Europa League: Monaco, West Ham and Leverkusen to the playoffs

Monaco: French clubs Monaco, West Ham, and Bayer Leverkusen, Germany, reached the knockout stages of the European Football League “European League” after winning their matches in the fifth penultimate round of the group stage on Thursday.

Contrary to the previous system, which qualifies the two first-placed players directly to the playoffs, only the leaders of each of the eight groups qualify for the second round, while the runners-up play confrontations against the third-placed holders from the Champions League groups to complete the qualifying contract.

The third-placed teams qualify for play-off matches against the second-placed teams in the newly created “Conference League” continental competition groups to complete the 16th round contract in the latter.

In the second group, Monaco beat its guest Real Sociedad 2-1, and PSV Eindhoven outperformed Eindhoven 2-0 at home against Austrian Strom Graz.

The emirate team raised its score to 11 points, compared to 8 for Eindhoven, West for Sociedad and one for Strom. And the French club secured the lead even in the event of losing the last match against Strom, because it outperformed its Dutch counterpart in the two direct matches.

Monaco opened the scoring through German Kevin Volland, who followed a cross from Russian Alexander Golovin on the goal gate (28).

And the young Swede, Alexander Isak, equalized after he received a deep ball between two Belgian defenders, Adnan Januzaj, followed by “Loeb” over the goalkeeper (35).

Yosef Fofana restored the Croatian coach Niko Kovac’s team header in front of the goal after a header pass also from Benoa Badiachel (37), before he was sent off in the 89th minute.

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English Leicester City put themselves in a good position in the burning third group, taking advantage of the fall of Italy’s Napoli against Spartak Moscow 1-2 on Wednesday, by defeating its guest Legia Warsaw 3-1.

Leicester raised its score to 8 points, one point ahead of Napoli, which it meets in the last round in southern Italy, and a point more than Spartak, which is over Legia (6).

Leicester advanced through Patson Dhaka of Zimbabwe with a shot to the left of the goalkeeper from inside the area (11), before James Madison doubled the foxes’ progress with a beautiful goal with a left-footed shot from inside the area after he evaded the defenders (21).

The guests reduced the difference after the Serbian Filip Maldenovic continued to prevent the Danish goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel from a penalty kick by the Azerbaijani Mahir Emreli (26).

However, Nigerian Wilfried Ndidi restored the two-goal difference with a header after a corner from Madison (33).

– West Ham and Leverkusen cross –

West Ham beat its Austrian host Rapid Vienna 2-0 to top Group H with 13 points, compared to 7 points by Croatian Dinamo Zagreb, who tied 1-1 with its guest, Belgian Genk (5), and three for Rapid Vienna (3).

Ukrainian Andriy Yarmolenko opened the scoring for the London club with a header after a cross from Croatian Nikola Vlacic (40), and doubled the lead with a penalty kick by Mark Noble (45 + 2).

“It was another tough match,” Noble said. We knew it but we got the result we wanted… We want to go far in the Europa League. Leading the group was our goal and we have achieved it now.”

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In Group G, Bayer Leverkusen scored a late 3-2 victory at home to Celtic to secure the top spot.

Leverkusen advanced through a header by Robert Andreich after a corner from Florian Wirts (16). Finnish goalkeeper Lukash Hradecky caused a penalty kick for Celtic when the Japanese hit Kyogo Furuhashi with his head when the latter was trying to follow a cross, the Croatian Josip Yoranovic successfully hit it with a “Panenka” method (40).

And granting the Portuguese Jota progress to the guests (56). However, the decisive word was for the owners of the land who equalized through Andrej (82), before the French Moussa Diaby scored the winning goal (87).

And Leverkusen raised its score to 13 points in front of Real Betis (10) who won 2-0 over Hungarian bottom Franz Svarros without points. However, Betis will not be able to take the lead because the German team is superior to him in the two direct matches. Celtic is third with six points.


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