Roma win chaotic tie

2015-02-27 12:02
Gervinho (AFP)

Rome - Roma beat 10-man Feyenoord 2-1 in a highly charged Europa League match that was briefly suspended twice because of yet more fan trouble.

Four other Italian clubs - Inter Milan, Napoli, Fiorentina and Torino - also advanced to the last 16, while five-time European champion Liverpool was eliminated 5-4 on penalties at Besiktas.

Defending champion Sevilla progressed by beating Borussia Moenchengladbach 3-2, to advance 4-2 on aggregate. Also through were Everton, Dnipro, Wolfsburg, Club Brugge, Villarreal, Zenit St. Petersburg, and Dynamo Moscow.

Dutch and Italian police were on high alert for fan trouble, and met it. Rioting in Rome for the first leg of the Roma-Feyenoord match, led in part to 22 fans being detained in Rotterdam before the second leg.

The match produced its own drama, with an inflated banana and other objects thrown onto the pitch, and two red cards issued.

Fresh off helping Ivory Coast to the African Cup of Nations title, Gervinho scored the winner for Roma from close range on the hour mark. Roma advanced 3-2 on aggregate.

Following a straight red card to Feyenoord's Mitchell Te Vrede, French referee Clement Turpin briefly halted the match in the second half because of objects thrown onto the pitch.

"It doesn't help the club, and I'll never cheer that," Feyenoord coach Fred Rutten said.

"Those sorts of things only hurt Feyenoord. It's a shame it happened."

Turpin also briefly stopped proceedings in the first half after an inflatable banana was launched onto the field. Rutten denied racism was at play.

"There is such a fuss made about it. I don't see it that way," he said. "We have different nationalities in our team. It's nonsense. We make too much of it."

Feyenoord reserve goalkeeper Erwin Mulder was also sent off from the bench in the 59th following an apparent argument with officials.

In Naples, four Trabzonspor fans were reportedly injured during clashes with Napoli supporters, and in another instance of trouble, Dynamo Kiev eliminated tiny French club Guingamp with a 3-1 win that appeared in jeopardy when the match was suspended briefly in the second half due to unruly fans.

Meanwhile, a decade after its stunning comeback win over AC Milan in the Champions League final, Liverpool was involved in another penalty shootout at Istanbul's Ataturk Stadium.

But after the first nine shots of the shootout were all on target, defender Dejan Lovren blazed over the bar to eliminate Liverpool.

Liverpool won the opening leg 1-0, but Besiktas substitute Tolgay Arslan scored midway through the second half of the return leg to draw the teams level.

Liverpool went to Istanbul hoping to draw on its success against Milan in 2005, when it came back from a 3-0 deficit at halftime to force extra time and a shootout.

While Besiktas was nowhere near Milan's pedigree, the hosts had strong fan support, and the supporters were rewarded when Arslan scored with a beautiful team effort.

Gokhan Tore cut inside from the left and delivered to Demba Ba, who made a classy heeled pass to Arslan, whose one-time shot found the top corner.

An 88th-minute winner from Fredy Guarin gave Inter Milan a 1-0 victory over Celtic, which played most of the last hour with 10 men. The Nerazzurri went through 4-3 on aggregate.

After a 1-1 first leg, Fiorentina beat Tottenham 2-0 with second-half goals from Mario Gomez and Mohamed Salah, who has three goals in five matches since joining the Tuscan club on loan from Chelsea.

Napoli added to its 4-0 first-leg cushion with a 1-0 win over Trabzonspor, and Italy international Matteo Darmian scored the winner for Torino, which won 3-2 at Athletic Bilbao to go through on 5-4 aggregate.

The draw for the last 16 will be on Friday in Nyon, Switzerland.

Read more on:    feyenoord  |  roma  |  europa league  |  gervinho  |  soccer


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