The first leg took place in all of the UEFA Europa League 2011 Round of 16 matches on the evening of Thursday 10th March 2011.
Ajax 0-1 Spartak Moscow
Spartak Moscow took a big step towards the Quarter Finals in picking up a good 1-0 victory away at Ajax Amsterdam. Alex scored the only goal of the game in the 57th minute, against the run of the play, in which the home side had enjoyed superior possession and shots on target.
Bayer Leverkusen 2-3 Villarreal
The most exciting match of the evening took place in Leverkusen’s BayArena, where Bayer Leverkusen and Villareal swapped the lead in a five goal thriller.
Leverkusen got into a 33rd minute lead when Kadlec scored, but Rossi equalised for the visitors just before half time, on 42 minutes.
In the second half, Nilmar gave the visitors a 70th minute lead that lasted only a couple of minutes as Castro replied for the hosts on 72 minutes.
Deep into injury time, Nilmar scored his second to give Villareal a 90+4 minute winner – and a third away goal, which means Leverkusen must score at least twice in the second leg to progress.
Benfica 2-1 Paris SG
Benfica also came from a goal behind to defeat the visiting Paris Saint Germain. Luyindula put the visitors in front after 14 minutes, a lead they held for almost the entire first half, before a 42nd minute goal from Maxi Pereira levelled the half-time scoreline at 1-1.
In the second period, Benfica found a winner from Jara after 81 minutes, in an otherwise pretty even and entertaining tie. The second leg, particularly considering Paris SG managed an away goal, will be another close encounter.
Braga 1-0 Liverpool
Braga went one step closer to the Quarter Finals by defeating Liverpool 1-0 – in the process preventing their illustrious opponents from getting an away goal. An 18th minute penalty from Alan was enough to separate the sides, who achieved only a couple of shots on target each in 90 minutes of cagey football.
CSKA Moscow 0-1 FC Porto
Porto returned from Russia with an away victory after Guarin struck the only goal of the game in the 70th mintue at the Luzhniki Stadion, removing CSKA’s unbeaten record in this year’s Europa League in the process. An entertaining and closely matched game suggests that CSKA are far from out of this tie, however, and an early away goal next time would level the score absolutely.
Dynamo Kiev 2-0 Man City
Dynamo Kiev took a big leap towards the quarter finals with a 2-0 home win over Manchester City. Andriy Schevchenko opened the scoring for the hosts on 25 minutes, while Gusev doubled that lead in the 77th minute. City threatened with some good opportunities of their own, but failed to beat Olexandr Shovkovskiy in the Kiev net.
FC Twente 3-0 Zenit St Petersburg
Zenit St Petersburg will need a remarkable performance in their home second leg to reach the next phase after falling to a 3-0 defeat in the Netherlands. Luuk de Jong opened the scoring with his head on 25 minutes, and repeated the feat on 90+2 minutes to score the third goal either side of a 56th minute Landzaat goal. Zenit will be upset not to have scored at least one away goal from an otherwise reasonably even match.
PSV Eindhoven 0-0 Rangers
Glasgow Rangers travelled to the Netherlands and, thanks largely to PSV’s wayward shooting – they missed the target 11 times, and hit it just once – they returned with the scores level at 0-0. It was mission accomplished by Rangers, who only loosed off three shots over the entire 90 minutes, only one of which was on target. There is everything to play for in the return fixture at Ibrox as a result.
UEFA Europa League 2011 Round of 16 1st Leg Results – Thursday 10th March 2011
- Ajax 0-1 Spartak Moscow
- Bayer Leverkusen 2-3 Villarreal
- Benfica 2-1 Paris SG
- Braga 1-0 Liverpool
- CSKA Moscow 0-1 FC Porto
- Dynamo Kiev 2-0 Man City
- FC Twente 3-0 Zenit St Petersburg
- PSV Eindhoven 0-0 Rangers