Europa League roundup: Rennes stun Arsenal, Villarreal upset Zenit

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Updated: March 7, 2019

Rennes took a shocking 3-1 aggregate lead over Arsenal in the first leg of their last-16 Europa League encounter on Thursday, setting up what should be an exciting return fixture next week at the Emirates.

Meanwhile, relegation-threatened Villarreal put their domestic troubles behind them to snatch an impressive 3-1 away win at Zenit St. Petersburg.

Here’s a look at the results from Thursday’s first round of fixtures:

Early kickoffs

Dinamo Zagreb 1-0 Benfica

Bruno Petkovic’s penalty proved the difference between Dinamo Zagreb and Benfica, whose defeat in Croatia was further compounded by the loss of striker Haris Seferovic to injury. Benfica now head back to Lisbon in need of a victory to progress.

Eintracht Frankfurt 0-0 Inter

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Frankfurt goalkeeper Kevin Trapp denied Marcelo Brozovic’s penalty in the first half to give his side a fighting chance. Danny da Costa nearly scored the winner for the hosts, only for the offside flag to end his celebrations abruptly. There’s everything to play for next Thursday.

Rennes 3-1 Arsenal

Europa League upstarts Rennes overcame Alex Iwobi’s early opener to secure a 3-1 victory over 10-man Arsenal. Sokratis Papastathopoulos was sent off late in the first half for a second yellow card. It’s the first time the Gunners lost to a French opponent in 10 matches.

Sevilla 2-2 Slavia Prague

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Wissam Ben Yedder’s goal within 30 seconds set the tone for a topsy-turvy encounter between Sevilla and Slavia Prague, who responded in kind with two crucial away goals. Sevilla have managed just two wins in their last nine matches across all competitions.

Zenit St. Petersburg 1-3 Villarreal

Villarreal played nothing like a team that stands 18th in La Liga. Javier Calleja’s side produced three away goals in excellent conditions in St. Petersburg, giving supporters something to celebrate in what has been a dreadful campaign.

Later in the day

  • Chelsea vs. Dynamo Kyiv
  • Napoli vs. Red Bull Salzburg
  • Valencia vs. FC Krasnodar
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