Dynamo Kiev shattered Everton’s hopes of restoring English pride with a ruthless 5-2 demolition of the Premier League side in the UEFA Europa League round-of-16 on Thursday.
Italy came off slightly better, with SSC Napoli and ACF Fiorentina both going through, but AS Roma, Torino and Inter all fell by the wayside.
Club Brugge KV of Belgium had a comfortable passage into the last eight, winning 3-1 away at Turkish side Besiktas thanks to a late double from Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo for a 5-2 aggregate win and Sevilla completed another 5-2 aggregate triumph over Villarreal in the round’s all-Spanish tie.
Ajax, though, found themselves victims of the away goals rule as they went out to Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk of Ukraine after extra-time, having leveled the tie at 1-1 after 90 minutes and winning 2-1 on the night.
After Arsenal and Manchester City were eliminated from the UEFA Champions League this week, Everton went into the second leg in Kiev as the only English club still flying the flag in Europe this season, but Roberto Martinez’s team fared no better than their domestic rivals as they were swept away by a first-half goal spree from Kiev, who eventually ran out 6-4 aggregate winners.
“A couple of times we made some defensive mistakes, but there was also some incredible finishing from the opposition,” Martinez said. “I agree there were instances when we could have defended better, but there is not a lot you can do about goals that go right into the top corner. It was the kind of night where everything they tried went into the back of the net.”
Napoli and Fiorentina weathered the away legs of their ties to reach the last eight, Napoli drawing 0-0 at Dynamo Moscow and Fiorentina stunning Italian rivals AS Roma 3-0 to go through 4-1 on aggregate, but Torino could not overturn a 2-0 deficit against Zenit Saint Petersburg, despite Kamil Gilk’s last-minute winner on the night and Zenit having no fewer than seven men booked.
Inter slumped to a humiliating 2-1 home defeat to VfL Wolfsburg, for whom Nicklas Bendtner rounded off a 5-2 aggregate victory.
Trailing 2-1 from last week’s first leg, Dynamo Kiev took the lead through Andriy Yarmolenko and, although Romelu Lukaku equalized for Everton, it was Sergei Rebrov’s side who were the dominant force.
Lukasz Teodorczyk and Miguel Veloso struck before halftime, then Oleg Gusev and Vitorino Antunes netted in the second half to bring a suitably downbeat conclusion to a woeful season for Premier League teams in Europe.
In Moscow, Napoli brought a 3-1 lead from the first leg thanks to Argentine striker Gonzalo Higuain’s slick hat-trick and always looked comfortable.
After a 1-1 draw with Roma in Florence a week ago, Fiorentina stormed into a 3-0 lead at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome to put a comeback virtually beyond the hosts.
All three goals were bagged by defenders, as Gonzalo Rodriguez opened the account with a coolly-struck penalty after nine minutes, Marcos Alonso added a second and Jose Maria Basanta’s header made it 3-0 on 22 minutes.
“I take my hat off to Fiorentina, who made the most of the chances we gifted them,” Roma boss Rudi Garcia said. “I’m mortified tonight. The team showed a lot of will, but when we commit individual errors like we did there’s little you can do.”
Wolfsburg took advantage of wide spaces at the back as Inter poured forward in a bid to overturn the 3-1 deficit from the first leg and they all but sealed their place in the next round when Daniel Caligiuri got on the end of a Kevin de Bruyne cross.
Rodrigo Palacio sprung the German offside trap to level on the night with 18 minutes to go, before Bendtner put it beyond doubt, sweeping the ball home a minute from the end.
In Turkey, an unstoppable left-foot drive into the top corner by Besiktas defender Ramon Motta early in the second half gave the home side a glimmer of hope, but a burst of speed just after the hour saw Tom de Sutter slip past the defense and fire low under goalkeeper Tolga Zengin.
A late brace from Congolese 20-year-old Bolingoli-Mbombo fired the Belgians into the quarter-finals with a 3-1 win on the night.
In Amsterdam, Dutch 18-year-old Riechedly Bazoer put Ajax 1-0 up with a solo effort to level the tie with Dnipro on the hour and the game went to extra-time, but it was the Ukranian side who had the last word when Yevheniy Konoplyanka grabbed the vital away goal in the 97th minute and even though Mike van der Hoorn made it 2-1 in the 118th minute, it was not enough for the Dutch side to progress.
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