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Record winners Sevilla beat West Ham in Europa League, FC Barcelona held

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A clever set-piece brilliantly finished by Munir gave record winners Sevilla a 1-0 home victory over West Ham on Thursday.

The result helped to keep them on track for a Europa League final in their own stadium.

Sevilla will travel to London for next week’s last 16 second leg narrowly ahead from an end-to-end game which saw both sides make several goalscoring chances.

But the only goal came on the hour mark when Munir lurked at the back-post and coolly half-volleyed Marcos Acuña’s free-kick into the far corner of the net.

Munir played as star midfielder Ivan Rakitic pulled out feeling ill after the warm-up.

“At midday we knew he felt a bit poorly,” Munir said. “I was told to be prepared in case I needed to come in. I always work to be ready for when the coach needs me.”

Sevilla have won six UEFA Cup/Europa League titles and with May’s final in their own Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán Stadium have even more incentive than normal to progress in the competition.

“We played a good game,” said Sevilla coach Julen Lopetegui. “The first half was more even, in the second half we dominated more.”

FC Barcelona meanwhile were held 0-0 at home by Galatasaray and were particularly frustrated by visiting goalkeeper Iñaki Peña —- who is their player on loan at the Turkish side.

Frenkie de Jong did hit the post for the hosts but they also had a let-off as Bafétimbi Gomis had a potential winner disallowed.

“You need to play well as a team,” Galatasaray midfielder Sofiane Feghouli said. “We did that tonight. Now we will rest first and then focus on the return leg in İstanbul.”

There were goals aplenty in contrast in Bergamo.

This was where Atalanta overturned Charles Aranguiz’s early opener for Bayer Leverkusen with a quick-fire blast from Ruslan Malinovskyi and Luis Muriel before the break.

Muriel added a third straight after the restart but a fine solo finish from Moussia Diaby made the final score 3-2.

It is now all to play for in Germany even in the absence of the away goals which was scrapped this season.

“I don’t think we had a great game, but in some moments we managed to make the most of the space they gave us,” Bayer Leverkusen defender Jonathan Tah said.

The other Bundesliga side in the competition, RB Leipzig, are already in the quarter-finals as opponents Spartak Moscow have been banned from European matches following the invasion of Ukraine.

Rangers won an extraordinary game in Glasgow 3-0 over Red Star Belgrade.

It was a game in which the visitors had three goals disallowed —- all correctly —- for marginal offsides and also missed a penalty kick.

In the other match of the night, Braga defeated Monaco 2-0. (dpa/NAN)
Record winners Sevilla beat West Ham in Europa League, FC Barcelona held

A clever set-piece brilliantly finished by Munir gave record winners Sevilla a 1-0 home victory over West Ham on Thursday.

The result helped to keep them on track for a Europa League final in their own stadium.

Sevilla will travel to London for next week’s last 16 second leg narrowly ahead from an end-to-end game which saw both sides make several goalscoring chances.

But the only goal came on the hour mark when Munir lurked at the back-post and coolly half-volleyed Marcos Acuña’s free-kick into the far corner of the net.

Munir played as star midfielder Ivan Rakitic pulled out feeling ill after the warm-up.

“At midday we knew he felt a bit poorly,” Munir said. “I was told to be prepared in case I needed to come in. I always work to be ready for when the coach needs me.”

Sevilla have won six UEFA Cup/Europa League titles and with May’s final in their own Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán Stadium have even more incentive than normal to progress in the competition.

“We played a good game,” said Sevilla coach Julen Lopetegui. “The first half was more even, in the second half we dominated more.”

FC Barcelona meanwhile were held 0-0 at home by Galatasaray and were particularly frustrated by visiting goalkeeper Iñaki Peña —- who is their player on loan at the Turkish side.

Frenkie de Jong did hit the post for the hosts but they also had a let-off as Bafétimbi Gomis had a potential winner disallowed.

“You need to play well as a team,” Galatasaray midfielder Sofiane Feghouli said. “We did that tonight. Now we will rest first and then focus on the return leg in İstanbul.”

There were goals aplenty in contrast in Bergamo.

This was where Atalanta overturned Charles Aranguiz’s early opener for Bayer Leverkusen with a quick-fire blast from Ruslan Malinovskyi and Luis Muriel before the break.

Muriel added a third straight after the restart but a fine solo finish from Moussia Diaby made the final score 3-2.

It is now all to play for in Germany even in the absence of the away goals which was scrapped this season.

“I don’t think we had a great game, but in some moments we managed to make the most of the space they gave us,” Bayer Leverkusen defender Jonathan Tah said.

The other Bundesliga side in the competition, RB Leipzig, are already in the quarter-finals as opponents Spartak Moscow have been banned from European matches following the invasion of Ukraine.

Rangers won an extraordinary game in Glasgow 3-0 over Red Star Belgrade.

It was a game in which the visitors had three goals disallowed —- all correctly —- for marginal offsides and also missed a penalty kick.

In the other match of the night, Braga defeated Monaco 2-0. (dpa/NAN)

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