Man United, Lyon and Schalke all reach Europa League quarterfinals
A Juan Mata goal gave Manchester United a 1-0 win over Rostov at Old Trafford to send them into the Europa League quarterfinals with a 2-1 victory on aggregate on Thursday.
Despite Jose Mourinho's side creating a host of chances, Mata's second-half strike was the only goal of the game, but it proved to be enough to take them into the last eight of the competition, although the night was slightly soured by the sight of Paul Pogba being forced off with injury after the break.
United finally managed to find a way through on 70 minutes when Zlatan Ibrahimovic flicked a Henrikh Mkhitaryan cross into the path of Mata at the far post, who fired into an empty net from just a few yards out.
Rostov could have found an equaliser in the 79th minute if not for goalkeeper Sergio Romero, who was on hand to save United with an excellent stop to tip wide Aleksandr Bukharov's close-range header.
Then he also tipped over Christian Noboa's free kick in the dying seconds to prevent the game from going to extra time.
Lyon also advanced, holding on to get through 5-4 on aggregate despite a 2-1 loss at Roma.
The French side carried a 4-2 lead into the Estadio Olimpico and an early goal from Mouctar Diakhaby gave the hosts an uphill climb.
Kevin Strootman struck back in the 17th minute and a Lucas Tousart own goal at the hour mark complicated the tie, but Lyon held on to reach the last eight of the competition.
Schalke booked their spot in the quarterfinals via the away goals rule after rallying for a 2-2 draw at Borussia Monchengladbach.
After drawing 1-1 in Gelsenkirchen, goals from Andreas Christensen in the 26th minute and Mahmoud Dahoud in the 45th looked to have the hosts on their way.
However, Leon Goretzka pulled a goal back nine minutes after the break and a Nabil Bentaleb penalty sealed Svchalke's passage into the next round.
Ryan Babel scored twice to help 10-man Besiktas beat Olympiakos 4-1 and earn a spot in the Europa League quarterfinals.
With the Turkish club enjoying a slim away-goal advantage after a 1-1 first leg, Vincent Aboubakar headed home from close range 10 minutes in, before Babel added his first goal 12 minutes later.
Tarik Elyounoussi got a goal back for the Greek giants with a flying scissor kick after the half-hour mark, and though Aboubakar saw a red card for a head-butt, Besiktas avoided conceding a goal that would have had them facing an exit on away goals.
Former Liverpol winger Babel then got his second on 75 minutes, and Cenk Tosun added another for the 10 men to complete their 5-2 aggregate win.
La Liga side Celta Vigo managed a 2-0 win away to Krasnodar to seal a 4-1 aggregate victory.
Hugo Mallo scored the opening goal of the second leg seven minutes after half-time, lashing home after Iago Aspas' initial attempt was blocked.
Aspas then got a goal of his own from a chip with 10 minutes remaining to seal it, before Charles Kabore was sent off for the Russian club.
Ajax turned around a first-leg deficit to get past FC Copenhagen with a 2-0 win, moving on 3-2 on aggregate.
Bertrand Traore put Ajax ahead in the 23rd-minute, heading home a rebound after Amin Younes' shot was saved.
And just before half-time, Kasper Dolberg added a second goal for the Dutch giants from the penalty spot after being fouled by Jores Okore.
Genk completed their tie against fellow Belgian side Gent with a 1-1 draw to move on 6-3 on aggregate.
Enjoying a comfortable lead from their first leg, Genk got a goal from Timothy Castagne -- shooting from a tight angle on 20 minutes -- to seal their quarterfinal place despite Louis Verstraete finding a late goal to earn Gent a draw on the night.
Genk will be joined by another Belgian club in Anderlecht, who secured a 1-0 win at home to advance 2-0 on aggregate over Cypriot club APOEL.
It took Anderlecht 65 minutes to find the breakthrough, Frank Acheampong scoring from a rebound.
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