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TEN THINGS YOU MISSED FROM THE EUROPA LEAGUE

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First time six English sides in quarter finals of European competition for 48 YEARS, Frankfurt fans invade the San Siro while David Luiz misses his airport pick-up: TEN THINGS YOU MISSED FROM THE EUROPA LEAGUE

  • The Europa League quarter-final lineup was decided on Thursday night 
  • Chelsea eased into the last-eight, thumping Dynamo Kiev 8-0 on aggregate
  • Arsenal meanwhile pulled off a superb comeback to see of Rennes on away goals
  • Sportsmail takes a look at things you may have missed from Thursday’s action 

Peter Rutzler For Mailonline

The Europa League quarter-final lineup was decided on Thursday night, with Arsenal and Chelsea both progressing to the last eight.

The Gunners overcame a two-goal deficit from the first leg against Rennes to progress courtesy of a 3-0 win at the Emirates, while Chelsea sauntered down easy street with an 8-0 aggregate triumph over Dynamo Kiev.

Here, Sportsmail takes a look at all the things you may have missed from Thursday’s Europa League action.

Arsenal beat Rennes 3-0 at the Emirates Stadium ensuring they progressed on away goals

Arsenal beat Rennes 3-0 at the Emirates Stadium ensuring they progressed on away goals

Six English sides in quarter finals of European competition for first time since 1971 

Arsenal and Chelsea’s victories ensured there will be a full English complement of six sides in the last eight of both European competitions for the first time in a whopping 48 years.

Liverpool and Manchester City joined Manchester United and Tottenham in the quarter finals of the Champions League this week with victories of Bayern Munich and Schalke. 

And Chelsea’s 8-0 aggregate demolition job in Kiev along with Arsenal’s efficient 3-0 second leg dispatching of Rennes put them into the hat for the last eight draw of the Europa League. 

English sides are well and truly the dominant force in Europe this season. 

Olivier Giroud scored a hat trick as Chelsea booked their place in last eight with 5-0 win in Kiev

Olivier Giroud scored a hat trick as Chelsea booked their place in last eight with 5-0 win in Kiev

Olivier Giroud scored a hat trick as Chelsea booked their place in last eight with 5-0 win in Kiev

David Luiz misses his airport pick-up 

Catching the eye of your idol is no easy task but one Ukrainian fan at the Olimpiyskiy stadium had just the ticket.

The woman in question channelled an airport pick-up technique by holding up on an image of Chelsea defender David Luiz on an A4 sheet of paper in a plastic sleeve

Inscribed on the image was the Brazilian’s shirt number followed by a reminder of his club, ‘Chelsea’, and then ‘David Luiz’ in a slightly larger but necessary italicised font.

Unfortunately, she did not get to see her hero in action, as Luiz was benched by Maurizio Sarri.

No 30 Chelsea David Luiz - there was no mistaking who this lady hoped to see on Thursday

No 30 Chelsea David Luiz - there was no mistaking who this lady hoped to see on Thursday

No 30 Chelsea David Luiz – there was no mistaking who this lady hoped to see on Thursday

Andriy Shevchenko watches the Andriy Shevchenko derby 

Yes, yes, Dynamo Kiev vs AC Milan should be noted as the ‘Shevchenko derby’ but surely this fixture is a bit like when Fulham play West Ham – irrelevant in London but still a derby, right?

Andriy Shevchenko was in attendance at the Olimpiyskiy stadium to watch two of his former clubs battle it out to decide how quickly Chelsea would progress to the last eight.

And it transpired very quickly indeed as the Blues raced into an early lead over Dynamo Kiev, leaving the tie pretty much over by the fifth minute.

Ukraine manager Shevchenko, who made 77 appearances for the Blues and 111 Dynamo, was also casting an eye over Dynamo’s international stars as the national side are due to link up next week.

Andriy Shevchenko watched on as two of his former clubs fought for a spot in quarter-finals

Andriy Shevchenko watched on as two of his former clubs fought for a spot in quarter-finals

Andriy Shevchenko watched on as two of his former clubs fought for a spot in quarter-finals

The most satisfyingly brilliant save from Dynamo Kiev stopper Denys Boyko

Denis Boyko had a rough night.

Having already conceded three goals in west London last week, the Dynamo Kiev stopper was hoping for better on home soil, but it wasn’t to be.

He conceded three goals in the first half but a rampant Chelsea weren’t finished – adding two more after half time. 

But he did have one moment of pure magic, where he tipped a Marcos Alonso free-kick – which was destined for the top corner – onto the angle of crossbar and post despite being stood on the other side of the goal. 

Denys Boyko had a rough night for Dynamo Kiev but at least he can watch this back with pride

Denys Boyko had a rough night for Dynamo Kiev but at least he can watch this back with pride

Denys Boyko had a rough night for Dynamo Kiev but at least he can watch this back with pride

The Ukrainian goalkeeper was still arranging his wall when Marcos Alonso too a quick free-kick

The Ukrainian goalkeeper was still arranging his wall when Marcos Alonso too a quick free-kick

The Ukrainian goalkeeper was still arranging his wall when Marcos Alonso too a quick free-kick

Alonso sent the ball careering towards the top corner but Boyko somehow got his fingers to it

Alonso sent the ball careering towards the top corner but Boyko somehow got his fingers to it

Alonso sent the ball careering towards the top corner but Boyko somehow got his fingers to it

He tipped the ball satisfyingly onto the angle of crossbar and post before it was cleared away

He tipped the ball satisfyingly onto the angle of crossbar and post before it was cleared away

He tipped the ball satisfyingly onto the angle of crossbar and post before it was cleared away

Olivier Giroud scores first away hat-trick for Chelsea since Didier Drogba

It has taken 13 years, but finally a Chelsea player has scored a hat-trick on the road in European competition.

Not since Didier Drogba scored a treble against Levski Sofia in Bulgaria back in 2006 has a Blues player netted three times.

But Olivier Giroud was on hand in Kiev to end the wait, scoring three important goals to kill the tie and send Chelsea into the last eight of the Europa League. 

Interestingly, Drogba’s strike-partner 13 years ago was a certain Andriy Shevchenko… 

Didier Drogba was the last Chelsea player to score three goals on the road in Bulgaria in 2006

Didier Drogba was the last Chelsea player to score three goals on the road in Bulgaria in 2006

Didier Drogba was the last Chelsea player to score three goals on the road in Bulgaria in 2006

Frankfurt fans invade the San Siro

Frankfurt pulled off a stunning victory over Italian giants Inter Milan and their fans were there in force to see it.

The German club ran out 1-0 winners courtesy of Luke Jovic strike in the sixth minute.

And nearly 15,000 away fans travelled south across the Alps to witness history as they booked their place in the last eight. 

Thousands of Frankfurt fans descended on Milan to witness their team beat Inter 1-0

Thousands of Frankfurt fans descended on Milan to witness their team beat Inter 1-0

Thousands of Frankfurt fans descended on Milan to witness their team beat Inter 1-0

Mesut Ozil always plays to the whistle 

‘Play to the whistle’ is a football shout familiar to most players from Sunday league stalwart to elite top fli… well nearly everyone.

Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil has clearly never heard of that call before as he completely switched off before the Gunners pulled themselves level on aggregate against Rennes.

A slide-rule pass from Aaron Ramsey looked to be heading towards Sead Kolasinac, who was clearly in an offside position.

Seeing that, Ozil turned away in disgust, only to turn around again to see Pierre Emerick Aubameyang’s cross find Ainsley Maitland-Niles at the back post to score. 

Mesut Ozil completely switched off before Arsenal scored their second goal against Rennes

Mesut Ozil completely switched off before Arsenal scored their second goal against Rennes

Mesut Ozil completely switched off before Arsenal scored their second goal against Rennes

Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang retrieved a pass that Ozil presumed would be called offside

Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang retrieved a pass that Ozil presumed would be called offside

Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang retrieved a pass that Ozil presumed would be called offside

Sead Kolasinac was standing in an offside position and Ozil turned his back on play as a result

Sead Kolasinac was standing in an offside position and Ozil turned his back on play as a result

Sead Kolasinac was standing in an offside position and Ozil turned his back on play as a result

Aubameyang managed to whip a cross to the backpost which luckily wasn't aimed at Ozil

Aubameyang managed to whip a cross to the backpost which luckily wasn't aimed at Ozil

Aubameyang managed to whip a cross to the backpost which luckily wasn’t aimed at Ozil

Ainsley Maitland Niles got his head on the ball and fired a header past Tomas Koubeck

Ainsley Maitland Niles got his head on the ball and fired a header past Tomas Koubeck

Ainsley Maitland Niles got his head on the ball and fired a header past Tomas Koubeck

Ozil had appeared totally oblivious to Aubameyang's attempt to keep their attack alive

Ozil had appeared totally oblivious to Aubameyang's attempt to keep their attack alive

Ozil had appeared totally oblivious to Aubameyang’s attempt to keep their attack alive 

Rennes fans light up north London… and still manage to get flares into the Emirates

Rennes fans were eager to enjoy their first ever European last-16 tie and they made sure north Londoners heard about it.

The Breton contingent arrived in the capital en masse, bringing noise, colour and pyrotechnics to their pre-match party.

Despite making a show of the fact they possessed flares, Rennes fans were still able to dupe Arsenal stewards and bring several into the Emirates, which were set off before kick off.

Unfortunately for them, it lit the touch paper for Arsenal, who quickly raced into a two-goal lead. 

Rennes fans lit flares before kick off outside the stadium and then managed to muggle them in

Rennes fans lit flares before kick off outside the stadium and then managed to muggle them in

Rennes fans lit flares before kick off outside the stadium and then managed to muggle them in

Fans let off the flares straight after kick off but it only inspired Arsenal to race into a 2-0 lead

Fans let off the flares straight after kick off but it only inspired Arsenal to race into a 2-0 lead

Fans let off the flares straight after kick off but it only inspired Arsenal to race into a 2-0 lead

Munir El-Haddadi worldie volley helps Sevilla see off Slavia Prague

Sevilla found themselves in a real spot bother in their Europa League tie against Slavia Prague.

Having already drawn the first leg 2-2 at home, the Spanish side then had to travel to the Czech Republic and twice found themselves behind.

At 2-1, however, Munir El Haddadi exhibited stunning technique to net a left-footed thunderous volley from at least 25 yards. 

Sevilla went on to lose their thrilling last-16 tie despite leading 3-2 in extra time. 

Alex Iwobi disrespects Hamari Traore

Alex Iwobi made a second half cameo appearance during Arsenal’s victory over Rennes.

The forward missed one half chance as the clock ticked down, but his most striking contribution came in a confrontation with Hamari Traore.

The Rennes full-back and the Arsenal flyer tangled in the right-back area, with Iwobi appearing to lash out. And as the players came face-to-face, Iwobi recoiled away from Traore, holding his nose. 

The disrespected Traore was then booked for his complaints about Iwobi’s tackle. 



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Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud would love to haunt old club Arsenal

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‘My blood is blue now’: Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud would love to haunt old club Arsenal in the Europa League final

  • Olivier Giroud insists he bleeds blue as he prepares for Europa League final 
  • The Chelsea striker is determined to impress against his old club Arsenal 
  • Giroud stressed that he’s happy at Chelsea and is in talks over new one-year deal

The little twists of fate are not lost on Olivier Giroud as he prepares for Baku and an end-of-season reunion with his former club.

Giroud was forced from Arsenal at a time when Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang arrived and overloaded the numbers competing for the one place up front in Arsene Wenger‘s team.

‘I was going to the boss and telling him we can change,’ he said. ‘I would say, ‘We can put two strikers up front’, but Mesut Ozil used to play No 10, like a second striker, and I was OK with that.’

Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud wants to haunt his old club Arsenal in the Europa League final

Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud wants to haunt his old club Arsenal in the Europa League final

Giroud decided it was best to move on and Chelsea paid £18million. Eighteen months later, he is Maurizio Sarri’s single striker, trusted to lead the line in the Europa League if rarely in the Premier League, where Gonzalo Higuain has been preferred.

The Frenchman has been prolific in Europe, with 10 goals and three assists, making him the top striker in the competition ahead of Eintracht Frankfurt’s Luka Jovic.

Eintracht are out, beaten on penalties by Chelsea in the semi-finals and Jovic, who is closing in on a £52.4m move to Real Madrid, can score and assist no more.

Giroud still has one to play, the big one against Arsenal, his former club who are now managed by Unai Emery and have been propelled to the final in Baku by seven goals against Valencia from the £100m twin strike force of Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette.

‘It seems things are different,’ smiled Giroud. ‘Sometimes they play two up front. When I was there it never happened.’

Giroud admits it will be 'tough' to play against Arsenal but is looking forward to the occasion

Giroud admits it will be 'tough' to play against Arsenal but is looking forward to the occasion

Giroud admits it will be ‘tough’ to play against Arsenal but is looking forward to the occasion

The prospect of duelling for a trophy with Arsenal, where he spent five and a half years, is sweet for the 32-year-old.

‘I always like playing against my old teams,’ said Giroud. ‘It’s going to be tough, and it could be painful if it’s not going the right way, but you have to put the feelings and memories aside.

‘I enjoyed the years I spent there. It has been a big part of my career, my first club in England and it will always be special, but now I feel my blood is blue. The same as the national team, blue suits me well.

‘I settled in quickly. I felt like part of the family straight away. I knew a few of the players and I’m a sociable person, I always try to communicate. It wasn’t difficult to integrate. I always see it as a new challenge. 

Giroud enjoyed his time at Arsenal but stressed Chelsea are more obsessed with winning

Giroud enjoyed his time at Arsenal but stressed Chelsea are more obsessed with winning

Giroud enjoyed his time at Arsenal but stressed Chelsea are more obsessed with winning

‘I couldn’t have hoped for it to be better. And now I want to win my second trophy with Chelsea. To finish as top scorer and help my team. Our target is to win a trophy every season and this is the last chance.’

This, he believes, is where you find the key cultural difference between the two London rivals, cast at opposite ends of football’s identity spectrum since the turn of the century. One obsessed with winning and the other obsessed with beautiful football, although the lines have become blurred by the end of the Wenger era and Sarri’s arrival at Stamford Bridge.

‘The main difference is Arsenal always tried to give the chances to the young players,’ said Giroud. ‘It felt like more players formed at the club could have the opportunity to play. Maybe you would get more time at Arsenal. They would be more patient.

‘At Chelsea you have to be ready quickly because in terms of trophies it has been the best club in England for the last 10 years.

‘You don’t have time at Chelsea and when you are young it is quite difficult to find your place. You can see we have a very good academy producing very good players and a few of them are in the first team and that is a good example for the future generation.

‘I don’t want to kill the dreams of these young Chelsea players. They are very talented, but it makes sense because Chelsea invest more in every transfer window and they buy more top players in the world who are more experienced.

‘I am just being honest. People who know football and the Premier League and these two clubs, they know Arsene Wenger could not spend too much money. It was the philosophy of the club and because of that — or thanks to that — he would give the opportunity to young players.’

Giroud stated that young players at Chelsea don't have much time to succeed

Giroud stated that young players at Chelsea don't have much time to succeed

Giroud stated that young players at Chelsea don’t have much time to succeed

Giroud with his son Evan at Stamford Bridge following Chelsea's game against Watford

Giroud with his son Evan at Stamford Bridge following Chelsea's game against Watford

Giroud with his son Evan at Stamford Bridge following Chelsea’s game against Watford

Giroud won’t say which method he prefers but he is thriving in Chelsea’s demanding environment. Within six months of his transfer, he won the FA Cup, which he won three times at Arsenal, and kept Lacazette out of the team as France won the World Cup.

Having returned from last week’s trip to the United States to play in the Final Whistle on Hate game, he is finalising contract talks.

His original deal is about to expire but Chelsea want to exercise their option for one more year and, with Higuain set to be sent back to Juventus after the Europa League final, Giroud has been convinced to stay.

‘I feel very happy at the club,’ said Giroud. ‘Maybe I need a bit more game-time but I won’t give up. That’s my mentality. That’s how I’m made. It’s not sorted yet but we are talking about another year.’

The Frenchman insists that he is happy at Chelsea and is in talks regarding a new one-year deal

The Frenchman insists that he is happy at Chelsea and is in talks regarding a new one-year deal

The Frenchman insists that he is happy at Chelsea and is in talks regarding a new one-year deal



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Miracles Do Happen As Former Player Santi Cazorla Simply Proves Arsenal Wrong In Letting Him Leave

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Rarely are players missed as much as Santi Cazorla is at Arsenal. Without him, an integral part of the creative midfield machine has been absent, resulting in the gunners inability to play in the traditional Arsenal style.

It seems the club have no one of the same quality as the dynamic Spaniard and they will eventually have to go to great lengths to replace the one player they couldn’t and still can’t do without. As transfer fees go, the £10m Arsenal paid Malaga was nothing short of theft.

Since his departure and re-employment, I’m sure I’m not alone in checking out his progress at his current club, Villarreal this season.

As I did, I recalled his absolute and undeniable class in a red and white shirt. I recalled his energy, his vision and his exquisite touch which are now gracing La Liga instead of North London.

But, let’s rewind this astonishing story that has resulted in a call up to the national side after so much misery.
Cazorla missed 18 months of his football career after an horrendous Achilles injury that required several operations. He had a severe infections which turned into gangrene and it nearly cost him his foot.

Operation and recuperation were very much part of everyday life for Cazorla. It was an injury in which he lost an unbelievable eight centimetres of his tendon and placed his career at the brink.

Arsenal extended his contract by a year while he was absent but when the chance to extend that came around, Arsenal pulled the plug. The medical assessment at the time indicated that he wouldn’t be able to compete at the top level again and taking into account the midfielders age, he was released.

Whoever made that assessment is now looking incredibly stupid because Cazorla came back with a vengeance and has since made 45 appearances in all competitions for Villarreal, scoring seven goals and delivering 11 assists, not bad for someone who’s career was over.

He featured in one of the most exciting games in La Liga in April’s 4-4 draw with Barcelona and because of his exceptional performances and key contributions, he’s been called up to the provisional Spanish national squad, the first time since 2015

When Cazorla heard about his national team call up, he apparently cried and no wonder. He has gone from being a potential amputee, to a cast off, to hero, to the Spanish squad. What a phenomenal turn around in fortune and totally deserved.

I’ve been an Arsenal supporter for many years and you don’t get to see that many special players in a lifetime but I have been lucky enough to see more than my fair share and along with the Bergkamp’s and Henry’s you can add the name of Cazorla.

Not out of sentiment but on pure skill and merit, because Cazorla could have been in the same side as both, he could have been in any of Wenger’s top sides including the Invincible’s.

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He was and is a top, top player and the most positive, inspiring human being in football, overcoming injury and misfortune.

In all the time he was injured, he never once believed he wouldn’t grace the football field again and he never gave up or felt sorry for himself at any point.

I hope his resurgence continues and Cazorla features for Spain in the way he always should have when he played well for Arsenal yet was constantly overlooked.

Follow Arsedevils for news and updates on Arsenal.

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Chelsea step up preparations for Europa League final

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Chelsea step up preparations for Europa League final as Eden Hazard and Maurizio Sarri’s futures hang in the balance

  • Eden Hazard was seen showing off his tremendous dribbling skills on Monday
  • Maurizio Sarri is also being lined up by Juventus to be their new head coach
  • N’Golo Kante was back in training as he recovers from a hamstring strain

Chelsea have stepped up their preparations for their Europa League final clash with Arsenal as clouds hang over the futures of talisman Eden Hazard and manager Maurizio Sarri.

Hazard, who was seen showing off his tremendous dribbling skills on Monday, will be allowed to leave this summer.

Sportsmail understands the Blues are concerned that if they let him leave Stamford Bridge for free next summer – when his contract expires – there would be repercussions for their Financial Fair play figures. 

Eden Hazard was seen showing off his tremendous dribbling skills on Monday evening

Eden Hazard was seen showing off his tremendous dribbling skills on Monday evening

Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante was back in training as he recovers from a hamstring strain

Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante was back in training as he recovers from a hamstring strain

Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante was back in training as he recovers from a hamstring strain

Kepa Arrizabalaga was also in action showing off his reflexes as he bids to win his first trophy

Kepa Arrizabalaga was also in action showing off his reflexes as he bids to win his first trophy

Kepa Arrizabalaga was also in action showing off his reflexes as he bids to win his first trophy

Sarri, who was not photographed at Cobham training ground, is also being lined up by Juventus to replace outgoing coach Massimiliano Allegri. 

One player who was in action on Monday, was N’Golo Kante, who is on his way back from a hamstring injury.

This is a major boost ahead of the final in Baku on May 29 as the Blues midfielder is now likely to be fit for the match.

Kepa Arrizabalaga was also in action showing off his reflexes as he bids to win his first club competition. 

Hazard and left-back Marcos Alonso were seen squatting as they fight for a starting spot in Baku. 

Olivier Giroud, who will be hoping to start the match, was spotted working on his strength. 

The player who might stop Giroud starting is Gonzalo Higuain who was working out with Mateo Kovacic.  

Maurizio Sarri is being lined up by Juventus to replace outgoing coach Massimiliano Allegri

Maurizio Sarri is being lined up by Juventus to replace outgoing coach Massimiliano Allegri

Maurizio Sarri is being lined up by Juventus to replace outgoing coach Massimiliano Allegri

Hazard and left-back Marcos Alonso were seen squatting as they fight for a starting spot

Hazard and left-back Marcos Alonso were seen squatting as they fight for a starting spot

Hazard and left-back Marcos Alonso were seen squatting as they fight for a starting spot

Olivier Giroud, who will be hoping to start the match, was spotted working on his strength

Olivier Giroud, who will be hoping to start the match, was spotted working on his strength

Olivier Giroud, who will be hoping to start the match, was spotted working on his strength

The player who might stop Giroud starting is Gonzalo Higuain who was working out on Monday

The player who might stop Giroud starting is Gonzalo Higuain who was working out on Monday

The player who might stop Giroud starting is Gonzalo Higuain who was working out on Monday



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