Europa League: Barcelona, West Ham reach quarters
An in-form Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored as Barcelona beat Galatasaray 2-1 away from home to in the Europa League round of 16 second leg. With this win, Barca are through to the last eight of the tournament. The Spanish side sealed the deal 2-1 on aggregate after drawing the first leg 0-0. Meanwhile, West Ham United beat Sevilla 2-0 to progress further. Here's more.
Why does this story matter?
Barca look solid under Xavi Hernandez and the signing of key players have helped them of late. Aubameyang has settled easily after leaving Arsenal. Barca, who were ousted from the Champions League, can be considered the favorites to win the title. Meanwhile, West Ham, who have been superb since the group stage, showed why they are a force to be reckoned with.
Barca and West Ham earn progression
Brazilian defender Marcao gave the hosts a crucial lead in the first half before Pedri equalized with a fine individual goal nine minutes later. Aubameyang's 49th-minute winner helped Barca reach the quarters. Tomas Soucek gave West Ham the lead in the first-half, guiding Michail Antonio's cross. The match went to extra time with the aggregate score being 1-1. Andriy Yarmolenko netted the winner.
Notable feats achieved by West Ham
Andriy Yarmolenko has scored 13 UEFA Europa League goals. As per Opta, this is the second-most of any Ukrainian player, behind only Junior Moraes (14). For only the second time in a major European competition (excluding qualifiers), West Ham have gone to extra-time. This was the first such instance since the 1980-81 Cup Winners' Cup first round versus Real Madrid Castilla.
Sevilla knocked out for the second time since 2013-14
Sevilla have now been knocked out of the Europa League just two times since the start of the 2013-14 season. They won the title in 2014, 2015, and 2016 respectively before being knocked out by Slavia Prague in 2019. They won the trophy once again in 2020 and have now been ousted by the Hammers (round of 16).
Soucek slams this record
Tomas Soucek is the first player to score versus Sevilla in two different UEL editions. The first time was for Slavia Prague in the last 16 tie when the Spanish team was eliminated in the competition in the 2018-19 season.
Brilliant Auba scripts a record
As per Opta, Aubameyang has become in the first Barca player to score in his first two European games on the road since Robert Fernandez in the UEFA Cup 1986-87 in Lisbon against Sporting CP and in Uerdingen. In 10 matches across competition, the former Arsenal skipper has scored seven goals since joining the club in January 2022.
Pedri slams this record
As per Opta, Pedri (19y 112d) is the first teenager to score for Barcelona in the UEFA Cup/UEL since Ivan De la Pena versus Bayern Munich in April 1996 (19y 346d) and the youngest since Roger versus Sevilla in December 1995 (18y 355d).