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Torreira pays tribute to close friend in goal celebration – THINGS YOU MISSED FROM THE EUROPA LEAGUE

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Lucas Torreira pays tribute to close friend in goal celebration, Joao Felix reduced to tears with hat-trick against Frankfurt and Aaron Ramsey loves playing in Europe – FIVE THINGS YOU MISSED FROM THE EUROPA LEAGUE

  • Europa League quarter-finals took shape after first leg ties on Thursday night 
  • Arsenal produced a fine performance to beat tournament favourites Napoli 2-0
  • Chelsea also strengthened their bid with a narrow 1-0 win away to Slavia Prague
  • Benfica have Joao Felix to thank as the teenager scored a hat-trick in a 4-2 win 
  • Sportsmail recaps five things you may have missed from Thursday night’s action 

There was plenty for Arsenal and Chelsea fans to smile about as both British sides took control of their Europa League quarter-finals on Thursday night.

Goals from Aaron Ramsey and Lucas Torreira put the Gunners in control at home against Napoli, while a late header from Marcos Alonso in Prague handed Chelsea a precious away goal ahead of the return at Stamford Bridge.  

But there was lots happening around Europe on the night and Sportsmail brings you five things you may have missed from the quarter-finals of the Europa League… 

Arsenal celebrated what could prove a crucial 2-0 first leg win over Napoli on Thursday night

Arsenal celebrated what could prove a crucial 2-0 first leg win over Napoli on Thursday night

Torreira dedicates goal to friend

There was plenty in Arsenal’s 2-0 win over Napoli to marvel at. 

But for all the finesse in the finishing and the solidity shown at the back, one standout moment saw goal scorer Torreira dedicate his goal – Arsenal’s second on the night – to a close friend back home in Uruguay who recently died. 

The t-shirt showed a photo of the Arsenal midfielder alongside close friend Rafita with the pair holding a Sampdoria shirt – the club he played for before his switch to England. 

Rather than taking his own shirt off, the midfielder ran over to the Arsenal dugout after scoring to collect the shirt before he held it clearly in front of the camera with the message, ‘we love and miss you,’ written in Spanish.  

Lucas Torreira dedicated his goal against Napoli to his close friend Rafita who died recently

Lucas Torreira dedicated his goal against Napoli to his close friend Rafita who died recently

Lucas Torreira dedicated his goal against Napoli to his close friend Rafita who died recently

Tears flow for Felix 

Lots of hype, lots of pressure but Joao Felix also has lots and lots of talent – it was all on show in Thursday’s 4-2 win over Eintracht Frankfurt.

The highly-rated teenager, who is interesting Manchester United and Manchester City ahead of the summer, was reduced to tears after scoring a hat-trick against the German side in the quarter-final first leg. 

Benfica fancy their chances of winning the tournament with one of Europe’s brightest propsects in Felix in their ranks and who could bet against them after this latest instalment. 

Felix opened the scoring from the spot before restoring the lead with a thunderous effort from 20 yards. Emotions were still in check but the floodgates opened – both in the player and the Frankfurt backline – when Felix converted Alex Grimaldo’s cut-back to make it 4-2.  

Benfica sensation Joao Felix was reduced to tears after scoring a hat-trick against Frankfurt

Benfica sensation Joao Felix was reduced to tears after scoring a hat-trick against Frankfurt

Benfica sensation Joao Felix was reduced to tears after scoring a hat-trick against Frankfurt

What a way to treat your parent club 

Luka Jovic is on loan at Frankfurt from Benfica and although he will move to Germany permanently in the summer, the 21-year-old showed he has no loyalty in Portugal after making it 1-1 on Thursday. 

Felix ignited the home crowd with opener before Jovic got involved with Frankfurt, for a brief time at least, well in the tie. 

In the end it was all smiles for those in red and Jovic will be left wondering as Benfica romped to a 4-2 win in the first leg to put one foot in the semi-finals.

Imagine the eventual separation this summer. 

Benfica, this is exactly why you put clauses in to stop your own players scoring against you, take note. 

Luka Jovic is on loan at Eintracht Frankfurt from Benfica but still scored against his parent club

Luka Jovic is on loan at Eintracht Frankfurt from Benfica but still scored against his parent club

Luka Jovic is on loan at Eintracht Frankfurt from Benfica but still scored against his parent club 

Aaron Ramsey loves it in Europe

Arsenal fans would be within their rights to be scratching their head as to why Aaron Ramsey is being allowed to leave this summer. 

Joining soon-to-be Serie A champions (again) Juventus on a free this summer, Ramsey has been in inspired form as he made another vital contribution in the Europa League.

The Welshman played a role in a free-flowing move early in the first half to slot home past Napoli goalkeeper Alex Meret as he first-pumped the home support inside a packed-out Emirates Stadium. 

The move to Turin may have been agreed but nobody could accuse Ramsey of checking out, acting like he is on the beach.

According to Opta, since the start of last season, Ramsey has been directly involved in eight goals in the Europa League (6 goals, 2 assists), which is more than any other Arsenal player.

Aaron Ramsey is having a major impact for Arsenal in their bid for Europa League glory

Aaron Ramsey is having a major impact for Arsenal in their bid for Europa League glory

Aaron Ramsey is having a major impact for Arsenal in their bid for Europa League glory

No stopping Hazard 

If Eden Hazard has the ball, there is a very good chance the opponent is not getting it back.  



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