”

“I’m now popular all over the world, but I was also appointed in Ligue 1, so I know the feelings and emotions and how to manage them and how to train for [the occasion]. This is not my first appointment.”

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard welcomed the inclusion of women into important roles in the men’s game, calling Frappart’s appointment “a historical moment”:

“I think the game has come on a long way in many ways, in terms of the women’s World Cup which we all watched this summer, in terms of how much respect the game is getting, how many people are watching it and the interest in the game.

“I think we were very slow everywhere on this and now we are trying to make strides, and there’s still a long way to go but in terms of tomorrow I think it’s a huge moment. It’s a historical moment that is one more step in the right direction.”

[ MORE: Man United shut door on Paul Pogba departure ]

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp echoed Lampard’s sentiments, intimating that such a moment is long overdue.

“Finally, it’s time. I’m happy to be a part of this historic moment. It’s a smart decision to have women referee a very, very important game. It’s the first time, but I hope it’s not the last.”

Jimenez, Jota lead Wolves to Europa League blowout

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Nothing’s impossible, but Wolves built an improbable lead after one leg to take a step closer to the Europa League group stage.

Mexican striker Raul Jimenez scored twice and Diogo Jota had three assists as Wolves buried Armenian side Pyunik 4-0 in Yerevan on Thursday.

[ MORE: PL transfer grades ]

The second leg comes at the Molineux in one week, and Wolves begin the Premier League season on Sunday morning with a visit to Leicester City (Watch live, 9 a.m. ET on CNBC and online via NBCSports.com)

Matt Doherty and Ruben Neves also scored, as Wolves led 2-0 at the break following Raul’s 42nd minute goal. He completed his brace one minute after halftime.

Should Wolves manage its lead, it will have to win more round to reach the group stage.

Europa League: Wolves see off Crusaders to reach next qualifying round

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Wolverhampton Wanderers are through to the third qualifying round of the 2019-20 Europa League after seeing off Northern Irish side Crusaders, 4-1 on the day and 6-1 on aggregate, on Thursday.

[ MORE: Arsenal sign winger Nicolas Pepe for $87 million ]

After cruising to a 2-0 home victory last week, Nuno Espirito Santo‘s side took its levels up a notch and moved closer to where they’ll have to be when Premier League play kicks off next weekend.

Things started a bit ropey for Wolves, as Ryan Bennett scored an own goal in the 13th minute, cutting his side’s lead to just 2-1 on aggregate. The drama was extremely short-lived, though, as order was restored just two minutes later.

Raul Jimenez opened his account for the season by bagging a first-half brace, in the 15th and 45th minute. Bennett chipped in with a goal on the other end in the 38th, which made it an insurmountable 5-1 deficit for Crusaders when they left the field for halftime.

[ MORE: Dybala excused from Juventus training until transfer saga is resolved ]

Jordan Forsythe returned Bennett’s earlier favor with an own goal in the 77th minute to complete the scoring and see Wolves progress to the next round, where they’ll face Armenian side Pyunik. If they advance again, they’ll be into the final qualifying round, one more aggregate victory away from the group stage.

Thursday’s notable Europa League results

Stjarnan 1-3 (1-7) Espanyol
Debrecen 1-7 Torino
Eintracht Frankfurt 2-1 (4-2) Flora Tallin
Progres Niederkorn 0-0 (0-2) Rangers