9 Nov 2018

Arsenal and Chelsea through to Europa last 32

6:47 pm on 9 November 2018

Arsenal and Chelsea were among seven teams to reach the Europa League knockout stage on Thursday, while last year's runners-up Olympique de Marseille were eliminated at the group phase.

Danny Welbeck

Danny Welbeck Photo: Actionplus

The two Premier League teams were joined by Eintracht Frankfurt, Lazio, Bayer Leverkusen, FC Zurich and Dinamo Zagreb in the last 32 with two games still to play before the draw for the next round in Nyon, Switzerland on December 17.

Arsenal qualified with a 0-0 draw against Sporting at The Emirates, although striker Danny Welbeck was carried off on a stretcher in the first half with a serious ankle injury, while Chelsea won 1-0 at BATE Borisov in one of the early kickoffs.

A heavily changed Arsenal side were unable to break down a dogged Sporting team, who were reduced to 10 men in the 88th minute when defender Jeremy Mathieu fouled striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as he raced towards the area.

However, the point was enough to guarantee the north London side a place in the last 32 atop Group E on 10 points, with Sporting behind them on seven.

Arsenal forward Welbeck was taken off on a stretcher and given oxygen in the 25th minute after landing awkwardly when jumping for a header only hours after being named in the England squad for their next internationals.

Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud got his first goal this season in the second half to secure a 1-0 win at Bate Borisov, meaning Maurizio Sarri's side qualify from Group L with two games to spare.

The Blues extended their unbeaten run to 17 games since August's Community Shield loss to Manchester City.

After seeing his striker break his barren run, Sarri said: "I'm pleased for him (Giroud).

"And so for his confidence I think it's very important. But I don't want him to be worried about scoring, because for us he's very important, very useful."

Marseille were dumped out after they lost 2-1 at Lazio in Group H. Goals from Marco Parolo and Joaquin Correa were enough to extend a miserable run for the French side, who have now lost four games in a row in all competitions.

Lazio, meanwhile, went through to the last 32 along with Eintracht Frankfurt who eliminated Apollon Limassol after a 3-2 victory in the other game in the section.

Sevilla, the most successful team in the history of the competition with five titles, went down to 10-men at Akhisarspor but came away with a 3-2 win in Group J thanks to a late Ever Banega penalty that ended the Turkish side's qualifying hopes.

Anderlecht, UEFA Cup winners in 1983, were also eliminated after their 2-0 Group D defeat by Fenerbahce.

There was a goalfest in Russia as Spartak Moscow came from 3-2 down to lead Rangers 4-3 in two minutes just before the hour mark with the home side's eventual win taking them to second place and level with their opponents on five points in Group G.