UEFA Europa League: Key takeaways from first set of quarters
Arsenal capped off a tremendous show at home to beat Napoli in the quarter-finals first leg of the UEFA Europa League. The London club goes into Naples with a 2-0 cushion. Meanwhile, Chelsea were made to suffer, but Marcos Alonso's late strike helped them to take an advantage away at Slavia Prague. There were wins for Valencia and Benfica. Here are the key takeaways.
Unai Emery's relation with the Europa League is pretty close. He has won three titles with Sevilla as a manager. And getting a victory against Napoli does him a world of good. Emery's experience in this tournament will help Arsenal going forward in the closing stages. The Spaniard will be required to get his team believe away and one expects Arsenal to come through.
Chelsea will feel relieved to have got the job done. They haven't played a consistent brand of football, but the crucial wins have come. This time the hard work paid off at the death. But they need to be wary of Slavia at Stamford Bridge. The hosts showed enough quality on the pitch and this tie is far from over.
Valencia beat fellow Spanish side Villarreal 3-1 in an entertaining clash away from home. The visitors scored twice in injury time to seal victory. Valencia are making the most of their form in recent times and the belief was there. They built on wins against Real and Sevilla. It was a collective team performance and Valencia could be hard to overcome if they progress.
Teenage striker Joao Felix stole the show for Benfica on a massive night in Portugal. The 19-year-old scored a sensational hat-trick to see his side win 4-2. The Benfica youth product became the youngest to score a hat-trick in the Europa League at 19 years and 152 days. This was a show about the promising striker, who will be remembered for a long time.