Napoli crash out of Europa League but Ajax see off Lille

24
Napoli crash out of Europa League but Ajax see off Lille

Napoli are the biggest name to crash out of the Europa League after failing to overcome a 2-0 first-leg loss to Granada in Italy.

Gennaro Gattuso’s side started with intent, equalising on aggregate within three minutes of the off, but they were soon pegged back by Angel Montoro’s strike.

Equalising on the night left Napoli needing three more to get an aggregate win but they could only muster one of the required strikes, through Fabian Ruiz.

Elsewhere, Ajax secured their passage to the next round thanks to a 2-1 victory over Lille in Amsterdam, sealing a 4-2 aggregate win.

Davy Klaassen and David Neres scored the crucial goals for the hosts either side of Yusuf Yazici’s 78th-minute penalty as the French side briefly threatened a comeback which would have forced extra time.

The surprise of the night came in Germany as Molde scored with two of their only three shots on goal to beat Hoffenheim.

The first leg had been a thrilling 3-3 draw and the Bundesliga side dominated possession and chances in the return game, only to be undone by two Eirik Ulland Andersen efforts.

Unai Emery’s hopes of winning this competition once more continue with two goals from Gerard Moreno giving his Villarreal side a 2-1 win (4-1 on aggregate) over RB Salzburg, who had briefly led through Mergim Berisha.

Perhaps the best entertainment of the night came at Ibrox, where Rangers sealed progression with a 5-2 win over Antwerp, following on from their 4-3 triumph in Belgium a week ago.

Incredibly, the score had been just 1-1 at half-time with Alfredo Morelos’ goal cancelled out by Lior Refaelov on the half-hour mark. Shortly after the break, Nathan Patterson and Ryan Kent put the Scots in a strong position but Didier Lamkel Ze gave the Belgians hope of an unlikely comeback, which were soon extinguished by Borna Barisic and Cedric Itten’s late goals, which both came from the spot.

Finally Shakhtar Donetsk have reached the last 16, with Junior Moraes’ penalty sealing a 1-0 (3-0 on aggregate) win over Maccabi Tel-Aviv.

Arsenal and Tottenham are the other teams to have gone through so far.