Europa League Round of 32 Second Leg Review: Part 5

Steaua Bucuresti vs. AFC Ajax

Steaua Bucuresti vs. AFC AjaxAn Ajax victory in the first leg meant that they would have an advantage, but all in all, this match was nowhere near over as we came to learn in the second leg later on! One of the best comebacks in the competition so far, and I feel that it was more than deserved for Steaua. I mean any team that can cancel out a 2-goal deficit against Ajax is no doubt a very strong team! Whatever Laurenţiu Reghecampf said to his men before the game, it  sure worked (and it was displayed in their overall performance with what they did to hold Ajax and prevent them from scoring any away goals)!

The home side managed to hold their visitors for more than 120 minutes until it was up to Tătăruşanu to go against Vermeer and for the two keepers to decide who goes through on penalties. At the end of the night, it was the former whose efforts secured his team a spot in the round of 16, while the latter and his team bowed out of the competition.

Both teams had some good chances and almost equal attempts, with the home side having a little more over their opponents. Both teams also hit the woodwork, showing that none of them needed a spot in the round of less than the other.

Three yellow cards a-side were issued during this match. No players were sent off.

Laurenţiu Reghecampf and Frank De Boer lined up the following squads:

Steaua Starting XI:

Tătăruşanu, Gardos, Latovlevici, Rapa, Chitiches, Prepelita, Chipciu, Leandro, Rusescu, Popa, Tanase (c)

Subs: Stanca, Szukała, M. Costea, Adi Sobrinho, Pirvulescu, Nikolic and Fillip

Ajax Starting XI:

Vermeer, Alderweireld, Moisander, Blind, Van Rhijn, C. Poulsen, Eriksen, S. De Jong (c), Sigthorsson, Fischer, Isaac

Subs: Cillessen, Veltman, Dijks, Lukoki, Serero, Boerrigter, and Schøne

Final Score: Steaua Bucuresti* 2-0 AFC Ajax (Agg: 2-2) (Pen: 4-2)

Latovlevici 38′, Chiriches 76′

Round of 16:

Having eliminated Ajax, Steaua Bucuresti will face Chelsea in the round of 16. They will play the first leg of this game at home and the second leg away.

Olympique Lyonnais vs. Tottenham Hotspur

Olympique Lyonnais vs. Tottenham HotspurAnother tight game this one was in the first leg! Both teams showed a strong desire to win, and this was something that either squad didn’t lose in the second leg. The Spurs had even more urgency in their play, as they sought to erase the away goal scored against them at White Hart Lane, and this was evident from the first whistle. At some point, however, Lyon seemed to be dominating the game more and it seemed that they would give their visitors a very hard time; which they did all the way to the end! The home side took the lead early into the game (17th minute), knowing that even a goal would see them through to the round of 16 on the away-goal basis, but all their hard work went in vain when a last-minute goal from Dembele saved the Spurs. A draw at the Stade de Gerland booked the Spurs, and not Lyon, a spot in the round of 16.

Tottenham had more attempts, despite having been held by their hosts for a long time. They had better chances; even hitting the woodwork 2 times during this match!

A total of 4 yellow cards (2 a-side) were issued during this match. No players were sent off.

Remi Garde and Andre Villas-Boas lined up the following squads:

Lyon Starting XI:

Vercoutre, Lovren, Fogana, Reveillere, Bisevac, Umiti, Grenier, Gonalons (c), Lacazette, Lisandro, Gomis

Subs: Lopes, B. Kone, Dabo, Briand, Ferri, Ghezzal, and Malbranque

Tottenham Starting XI:

Friedel, Vertonghen, Gallas (c), Walker, Assou-Ekotto, Bale, Dembele, Lennon, Holtby, Parker, Adebayor

Subs: Lloris, Naughton, Dawson, Caulker, Dempsey, Sigurdsson, and Livermore

Final Score: Olympique Lyonnais 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur* (Agg: 1-3)

Gonalons 17′, Dembele 90′

Round of 16:

Having eliminated Lyon, Tottenham Hotspur will face Internazionale in the round of 16. They will play the first leg of this game at home and the second leg away.

Written by Ange Marline