Friday, March 17, 2023

Premier League in Europe

Manchester City and Erling Haaland made a statement as the Norwegian wunderkind scored five goals in a 7-0 destruction of Borussia Dortmund in the second leg of their Champions League tie. Haaland joins Lionel Messi and Luiz Adriano as the only players to score five goals in a Champions League match. Haaland’s 39 goals on the season, across all competitions, are the most ever in a single season for a Manchester City player. Things were a bit quieter in Madrid where Liverpool meekly exited this year’s Champions League in a 1-0 loss to Real Madrid. The Reds entered the day with the smallest of chances to survive as Jurgen Klopp’s club carried a three-goal deficit into the second leg of the tie. Karim Benzema had the goal for the Spanish club as Real Madrid advanced in its quest to win the competition for a 15th time. Arsenal will be able to fully concentrate on Premier League competition after the Gunners were eliminated from the Europa League by Sporting Lisbon. The two clubs were tied at two goals apiece after the first leg and each added a goal before Thursday’s match went to penalties. Sporting Lisbon prevailed, making all five of its attempts against Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale. It was a tough day at the office for Ramsdale. Sporting’s tying goal came on a 46-yard boot by Pedro Goncalves that caught Ramsdale off his line. The goalkeeper would later require medical attention after being struck in the face by a ball. A missed attempt by Gabriel Martinelli in the penalty shootout sealed Arsenal’s fate. Manchester United advanced to the quarterfinals as Marcus Rashford scored the goal in a 1-0 Europa League win over Real Betis. The Red Devils move on after outscoring the Spanish by a 5-1 margin over the two legs of their tie. West Ham were dominant in eliminating AEK from the Europa Conference League in a 4-0 final at London Stadium. The Hammers held the Cypriots without a goal over the two legs while scoring six of their own. West Ham thus remains in contention to be the first club to complete the odd double of winning a European cup competition and being relegated from its domestic league in the same season.

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