Europa League: AC Milan and Tottenham reach knockouts, Arsenal stretch unbeaten run to 5 games


AC Milan registered a tremendous comeback win to join Tottenham in the Europa League knockout phase while Arsenal maintained their perfect record with the 5th win in succession on Thursday.

Milan came back from being 2 goals down in the game to stun Celtic 4-2 at the San Siro while the Gunners, who had already qualified for the knockouts, thrashed Rapied Wien 4-1 at the Emirates stadium.

Tottenham on the other hand, needed just a point to advance which they did after being held to a 3-3 draw at LASK in a roller-coaster clash.

Antwerp, Lille, Villarreal, Braga, Dinamo Zagreb, Red Star Belgrade, PSV Eindhoven, Granada, Bayer Leverkusen, Slavia Prague, Rangers and Benfica joined Milan and Spurs in booking their places in the last 32 on the night.

ON FIRE MILAN

Tom Rogic and Odsonne Edouard had fired Celtic 2-0 ahead within 15 minutes before Hakan Çalhanolu pulled one back for the hosts with a perfectly executed free kick 10 minutes later and the equalizer came shortly after with Samuel Castillejo hitting the roof of the net.

Jens Petter Hauge completed Milan’s comeback five minutes into the second half, leaving three opponents behind before netting Milan’s third.

The Norwegian set up substituite Brahim Díaz to finish the scoring.

Meanwhile, Burak Ylmaz came off the bench to score twice for Lille in a 2-1 comeback win over 10-man Sparta Prague that secured a place in the round of 32.

Lille leads Group H on 11 points, one point ahead of Milan. Sparta has six and Celtic one.

BALE SCORES FOR SPURS

Gareth Bale and substitute Dele Alli both scored penalties for Spurs as the London side qualified from Group J despite being held to a 3-3 draw at LASK.

“The fact that the Europa League group phase doesn’t motivate some of the players, I knew it,” a less-than-happy Spurs manager Jose Mourinho said.

Tottenham must beat visitors Antwerp next week to claim top spot after the Belgians moved two points clear at the top with a 3-1 home victory over Bulgarian outfit Ludogorets.

AMAZING ARSENAL

Captain Alexandre Lacazette set the tone for Arsenal 10 minutes into the game, unleashing a swerving long-range shot with his right foot that sailed into the net.

Pablo Mari rose high to head in the second off a corner kick seven minutes later for his first goal for Arsenal.

Eddie Nketiah made it 3-0 before the interval, finishing a free-flowing move. Goalkeeper Richard Strebinger parried his initial shot but the forward was able to head home the rebound.

Kohya Kitagawa pulled one back for Rapid in the second before Emile Smith Rowe stretched the lead to three again. Ainsley Maitland­-Niles was fed by Nicolas Pépé on the left to cross for the substitute to score three minutes after coming on.



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