Europa League: Aubameyang seals Arsenal comeback, five-time winners Sevilla go out
CGTN

Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang struck twice as his side beat Stade Rennes 3-0 to reach the Europa League quarter-finals and join Chelsea, who earlier on Thursday thrashed Dynamo Kiev 5-0 with a hat-trick from Oliver Giroud.

But Inter Milan went out after a 1-0 home loss to Eintracht Frankfurt who made the last eight along with Napoli, Benfica, Slavia Prague and Spanish sides Valencia and Villarreal.

Arsenal had lost the first leg 3-1 against Rennes in France but it took them just 15 minutes to swing the tie their way.

Their Gabon forward Aubameyang tapped home a cross from Aaron Ramsey with just five minutes on the clock and then turned provider 10 minutes later when he crossed for Ainsley Maitland-Niles to double the lead with a header.

Although Rennes hit the post early in the second period, they were mostly toothless and Aubameyang cemented the victory with another goal from close range after 72 minutes.

Emerick Aubameyang (2nd, R) shoots past Rennes goalkeeper Tomas Koubek (L) to score the first goal for Arsenal on March 14, 2019. /VCG Photo

Emerick Aubameyang (2nd, R) shoots past Rennes goalkeeper Tomas Koubek (L) to score the first goal for Arsenal on March 14, 2019. /VCG Photo

Arsenal became only the second team in Europa League history to win a tie after losing the first leg 3-1.

Chelsea's French striker Giroud, the competition's top scorer this season, got his seventh and eighth goals before Marcos Alonso tapped in a third just before halftime.

Giroud netted his third goal after 59 minutes when he headed home a Willian free-kick and Callum Hudson-Odoi added a fifth to cap an 8-0 aggregate victory for the Premier League side.

The perfect hat-trick – goals with his left and right foot plus a header – was Giroud's first for Chelsea and the win was the London club's ninth in 10 European games this season and their biggest in the UEFA Cup or Europa League.

In the only tie between two former winners of the UEFA Cup, the predecessor to the Europa League, Eintracht Frankfurt stunned three-time champions Inter with a 1-0 victory that took them through.

Luka Jovic, the 21-year-old striker on loan from Benfica, lobbed Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic after six minutes and the visitors held on to progress after a goalless first leg.

Sevilla stunned

Five-time winners Sevilla were beaten 4-3 after extra time to lose a thrilling tie against Slavia Prague 6-5 on aggregate.

Twice the Spanish side came from behind to take the tie to extra time thanks to goals from Wissam Ben Yedder and Munir El-Haddadi.

Slavia Prague's players celebrate their big victory over the five-time Europa League winners Sevilla on March 14, 2019. /VCG Photo

Slavia Prague's players celebrate their big victory over the five-time Europa League winners Sevilla on March 14, 2019. /VCG Photo

However, after Franco Vazquez had given Sevilla a 3-2 lead on the night, Slavia hit back and Ibrahim Traore's winner a minute from time sealed a famous win for the Czechs.

Napoli wrapped up a 4-3 aggregate victory over last season's semi-finalists Salzburg despite a 3-1 second-leg loss in Austria.

Russian outfit Krasnodar suffered heartbreak as Goncalo Guedes scored a dramatic injury-time equalizer to send Valencia through 3-2 on aggregate after a 1-1 second-leg draw.

Spanish sides have dominated this competition in recent years and despite Sevilla's defeat will have two representatives in the last eight as Villarreal beat Zenit St Petersburg 2-1 to seal a resounding 5-2 aggregate victory.

Benfica, runners-up in 2013 and 2014, were also taken to extra-time by Dinamo Zagreb but eventually overturned a 1-0 first leg deficit with a 3-0 win in Lisbon.

The draw for the quarter-finals and semi-finals takes place on Friday.

Last eight of 2019 Europa League:

Arsenal, Chelsea (England)

Valencia, Villarreal (Spain)

Napoli (Italy)

Frankfurt (Germany)

Benfica (Portugal)

Slavia Prague (Czech Republic)

(With inputs from Reuters and AFP)