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Friday, November 30, 2018

Europa League: FC Salzburg, Zenit St Petersburg and Sporting reach last 32

FC Salzburg won the Red Bull derby against Leipzig 1-0 to reach the knockout stages of the Europa League and were joined in the last 32 by Zenit St Petersburg and Sporting on Thursday.
The Austrian champions, who reached last season’s semi-finals, sealed first place in Group B after Fredrik Gulbrandsen grabbed the winner in the 74th minute to ensure their progress.
Zenit secured top spot in Group C after Robert Mak’s second-half strike gave the Russians a 1-0 home win over FC Copenhagen.
Sporting thrashed Qarabag 6-1 in Azerbaijan to progress behind already-qualified Group E winners Arsenal, who beat Vorskla Poltava 3-0 in their relocated clash in Kiev.
Fenerbahce and Real Betis also made it through to the next stage after the day’s early batch of fixtures.
The Turkish side drew 0-0 at home to already-qualified Dinamo Zagreb in Group D but it was enough to see them through along with Betis who beat Olympiakos Piraeus 1-0 in Group F.
Seven-time European champions AC Milan survived a scare as they came from 2-1 down to beat Dudelange 5-2 at home and now need a draw at Olympiakos to join Betis in the next round.
Krasnodar qualified by beating Akhisar 2-1 in Group J where Sevilla, record five-time winners of the competition, suffered a 1-0 defeat by Standard Liege after Moussa Djenepo scored late on to keep alive Belgian hopes of edging out the Spanish side.
Dinamo Kiev secured top spot in Group K after a Benjamin Verbic strike earned them a 1-0 win at Astana.
Eintracht Frankfurt won Group H after thumping last season’s finalists Olympique de Marseille 4-0 helped by two own goals which added insult to injury for the Ligue 1 side who had already been eliminated on the previous matchday.
Scott Sinclair’s header gave Celtic a 1-0 win at Rosenborg and, with Leipzig having lost, the Scottish champions need a draw at home to Salzburg in the final Group B match to guarantee progress as they sit three points ahead of the Germans.
Fellow Scots Rangers are also still in contention despite having Daniel Candeias sent off in a 0-0 draw at home to Villarreal. They next visit Rapid Vienna looking for a win to clinch a knockout stage spot for the first time since 2011.
Already-qualified Chelsea wrapped up first place in Group L with a 4-0 win over PAOK with Olivier Giroud scoring twice to take his tally to four goals in all competitions this season.
Thirteen teams have now qualified for the last 32 including Bayer Leverkusen, FC Zurich and Lazio who had already secured places in the next stage of the competition.