Giroud’s hat trick takes Chelsea to the quarterfinals of the European League; Sevilla falls
Olivier Giroud’s hat-trick helped Chelsea beat Dynamo Kiev 5-0 on Thursday to qualify for the quarter-finals of the European League, which was also won by Napoli, Villarreal, Valencia, and Arsenal.
Meanwhile, Inter Milan and Sevilla were eliminated.
Giroud, the tournament’s top scorer this season with nine goals, scored twice in the first half and once more after the break. Marcos Alonso and Callum Hudson-Odoi decorated the result for Chelsea, who advanced with an aggregate score of 8-0.
For their part, Napoli made it into the next round despite losing 3-1 to Salzburg thanks to a 3-0 first leg win. The Italian team opened the scoring at the start through Arkadiusz Milik, but the Austrian side turned it around through Munas Dabbur, Fredrik Gulbrandsen and Christoph Leitgeb.
In another of the day’s games, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored twice for Arsenal to beat Stade Rennes 3-0 and advance with an aggregate score of 4-3. Ainsley Maitland-Niles scored the English side’s other goal.
Villarreal also qualified, defeating Zenit St. Petersburg 2-1 with goals from Gerard Moreno and Colombian Carlos Bacca to pass the round with a comfortable 5-2.
Valencia, meanwhile, advanced thanks to a Guedes goal after 93 minutes that gave them a 1-1 away draw against Krasnodar, who had put themselves in the lead a few minutes earlier through Shapi Suleymanov. The Spanish team advanced thanks to a 3-2 aggregate score.
In Milan, Eintracht Frankfurt eliminated Inter thanks to a 1-0 victory with Luka Jovic’s goal six minutes into the match.
For their part, Sevilla suffered a traumatic elimination when they lost 4-3 to Slavia Prague as a visitor, a result that left them out with a 6-5 aggregate.
The 90 minutes ended 2-2, and the Spanish team seemed to be on their way to qualifying thanks to a goal from Argentina’s Franco Vazquez in the lengthening. But Mick van Buren and Ibrahim-Benjamin Traore – the latter at 118 minutes – scored to eliminate the three-time champions.
The other side to qualify was Benfica, who advanced thanks to a 3-0 win with two goals in the margin. Jonah scored his team’s first goal in the 90 minutes, while Francisco Ferreira and Alex Grimaldo scored in the 30 minutes.
The draw for the quarter-finals and semi-finals will be on Friday.