Arsenal produced a brilliant comeback in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday, as a 3-0 win against Rennes at the Emirates Stadium put them into the quarter-finals 4-3 on aggregate.
Elsewhere, there was a big win for Eintracht Frankfurt as they beat Inter Milan 1-0 at the San Siro to move into the last eight. Luka Jovic's early goal was enough to separate the two sides over the course of two tight games.
Earlier on, Chelsea completed the job against Dynamo Kiev, winning 5-0 away from home and securing an 8-0 aggregate win. Valencia and Napoli were other high-profile names to advance, although neither won on the night.
The game of the evening arguably saw Slavia Prague upset Sevilla, as they won 4-3 after extra time. Ibrahim Traore netted a winner for the Czech outfit in the 119th minute.
Here is a recap of Thursday's action ahead of what promises to be a fascinating quarter-final draw on Friday.
Europa League, Last-16 Second-Leg Results (Aggregate)
Dynamo Kiev 0-5 (0-8) Chelsea
Krasnodar 1-1 (2-3) Valencia
Red Bull Salzburg 3-1 (3-4) Napoli
Arsenal 3-0 (4-3) Rennes
Inter Milan 0-1 (0-1) Frankfurt
Villarreal 2-1 (5-2) Zenit Saint Petersburg
Slavia Prague 4-3 (6-5) Sevilla
Benfica 3-0 (3-1) Dinamo Zagreb
Having slumped to a shock 3-1 loss in France, Arsenal recovered to great effect on home soil.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang struck in both halves—on either side of an Ainsley Maitland-Niles header—including an early goal to build key momentum for the Gunners. Aubameyang's second goal prompted the following extravagant celebration:
In what many anticipated would be the tie of the last 16, Frankfurt were able to overcome Inter.
There was little between the two sides over the course of both legs, but the visitors created the better openings on Thursday. Ultimately an error from Stefan de Vrij and a fantastic finish from Jovic was enough to see the Bundesliga outfit progress into the last eight.
German football journalist Archie Rhind-Tutt summed up why it was such a huge win for Frankfurt:
Archie Rhind-Tutt @archiert1
Winning the DFB-Cup with Niko Kovac having been in relegation playoff not long before was some achievement by Eintracht. In Adi Hütter, they’ve somehow managed to upgrade, made a mockery of a squad on a modest budget doing so well in Europe + having an excellent league season. https://t.co/BQREubIYtH
Jovic, who is on loan at Frankfurt from Benfica, has been linked with Barcelona as of late, per Frankfurter Allgemeine (h/t Sport). The speed and composure he showcased to score the decisive goal showed why there's been such high-profile interest.
Per OptaFranz, it's been a long time since a club from Germany's top flight found the back of the net at the San Siro:
Earlier in the day there was an emphatic win for Chelsea in Kiev, with Olivier Giroud netting a fine hat-trick.
Having won the first leg of the tie 3-0, the Frenchman's away goal after five minutes ended any chance of a comeback before the Blues dominated the fixture. In addition to Giroud's treble, Marcos Alonso and Callum Hudson-Odoi were on the scoresheet for Maurizio Sarri's side.
The three goals saw Giroud continue his outstanding form in the Europa League, with nine in total in the competition this term. Afterwards, he commented on the contrast between his domestic and European record:
The most dramatic of the second legs saw Valencia get past Krasnodar thanks to a stoppage-time equaliser.
The Russian side were on course to progress after Magomed Suleymanov netted in the 85th minute. However, their hearts were broken three minutes into added time, when Goncalo Guedes pounced (U.S. only):
The goal of the night undoubtedly came in the match between Slavia Prague and Sevilla, as Munir El Haddadi blasted home this incredible volley for the latter (UK only):
However, it wasn't enough to send Sevilla through. After another 2-2 draw, the match went to extra time, and the La Liga outfit appeared to be on course to advance after going 3-2 in front. But Mick van Buren gave Slavia a chance with a quick equaliser before Traore won it for the hosts with just one minute remaining.
Elsewhere, Napoli managed to make it through despite being well short of their best in Salzburg.
Despite their domestic struggles, Villarreal produced another fine performance against Zenit. A 3-1 win for the home side was enough to see them through 5-2 on aggregate.