Home UEFA/EUROPA Europa League Round Of 16: Five Talking Points

Europa League Round Of 16: Five Talking Points

Participating teams of the Europa League 2018/19 have finally trimmed down to the last eight after the round of 16 games on Thursday night.

The competition, which was upgraded after the 2009-2010 season to accommodate more teams, have 48 teams across Europe, battling for the title, which is Europe’s second elite club competition after the UEFA Champions League.

The round of 16-second leg games saw the duo of Premier League club, Arsenal and Chelsea making it to the last eight and other surprises that sprung up after 90 minutes.

Here are five talking points from the Europa League games.

SEVILLA EXIT FROM THE COMPETITION THEY HAVE DOMINATED: When it comes to the Europa League, Sevilla is a formidable force to be reckoned with as the Spanish club has carved out a niche for themselves in the competition.

Sevilla has won the Europa League for a record five times and the only team to have won the title back to back, their quest for a sixth one, however, ended in limbo as they were defeated by Slavia Prague 4-3 as the Czech Republic club progressed to the quarter-final on 6-5 aggregate.

ARSENAL COMEBACK EQUALS EUROPA LEAGUE COMEBACK RECORD: Unai Emery is doing a great job at the Emirates Stadium as he has guided the team to bounce back to progress to the next stage twice in the Europa League this season.

The Gunners lost 1-0 to Bate Borisov in the first leg of the round of 32 but ran riot to qualify for the round of 16 at the Emirates Stadium.

They again lost 3-1 to Rennes in the first leg of the round of 16 in France, but the Gunners bounced back to equal the competition comeback record since it was changed from Europa Cup to Europa League.

Arsenal became the second team after Fulham to bounce back from a 3-1 deficit as they defeated Rennes 3-0 at the Emirates Stadium to reach the quarter-final.

GIROUD’S PERFECT HAT TRICK: It is rare for players to score a perfect hat trick in any football game, and when such occurs, it is worth talking about.

A perfect hat trick is when a player score with his left leg, right leg and head in a single game.

Olivier Giroud became the first player to score a perfect hat trick in the Europa League this season as Chelsea beat Dynamo Kiev 5-0 in Ukraine to progress on 8-0 aggregate.

BLACK PANTHER SURFACED AT EMIRATES: Arsenal forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, celebration after his second goal against Rennes, stole the show at the Emirates Stadium.

Aubameyang after scoring the goal brought out a Black Panther mask and crossed his hands to symbolize he is the Black Panther who saved the Gunners as he also provided the assist for Ainsley Maitland-Niles goal.

The Gabon international in a post-match interview said, he decided to celebrate what he represents as the Gabonese national team is known as the Black Panther.

Indeed, he is ‘Wakanda forever’ as he has now scored six braces in all competitions this season (2+ goals); more than any other Premier League player in the 2018-19 campaign.

THE PERFECT SIX: Following Arsenal and Chelsea qualification to the quarter-final in the Europa League, this will be the first time that six English teams who competed in the European competitions will be making it to the quarter-final after 48 years.

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