Clubs and fans across Europa League and Europa Conference League show solidarity with Ukraine; Barcelona see-off Napoli, Rangers knock out Borussia Dortmund, RB Leipzig get past Real Sociedad to reach Europa League last 16
Friday 25 February 2022 17:56, UK
Clubs from across Europe showed their support for Ukraine as the line-up for the Europa League and Europa Conference League last-16 was finalised on Thursday.
Ahead of their Europa League play-off second leg game in Naples, Barcelona and Napoli players were photographed with a "stop war" banner.
Atalanta's Ruslan Malinovskyi, a Ukrainian international since 2015, unveiled a "no war in Ukraine" message under his shirt after scoring twice in their aggregate win at Olympiacos.
Taras Kacharaba, one of his international team-mates, was pictured draped in a Ukraine flag after Slavia Prague's win over Fenerbahce in the Europa Conference League. He and his team-mates also wore shirts including a "we stand with Ukraine" message for the pre-match handshakes.
There were a number of shows of support from the stands too, with Dinamo Zagreb fans erecting a banner which read "support to the people of Ukraine". Supporters of Norweigan side Bodo/Glimt, who knocked Celtic out of the Conference League, held up Ukraine flags en masse to show their solidarity.
Barcelona hit top gear to trounce Napoli 4-2 away from home on Thursday and sail into the last 16 of the Europa League 5-3 on aggregate.
Jordi Alba gave Barca the lead in the eighth minute of the knockout stage play-off second leg with a rare strike on his weaker right foot and Frenkie de Jong put the Catalans further ahead with a curling shot after being teed up by a sumptuous backheel from Ferran Torres.
Lorenzo Insigne's penalty gave Napoli hope but Gerard Pique restored Barca's two-goal advantage right before half-time.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang added a fourth in the second period, netting for the fourth time in two games after hitting a hat-trick at Valencia in La Liga on Sunday. Matteo Politano reduced the deficit to two goals in the 87th minute.
Rangers joined Barca in the last 16 thanks to a spirited 2-2 draw at home to Borussia Dortmund in front of a raucous Ibrox crowd to progress 6-2 on aggregate.
James Tavernier got Rangers off to an ideal start by scoring a penalty midway through the first half but goals from Jude Bellingham and Donyell Malen before halftime put Dortmund in front on the night.
One more Dortmund goal would have forced extra-time but Rangers captain Tavernier put the Scottish champions back in control with his second goal of the night.
Real Betis also advanced by holding Zenit St Petersburg to a goalless draw at home and winning 3-2 on aggregate. The Russians were denied a late goal that would have sent the game into extra-time as a VAR review spotted a foul in the build up to Dmitri Chistyakov's strike.
Portuguese side Braga staged a stunning turnaround to beat Sheriff Tiraspol 2-0 at home and level the tie 2-2, forcing extra-time and a penalty shootout they won 3-2.
Earlier, six-time winners Sevilla were made to sweat to reach the last 16 as they were beaten 1-0 at Dinamo Zagreb and had to survive a nervy finale with 10 men before progressing 3-2 on aggregate.
Porto also had to scrap deep into added time to earn their place in the last 16, drawing 2-2 at Lazio to squeeze through 4-3 on aggregate. RB Leipzig won 3-1 at Real Sociedad to progress 5-3 on aggregate while Atalanta hammered Olympiakos 3-0 to complete a 5-1 aggregate win.