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lucas torreira - arsenal, one of Europa League's favorites

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How the Europa League favorites fared last night

The Europa League is once again an assembly of lesser known teams and European giants who’ve somehow failed to qualify for the Champions League. However, with a European trophy realistically within reach, the big name clubs are stepping up their game. Here were last night’s most talked about encounters. 

Genaro gattuso - AC Milan managerAC Milan lined up with the majority of their starting players against Luxembourg side F91 Dudelange. The Italian side is looking to build back the reputation it has squandered during the last decade. Last night’s game will not help, though, as the Milanese were fortunate to secure a narrow victory, through Gonzalo Higuain’s goal. Olympiacos and Real Betis drew in the group’s other games. If Milan are to try and win the trophy, they will first need to overcome the difficult task of qualifying from their group.

henrikh mkhitaryan - arsenal, europa leagueArsenal, returning for the second year running to the dismay of their fans, looked like a winning side, albeit only for the first 75 minutes of their game against Vorskla. Danny Welbeck (18.50 points) and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (22.85 points) seemed to relish the opportunity. The Gunners, however, relaxed towards the end of the game. It ended 4-2, leaving the Premier League side’s supporters with just as many unanswered questions as they had prior to this game.

The talk of the town may have been the Red Bull derby between RasenBallsport Leipzig and RB Salzburg. The two teams, controversially, share the same sponsor. The match looked to slip into a predictable draw, before Fredrik Gulbrandsen gifted the Austrians the victory with a goal in the 89th minute.

Hatem Ben Arfa (10.25 points), freed from the PSG reserve status, scored the victory goal for new side Rennes, as the Ligue 1 side defeated FK Jablonec 2-1.

Lazio managed a similarly narrow victory against Apollon Limassol, with Luis Alberto and Ciro Immobile scoring the Italians’ goals. Chelsea continued their run of victories with a 1-0 victory over Paok Salonic.

Sevilla, winners of five Europa League trophies, trampled over Belgium’s Standard Liege. It ended 5-1, but the impression remains that things could have been significantly worse for Standard. Wissam Ben Yedder (25.50  points) was once again the stand out player for the Spaniards.

Fenerbahce, a team that narrowly missed out on top honors in Turkey last year, received a dire bashing, 4-1, at the hands of Croatia’s Dinamo Zagreb. And French side Olympique Marseille also succumbed to a home 2-1 defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt.

Overall, the Europa League proves to have remained as entertaining a competition as fans likely will have remembered. The European competition, well as the Champions League are set to return to FootballCoin, with all games present in free contests.

As for this weekend, we are celebrating the return of domestic football. The Premier League, Serie A, La Liga and other competitions will all be made part of free contests. Create your perfect draft for a chance to win important prizes.

Eduard Bănulescu

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