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Europa League wrap: Hart helps Burnley escape; Hyndman debuts for Hibs

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We’ve seen this before from Burnley, a star goalkeeper standing strong in keeping the Clarets in a match.

[ MORE: PST’s Premier League roundtable ]

This time, however, it was Joe Hart who helped under siege Burnley in one of a bevy of UEFA Europa League third round first legs on Thursday.

Istanbul Basaksehir 0-0 Burnley

Sean Dyche‘s men were out shot 16-2 at Basaksehir Fatih Terim Stadyumu, and could not find an away goal in Turkey.

Joe Hart made a strong Clarets debut between the sticks, and Burnley will hope for a win at Turf Moor next week to move into the next round of the tournament.

Rangers 3-1 NK Maribor

Steven Gerrard‘s men allowed an away goal when Mitja Viler answered Alfredo Morelos’ sixth minute opener, but a James Tavernier penalty joined Lassana Coulibay’s 86th minute marker in giving ‘Gers a healthy advantage after one leg.

Hibernian 0-0 Molde

USMNT midfielder Emerson Hyndman came off the bench for the final nine minutes one day after joining Hibs on loan from Bournemouth.

Elsewhere
Pyunik 0-0 Maccabi Tel Aviv
Ufa 2-1 Progres Niederkorn
Alashkert 0-2 CFR Cluj
Hapoel Haifa 1-4 Atalanta
Spartaks Jurmala 0-1 Suduva
Apollon Limassol 4-0 Dinamo Brest
RB Leipzig 3-1 Universitatea Craiova
Trencin 4-0 Feyenoord
Dinamo Minsk 4-0 Zenit St. Petersburg
Hapoel Be’er Sheva 2-2 APOEL Nicosia
Ludogorets Razgrad 1-0 Zrinjski Mostar
Mariupol 1-3 Bordeaux
Sheriff Tiraspol 1-0 Valur Reykjavik
Sigma Olomouc 2-0 Kairat Almaty
Sturm Graz 0-2 AEK Larnaca
Torpedo Kutaisi 5-2 Kukesi
Jagiellonia Bialystok 0-1 Gent
CSKA Sofia 1-2 Copenhagen
Nordsjaelland 1-2 Partizan Belgrade
Besiktas 1-0 LASK
Genk 2-0 Lech Poznan
Olimpija Ljubljana 3-0 HJK Helsinki
Olympiakos 4-0 Luzern
Vitesse 0-1 Basel
Zorya Luhansk 1-1 Sporting Braga
Cork City 0-2 Rosenborg
Hajduk Split 0-0 Steaua Bucharest
Sarpsborg 1-1 HNK Rijeka
Spartak Subotica 0-2 Brondby
New Saints 0-2 Midtjylland
Legia Warsaw 1-2 F91 Dudelange
Slovan Bratislava 2-1 Rapid Vienna
Sevilla 1-0 Zalgiris

Sports court overturns AC Milan’s ban from Europa League

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — In a legal victory over UEFA, AC Milan is back in the Europa League after the Court of Arbitration for Sport overturned a ban imposed for overspending.

[ Transfer Rumor Roundup: Everton bid for Richarlison, latest on Mbappe ]

The court said Friday the punishment was “not proportionate” following a takeover completed last week, even though UEFA was right to judge Milan had broken financial monitoring rules.

The seven-time European champion had failed to approach breaking even on player transfers and wages over several seasons in which it failed to qualify for the top-tier Champions League.

UEFA was ordered to review the case and apply a “proportionate disciplinary measure,” the court said in an urgent ruling.

Milan’s reprieve was largely due to the takeover by a United States-based hedge fund which last year provided key finance to a Chinese-led purchase of the storied club.

In a statement Friday, European soccer body UEFA noted without comment that the case returns to the judging section of its club finance panel.

[ MORE: Conte to sue Chelsea over how firing was handled ]

The verdict was given Friday without detailed reasons from a three-judge panel, one day after a hearing at the highest court in world sports.

An urgent ruling was needed because the case affected Italy’s entry in the Europa League second qualifying round next week.

Milan’s legal win restores the club’s place in the group stage which kicks off in September. Atalanta, which placed seventh in Serie A, goes back into the qualifying rounds and plays Sarajevo in a first-leg game in Bosnia-Herzegovina on Thursday. Fiorentina, which placed eighth last season, is now withdrawn from the Europa League.

Milan broke UEFA’s financial fair rules which monitor finances over a three-year assessment period of all clubs qualifying to enter the Champions League or Europa League.

When it was banned last month, Milan said it failed to break even on soccer-related business in the period from July 2014 to June 2017 — before its spending spree one year ago.

[ MORE: Goalkeeper Alisson completes record transfer to Liverpool ]

Milan spent nearly $250 million on new players. This was despite questions over the financial stability of the Chinese-led consortium that purchased the club from former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi for $800 million in April 2017.

The team finished sixth in Serie A, missed out on the four Italian places in the Champions League, and qualified for the Europa League.

However, the court said UEFA had not “properly assessed” some relevant points in Milan’s case, and the club’s finances improved after the takeover.

Elliott Management has promised to inject $66 million in capital.

Former owner Li Yonghong missed a deadline to repay part of a loan worth more than $350 million from the hedge fund. Elliott repossessed the holding company in Luxembourg that Li used to buy Milan.

Report: AC Milan to lose Europa League spot over Financial Fair Play

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AC Milan’s loss could prove to be another Serie A side’s gain, as UEFA has ruled against the Rossoneri.

The New York Times is reporting that AC Milan will be ruled out of next season’s UEFA Europa League after failing to comply with Financial Fair Play rules.

If Milan’s spot in the competition is in fact stripped, Italy’s eighth place finisher — Atalanta — would take their spot in the 2018/19 Europa League.

Milan owner Yonghong Li has faced scrutiny from UEFA since taking over the club last April, and received further backlash after spending over $266 million this past season on player transactions.

Atletico Madrid wins third Europa League title

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A Frenchman ended the silverware dreams of a French power.

Antoine Griezmann’s brace, both assisted by Koke, led Atletico Madrid past Marseille 3-0, claiming the UEFA Europa League title on Wednesday in Lyon.

It’s the third Europa League crown for Atleti, and for Diego Simeone (two as Atleti manager, and one as Inter Milan player).

Gabi also scored for Atleti.

[ MORE: The Premier League season in statistics ]

Valere Germain was played through on goal very early, but missed his chance to give Marseille the lead.

The miss stung soon after, when Steve Mandanda made a poor clearance. Koke hit it to Griezmann first time, and the Atleti striker scored in his home country.

Marseille lost Dimitri Payet to an injury soon after the half-hour mark.

And Griezmann made it 2-0 before the second half was four minutes old, taking another Koke through ball and flicking over a diving Mandanda.

Kostas Mitroglou subbed into the game for Marseille and headed off the frame in the Ligue 1 side’s best chance to get back into the hunt.

Europa League final preview: Greizmann goes home

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Atletico Madrid doesn’t need to win Europa League Final to make the UEFA Champions League, but Marseille might.

[ MORE: U.S. players in the Premier League ]

The two tangle Wednesday in Lyon, with Atleti’s Antoine Griezmann returning to France to face one of the biggest clubs in Ligue 1.

And there are two specific French strikers who may make the difference in the final, won last season by Manchester United. Atleti won the UEL in 2010 and 2012, and a French team has never won the tournament (Marseille is a two-time finalist).

Griezmann will be the key for Atletihas a goal or an assist in all but one Europa League match this season, and his 27 goals and 15 assists on the season on par with most of his better years despite playing in fewer matches.

Marseille’s Florian Thauvin was a bust under Steve McClaren at Newcastle, but has fulfilled every bit of his promise this season with OM after a terrific return to Ligue 1 last season.

Atleti has allowed a miserly 20 goals in league play this season, and just 13 more in 20 other matches. Goalkeeper Jan Oblak has been especially sensational in the tournament.

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