February 27, 2020 / 8:44 PM / a month ago

Soccer-Roma reach last 16, Porto and Sporting out, Wolves march on

Feb 27 (Reuters) - AS Roma squeezed past Belgian rivals Gent to reach the Europa League last 16, while former winners Porto and compatriots Sporting went out and Wolverhampton Wanderers strolled through with a 6-3 aggregate victory over Espanyol on Thursday.

Manchester United, who won Europe’s second-tier competition in 2016, are at home to Club Bruges in one of the seven evening kick-offs after a 1-1 draw in Belgium and Arsenal hold a 1-0 first-leg advantage over visitors Olympiakos Piraeus.

Roma, 1-0 winners against Gent in the first leg, briefly looked in danger of going out after Jonathan David levelled the tie on aggregate after 25 minutes but Justin Kluivert eased the Serie A side’s nerves with a quick equaliser.

Leverkusen blew Porto away with a 3-1 away win, after building a 2-1 lead last week, thanks to goals from Lucas Alario, Kerem Demirbay and Kai Havertz before Moussa Marega netted a consolation for the home side.

Sporting exited after losing 4-1 at Istanbul Basaksehir after extra time to go down 5-4 on aggregate after Edin Visca gave the hosts a lifeline with a late goal in normal time and then netted a penalty to take them through to the last 16.

Wolves took a 4-0 first-leg advantage to Espanyol and never looked in danger as Adama Traore scrambled in a close-range effort and Matt Doherty also scored as they twice cancelled out goals by Jonathan Calleri who got a hat-trick in a 3-2 home win.

Vfl Wolfsburg beat Swedish side Malmo 3-0 away to breeze through 5-1 on aggregate and FC Basel also sailed through with a 1-0 home win over APOEL Nicosia that secured a 4-0 aggregate victory against the Cypriots.

LASK Linz upset visiting Dutch side AZ Alkmaar 2-0 with a Marko Raguz brace which gave the Austrians a 3-1 aggregate success.

In the other late standout fixtures, Ajax Amsterdam aim to overturn a 2-0 deficit against Spanish side Getafe while Celtic are at home to Copenhagen and Benfica host Shakhtar Donetsk.

Inter Milan host Bulgarians Ludogorets Razgrad behind closed doors as the authorities try to contain the coronavirus that has made northern Italy the focal point of the outbreak in Europe. (Writing by Zoran Milosavljevic; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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