Europa League Round-Up

Despite the frosty weather, things are beginning to heat up in the Europa League for three British teams.

Last night signalled the end of the group stages, with only Arsenal coming away with a victory having already secured progression through to the knock-out stages.

Perhaps the most fortunate team to make their way to the last-32 was Celtic, who qualified despite a loss to FC Red Bull Salzburg thanks to a shock result that saw Norwegian side Rosenborg draw with RB Leipzig in Germany.


The Scottish Champions fell behind after two goals in 10 minutes in the second half which had most of Celtic’s supporters resigned to the realisation that their European journey was over. A late goal from Oliver Ntcham restored a touch of pride but in truth Celtic will be indebted to Rosenborg should they progress any further.

Meanwhile, the Gunners hosted FK Qarabag, who had only managed three points in the competition. Alexandre Lacazette gave the home side an early lead which proved to be the only goal of the game, despite registering 11 shots and retaining almost 70% possession.

Victory extends Arsenal's unbeaten run into a 22nd match. It is their longest run without defeat in all competitions since a 28-game stretch that ended in November 2007. As group winners, Arsenal will avoid the four best-placed teams dropping down from the Champions League in the draw for the last 32.

As do Chelsea, who fielded a weakened side against MOL Vidi, safe in the knowledge that their qualification was already guaranteed. The Blues took the lead from a free-kick by Willian before the Hungarian side equalized less than two minutes later thanks to an own goal from teenager Ethan Ampadu. Vidi then took the lead just before the hour mark but their plans of taking all three points were scuppered by another free-kick, this time from Olivier Giroud to maintain their unbeaten run in the competition.Chelsea

Rangers were the unfortunate team to miss out on qualification due to a 1-0 loss away to Rapid Vienna. Steven Gerrard’s side went into the game knowing that a win would secure progression to the knock-out stages, but an 84th minute goal saw them relinquish second place in the group to their opponents, bringing an end to their European adventure.

The draw for the last-32 will be on Monday December 17 in Nyon, Switzerland at 12pm GMT. Chelsea and Arsenal have qualified as seeded teams after their unbeaten campaigns, whereas Celtic go into the knock-out stages unseeded meaning that they will likely face a sterner test in the next round.

Seeded teams are drawn against unseeded sides with the first leg at the home of the unseeded teams, before a second leg at the home stadium of the seeded side a week later. Teams from the same group or same country cannot be drawn together for the round of 32, meaning Arsenal and Chelsea will not be playing each other. However, Celtic could be drawn against the Premier League clubs. The first legs will be played on February 14 before the second leg a week later on 21 February.