Lyon is the first to qualify for the eighth; Betis and Real Sociedad get complicated

Teams like Betis and Real Sociedad complicated their passing after failing to beat Bayer Leverkusen and Sturm Graz, respectively.

The Olympique de Lyon became the first team to certify their qualification for the round of 16 of the Europa League by winning this Thursday 3-0 at Sparta of Prague, in a day in which the West Ham lost the opportunity to seal his ticket for the next round after missing the victory (2-2) in the field of Genk with an own goal in the final minutes.

A classification for the round of 16 that significantly complicated the Betis, after falling 4-0 to Bayer Leverkusen, in a match in which the Verdiblancos succumbed to the speed of Frenchman Moussa Diaby, who closed the match with a double and an assist.

The path of Real Sociedad, the brand new leader of the Spanish League, seems no easier to reach the first place in group B, the only one that guarantees direct access to the round of 16, after being unable to pass the draw at home (1-1) before Sturm Graz Austrian, bottom of the group, in a meeting in which the San Sebastian paid for their lack of aim.

A problem that does not seem to affect the Lyon, the highest-scoring team in the competition, which extended its full of victories by beating 3-0 at Sparta of Prague, in a match in which Cameroonian striker Karl Toko Ekambi scored again, who has already scored six goals in the tournament.

Although the great protagonist of the meeting was the Algerian forward Islam Slimani who with two goals in the first twenty minutes of the second half put the triumph of the French team on track, which was in charge of rounding (3-0) Toko Ekambi, former Villarreal player, with somewhat in the extension time.

A win that allowed the Olympique de Lyon certify in the absence of two days for the conclusion of the group stage their classification for the round of 16, after securing the first place in group A.

Mathematical classification that escaped the West Ham, which until now counted by victories its matches, after drawing this Thursday 2-2 in the field of Genk Belgian team, in a match in which the English team won 1-2, thanks to a double by Algerian Said Benrahma, with two minutes remaining.

But an own goal by the Czech Tomas Soucek delayed the classification of the “hammers”, who despite the equalizer continue to clearly lead group H with an advantage of four points over the Dynamo Zagreb, who won 3-1 to Rapid of Vienna.

A first position that was complicated for him Betis, who no longer depends on himself, after losing 4-0 to the Bayer Leverkusen, who established himself in the leadership of group G, after clearly imposing the Andalusian team that will not be able to count on the next day with the French Nabil Fekir, expelled, after starring in a hitch with Kerem Demirbay in the extension time.

For its part, Real society, despite missing two points at home (1-1) against the Sturm Graz, who until now had not scored in the competition, continues to depend on himself to finish as first in the group.

Not an easy goal, however, for Imanol Alguacil’s men, who occupy the second place in group B, who will have to win in the last two days at Monaco and to PSV, who tied this Thursday 0-0 in the Principality, to achieve first place.

First place they will fight for in group E on Galatasaray, who retained the lead after drawing 1-1 in Istanbul with the Lokomotiv of Moscow, just like him Lazio and Olympique de Marseille, who held on to his qualifying options after drawing this Thursday at home 2-2 with the Lazio thanks to a goal in the 82nd minute from Dimitri Payet, who in the 90th was able to give Argentina’s Jorge Sampaoli the victory with a shot that crashed off the crossbar.

Who did not fail was the Napoli, undefeated leader of the Italian League, who climbed to the leadership of group C, after thrashing 1-4 at Legia Warsaw, in a clash in which the Mexican international Hirving “Chucky” Lozano contributed to the triumph of Luciano Spalleti’s men with a goal.

A triumph that placed the Italian team one point ahead of him Legia of Warsaw and two about him Leicester, who lost the opportunity to be in first place, after drawing 1-1 at home with the Spartak of Moscow, in a game in which Jamie Vardy wasted a penalty for the locals with fifteen minutes to go.

For his part, Eintracht took a giant step to conclude as leader of group D, after winning this Thursday by 1-2 at Olympiacos with a goal in extra time from Norway’s Jens Hauge, which allowed the German team to take a four-point lead over the second-placed Greek team.


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