Roma’s slump reaches new low in Europa League; Everton out
Roma’s slump reached a new low with a humiliating exit from the Europa League on Thursday, while Everton was heavily beaten to leave England without a team in European quarterfinals for the first time since 1993.
Italian representation in the Europa League was cut from five teams to two after Inter Milan and Torino failed to overturn first-leg deficits in the last 16, joining Roma in getting eliminated.
Defending champion Sevilla advanced at the expense of Villarreal to stay on course to win the continent’s second-tier competition for a fourth time in 10 years.
Fiorentina scored three goals in the opening 22 minutes — through Gonzalo Rodriguez, Marcos Alonso and Jose Maria Basanta — to set up a 3-0 win at Roma, and spark a walk-out by some disgruntled “ultras” among the home fans at the half-hour mark. The all-Italian matchup finished 4-1 on aggregate.
Roma captain Francesco Totti, goalkeeper Morgan de Sanctis, and midfielder Daniele de Rossi led the rest of the team’s players over to talk to fans after the final whistle. Totti spoke for a long while with the head of the “ultras.”
Roma’s season is falling apart, with the team having fallen 14 points behind Serie A leader Juventus in the Italian league after one win in 10 games and at risk of losing second place.
Napoli defended stoutly to draw 0-0 with Dinamo Moscow and progress 3-1 on aggregate to become the other Italian side through to the quarterfinals, for which the draw takes place on Friday. Napoli hasn’t been at this stage of a European competition since 1989 — the year it won the UEFA Cup.
Inter lost 2-1 to German side Wolfsburg, with Nicklas Bendtner grabbing a late winner, and went out 5-2 on aggregate. Torino beat Zenit St. Petersburg 1-0 but was eliminated 2-1 on aggregate.
Everton was undone by terrible defending in a 5-2 loss at Dynamo Kiev to fall out 6-4 on aggregate, ending a miserable week — and season — in Europe for English clubs. Arsenal and Manchester City were the Premier League’s last representatives in the Champions League but were knocked out on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively.
Until Thursday, Everton hadn’t lost in the Europa League this season.
Vicente Iborra and Denis Suarez scored Sevilla’s goals in a 2-1 win over 10-man Villarreal for a 5-2 aggregate win, keeping alive the Spanish team’s title defense. Sevilla also won back-to-back titles in the UEFA Cup — the pre-cursor to the Europa League — in 2006 and ’07.
Belgian team Bruges beat Besiktas 3-1 to advance 5-2 on aggregate.
Dnipro of Ukraine lost 2-1 to Ajax after extra time, but went through on the away-goals rule as they were 2-2 on aggregate.