Friday, March 10, 2023

Premier League in Europe

Chelsea earned a much-needed win for embattled manger Graham Potter and advanced to the next round of the Champions League with a 2-0 victory over Borussia Dortmund at Stamford Bridge. The two goals were not elegant, but it was the first time this year that Chelsea had scored more than once in a game and they could not have come at better time as the Blues overcame a one goal deficit from the first leg played in Germany. Raheem Sterling scored the opening goal when he made connection on his second swing at a ball before Dortmund defenders could react. Kai Havertz later was given a second chance to successfully convert a penalty kick after a Dortmund player encroached on Havertz’ s miss on his first try.

Spurs had no such luck at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium where a goalless draw put AC Milan through to the next round based on the Italian side’s 1-0 victory in the first leg.  Manager Antonio Conte returned to the sideline after his extended rest after surgery only to see his club deliver a lackluster performance in Europe’s most important tournament. Spurs failed to score in either leg of the tie and are deservedly eliminated from this year’s tournament as their manager continues to be evasive regarding his future at the club.

Manchester United Manager Eric ten Hag, meanwhile, was well pleased with the way his club responded to their humiliating loss to Liverpool. The Red Devils snapped back with a dominating 4-1 Europa League win at Old Trafford versus Real Betis. Midfielder Bruno Fernades, much criticized for his performance at Anfield, delivered a goal and an assist in the much-needed victory. Marcus Rashford, Antony and Wout Weghorst completed the scoresheet for United. Arsenal salvaged a draw in Portugal courtesy of a Sporting Lisbon own goal in the 62nd minute of their Europa League tie on Thursday. The two clubs meet at the Emirates next Thursday to decide matters. Michail Antonio scored a brace to lead West Ham to a 2-0 Europa Conference League win in Cyprus versus AEK Larnaca.

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