Three English teams will compete in the last-16 of this year’s UEFA Europa League after victories for Manchester United, Tottenham and Liverpool on Thursday night.
United recorded an emphatic victory to progress to the last-16, winning 5-1 at Old Trafford against FC Midtjylland.
The early signs were not good for Louis Van Gaal’s side, after midfielder Pione Sisto beat Sergio Romero from just inside the area after 28 minutes.
But the visitors’ lead did not last long, with on-loan defender Nikolay Bodurov scoring at the wrong end to give the hosts a lifeline after 32 minutes.
Juan Mata then missed a penalty in the 43rd minute after a foul on Ander Herrera.
Substitute Marcus Rashford, on for Anthony Martial, then capped his senior debut with a goal on 63 minutes after meeting Mata’s pull-back to level the tie at 3-3 on aggregate.
The youngster then put the home side in control, after full-back Guillermo Varela crossed to the far post, and the striker confidently fired in.
Herrera then put the tie beyond doubt after a handball by Kian Hansen in the area in the 89th minute.
There was still time for defender Andre Romer to be sent off for a second bookable offense, before Memphis Depay scored his second goal of the tie with a low strike, meaning it finished 6-3 on aggregiate.
Tottenham also secured their place in the next round with an emphatic 3-0 home win against Fiorentina.
Ryan Mason opened the scoring with a tidy side-footed finish after 25 minutes following a through ball from Dele Alli, who will miss the first round of the last-16 after picking up another booking.
The visitors offered very little in the opening half, and were made to pay 18 minutes after the interval when Erik Lamela expertly swivelled and fired past Ciprian Tatarusanu from just eight yards out.
The tie was then put beyond all doubt in the 81st minute after a low cross by Kieran Trippier was fired high into his own net by captain Gonzalo Rodriguez. The result means Mauricio Pochettino’s side progress 4-1 on aggregate.
Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool can also begin to look forward to a last-16 Europa League draw after beating FC Augsburg 1-0 at Anfield.
The Reds were ahead after just five minutes after German midfielder Dominik Kohr handled in the box. James Milner beat Marwin Hitz from the spot.
Philippe Coutinho spurned the chance to double the lead, failing to beat Hitz after a neat exchange with Daniel Sturridge.
Alberto Moreno was then unable to convert Roberto Firmino’s low cross after almost half an hour played.
However, Liverpool were lucky to go into the break with the lead, after Lucas Leiva’s poor backpass found Brazilian striker Caiuby, but he was unable to round goalkeeper Simon Mignolet to level the tie.
Sturridge wasted an early chance after the interval after moving inside centre-back Ragnar Klaven, but he eventually slid the ball narrowly wide.
The German side had the chance to level when they won a free-kick on the edge of the box in the 89th minute, but left-back Kostas Stafylidis wasted the opportunity, meaning the Reds seal their spot in Friday’s last-16 draw in Switzerland.
Borussia Dortmund will also be in the hat for the next round after a solid 1-0 away victory against FC Porto, meaning they progress 3-0 on aggregate. Pierre Emerick Aubameyang scored the only goal in the 23rd minute.
Napoli; however, will not be going any further in the competition after they failed to beat Villarreal at home, with the game ending 1-1. Marek Hamsik gave the hosts the lead before Tomas Pina’s equaliser secured the tie 2-1 on aggregate.
Gary Neville’s Valencia side recorded a historic victory against Rapid Vienna, winning 4-0 away from home, meaning they took the tie by a spectacular margin of ten goals. Among the second-half goalscorers were Pablo Piatti and Sofiane Feghouli.
Lazio moved into the last-16 with a comfortable home win against Turkish side Galatasaray, with Felipe Anderson and Miroslav Klose scoring within half an hour of the finish. The result meant the Italians won 4-2 on aggregate.
One of the shocks of the night came in Germany as Schalke crumbled to a 3-0 loss to Ukranian side Shakhtar Donetsk after a stalemate in the first-leg. The goals came from attacking midfielder Marlos after 27 minutes, and strikes the other side of the interval from Facundo Ferreyra and Viktor Kovalenko.
Belgian side Anderlecht also progressed, with two goals from Frank Acheampong in extra time proving enough to defeat Greek side Olympiacos on the road.
Bayer Leverkusen sealed their place in the next round with a 3-1 win at home to Portuguese side Sporting. Karim Bellarabi scored a brace either side of half time, and Hakan Calhanoglu added a third late on, meaning the tie ended 4-1 after both legs.
Player of the Night: Frank Acheampong (Anderlecht)
Team of the Night: Shakhtar Donetsk
Goal of the Night: Karim Bellarabi (Bayer Leverkusen)