Saturday 19 September, 2020

Leon Bailey's Leverkusen, Sevilla reach Europa League quarterfinals

Bayer Leverkusen's Leon Bailey (right) celebrates with Kai Havertz  at the end of the Europa League round of 16, second leg, football match against Glasgow Rangers at the BayArena in Leverkusen, Germany, Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020. (Sascha Schuermann, Pool Photo via AP),

Bayer Leverkusen's Leon Bailey (right) celebrates with Kai Havertz at the end of the Europa League round of 16, second leg, football match against Glasgow Rangers at the BayArena in Leverkusen, Germany, Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020. (Sascha Schuermann, Pool Photo via AP),

Bayer Leverkusen, with Jamaica international Leon Bailey, cruised into the quarterfinals of the Europa League by beating Rangers 1-0 on Thursday thanks to a powerful shot from Moussa Diaby for a 4-1 aggregate win.

Leverkusen take on Inter Milan in the quarterfinals Monday.

Leverkusen’s in-demand forward Kai Havertz volleyed the ball over the bar and sent another chance wide.

Leverkusen have vowed that Havertz will complete the club’s Europa League campaign before any transfer. The 21-year-old German has been heavily linked with Chelsea.

Rangers had the unusual distinction of playing a 2019-20 Europa League game after they had already begun the 2020-21 season in the Scottish league last week.

In another game, Sevilla beat Roma 2-0 in the round of 16  to stay in the hunt for a record sixth Europa League title.

Full-back Sergio Reguilon gave Sevilla the lead with a surging run through the Roma defense and a shot past keeper Pau Lopez in the 22nd minute. Youssef En-Nesyri added the second just before halftime, tapping in a low cross from Lucas Ocampos.

Sevilla could easily have scored more, with two shots hitting the crossbar and a goal overturned for offside on video review. Playing after a packed run of Serie A games, Roma didn't muster a single shot on target in the first half and just one in the second.

It was a single game at a neutral venue in Germany because no first leg was played in March before the season was suspended amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Roma defender Gianluca Mancini was sent off in added time for making contact with Luuk De Jong’s head in a challenge for the ball.

It was Roma's first game since their $700 million takeover by the Texas-based Friedkin Group was confirmed Thursday morning.

The venue was a world away from that high-powered dealmaking. Roma and Sevilla played at the stadium of third-tier German club Duisburg, whose fans have been raising money from T-shirt sales to help the club with the financial impact of the coronavirus.

Sevilla had more rest than Roma and it showed as the Spanish team played high-tempo football and pressed Roma intensely to force turnovers high up the field. Since July 19, when Sevilla played their last game in La Liga, Roma had rattled through five Serie A games in 14 days, with a five-day turnaround before the Europa League.

Sevilla next face a quarterfinal against either Wolverhampton or Olympiakos on Tuesday.

 

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