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Europa League roundup: Celtic keeps rolling, Malmo wins thriller

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The Europa League was good to Scotland again, while an American center back had a fine day in Ukraine.

[ MORE: Arsenal loses | Man Utd falls | Wolves advance ]

It’s all in the roundup.

Feyenoord 2-2 Rangers

Steven Gerrard‘s Scots got a pair of goals from Alfredo Morales as Rangers still lead the group but have not advanced to the final round.

They’ll host Young Boys on Dec. 12, while Feyenoord visits Porto. No one’s been eliminated, with Rangers on eight points, Porto and Young Boys on seven, and Feyenoord five.

Celtic 3-1 Stade Rennes

Another impressive win for Neil Lennon’s Bhoys, as Celtic claimed its group through goals from Lewis Morgan, Ryan Christie, and Michael Johnston.

 

Olexandriya 0-1 Wolfsburg

Wout Weghorst scored the lone goal and USMNT back John Brooks played a standout role in a clean sheet as Wolfsburg joined Gent in advancing from Group I.

Malmo 4-3 Dynamo Kyiv

The first goal came from Rasmus Bengtsson in the second minute, and the game rarely stopped delivering from that point.

Malmo led 1-0, then trailed 2-1 at the break. The hosts then took a 3-2 lead only to find themselves level with the Ukrainians in the 77th. Markus Rosenberg then did this in stoppage time, and Malmo was pleased with him.

Elsewhere

Astana 2-1 Manchester United
Krasnodar 1-0 Basel
Trabzonspor 0-1 Getafe
Young Boys 1-2 Porto
Saint-Etienne 0-0 Gent
AZ Alkmaar 2-2 Partizan Belgrade
Besiktas 2-1 Slovan Bratislava
Braga 3-3 Wolves
Ferencvaros 2-2 Espanyol
CSKA Moscow 1-1 Ludogorets Razgrad
Istanbul Basaksehir 0-3 Roma
Wolfsberg 0-1 Borussia Monchengladbach
Vitoria 1-1 Standard Liege
Arsenal 1-2 Eintracht Frankfurt
Sporting Lisbon 4-0 PSV Eindhoven
Dudelange 0-2 APOEL Nicosia
Lazio 1-0 CFR Cluj
Braga 3-3 Wolves
Sevilla 2-0 Qarabag
Rosenborg 1-2 LASK
Lugano 0-1 Copenhagen

WATCH: Zlatan on scene as Malmo unveils 9-foot Ibrahimovic statue

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic is so humble, it must’ve really bothered him to see a shirtless statue of himself in his hometown.

Of course, we kid; The mega striker, whose skills are only topped by his confidence, loves the darn thing.

[ MORE: USMNT players in focus ]

Fair Malmo is our scene, where the 38-year-old oversaw the unveiling of a nearly 9-foot statue of the well-traveled champion.

Ibrahimovic has 52 goals in 56 matches for the LA Galaxy, who open the MLS Cup Playoffs on Oct. 20 in Minnesota.

Sweden’s all-time leading scorer with 62 goals in 116 caps, Ibrahimovic has won league titles in Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and  France. He’s also been named the Swedish Male Athlete of the Year on four occasions.

LIVE — UEL second legs will determine possible Wolves opponents

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Wolverhampton Wanderers will find out its first Europa League opponent on Friday, and the field will be winnowed with a bevy of second qualifying round second legs on Thursday.

[ LIVE: Europa League scores  ]

Malmo, Aberdeen, Kilmarnock, Rangers, Legia Warsaw, and Hajduk Split are the biggest names in play on Thursday, with only the Polish side failing to hold an advantage after the first leg.

American forward Romain Gall is in the mix for Malmo, though he’s been an unused sub of late for the Swedish powers. That could change today, with Malmo in Northern Ireland with a 7-0 advantage over Ballymena United.

You can follow the dozens of ties by clicking the link above.

Leeds defender Jansson joins Malmo fans outside Stamford Bridge

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Sometimes, soccer players can be accused of being too disconnected from the fans who travel across their country to support their side. But not Pontus Jansson.

The Leeds defender traveled to London Thursday evening to join Malmo fans as they marched, sang, and chanted outside Stamford Bridge. It’s unclear if Jansson actually went into the stadium for the Europa League match, but what is clear is that he’s never lost his affection for his boyhood club. He even led some supporters in one of the Swedish club’s chants.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Jansson joined Malmo’s youth academy in 2006 and made his professional debut for his hometown side in 2009, playing in Sweden until 2014. Jansson has been a regular for Leeds each of the last three seasons since joining from Torino.

Like thousands of other Malmo fans, he probably figured this was his best chance to see a European away game of his favorite club close by. So there he went from Leeds to London to join the Malmo fans.

Arsenal, Chelsea cruise into Europa League Round of 16

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Arsenal looked right at home back in the friendly confines of the Emirates Stadium.

After losing twice on the road this month, including a surprise 1-0 defeat last Thursday to BATE Borisov, Arsenal took care of business at home. The Gunners defeated BATE, 3-0 on the night (3-1 on aggregate), with goals from centerbacks Shkodran Mustafi and Sokratis Papastathopoulous, while BATE’s Zakhar Volkov scored an own goal early to tie the scoreline between the two legs.

[READ: Premier League Power Rankings]

South of the Emirates Stadium, Chelsea built on their 2-1 aggregate lead over Malmo FF with a resounding 3-0 win. Malmo finished with ten men and the game was highlighted by goals from Callum Hudson-Odoi and a Ross Barkley free kick.

With the wins, both Premier League sides advance to the Europa League Round of 16. The draw for the Round of 16 will be held on Friday, with matches taking place March 7 and 14.

Arsenal took an unexpected lead in the fourth minute of the match. A seemingly harmless cross from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was somehow turned into his own net by BATE centerback Zakhar Volkov. After some shaky moments early, Arsenal settled in and controlled the match, leading to the go-ahead goal. Granit Xhaka played the first of his two assists as Mustafi got on the end of a corner kick to head the ball in for a goal.

In the 60th minute, Sokratis’ header off a corner kick put the game away and allowed Arsenal fans to relax for the final half-hour of play.

Chelsea, meanwhile, didn’t get the early goal like Arsenal but didn’t end up needing it.

Maurizio Sarri sat Jorginho, David Luiz and Marcos Alonso and it led to a better defensive performance, albeit Malmo isn’t a world beater. Olivier Giroud opened the scoring in the 55th minute with a tap-in after great work from N’Golo Kante and Willian. It was Giroud’s sixth Europa League goal this season.

Barkley delighted the Stamford Bridge crowd with a terrific free kick from the edge of the box in the 74th minute and Hudson-Odoi put the cherry on top with a right-footed strike ten minutes later.