An amazing night following on from my Europa League blog recently where all three Pro League sides progressed to the next round in Europe! Drama in one match, a fantastic game plan in another and professional performance in the third.
We’ll start with the earlier kick off where Anderlecht tried their very best to get knocked out, honest! 3-0 away to Zenit St Petersburg with ten minutes to play showed how willing Les Mauves were to get knocked out of this seasons Europa League. It really was the Giuliano and Dzyuba show in Russia as they were dismantling the Belgians, until stand in striker on the night Isaac Kiese Thelin ended the 2008 UEFA Cup winners hopes with a 90th minute away goal. Unbelievable.
Quickly, but definitely not a sidenote, Genk showed great professionalism by getting the job done at home against Astra with a simple 1-0 (3-2 on aggregate). Alejandro Pozuelo scoring the goal to wrap up the tie midway through the second half, once again proving how important he has been throughout this season. Showing real leadership too.
The final match was my most uneasy tie involving Belgium, where Gent visited Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley, and I was thankfully proved correct in that Spurs right now just can’t play there. Gent coming back twice to draw 2-2 on the night, mirroring Genk’s aggregate scoreline and same outcome with a draw away and a 1-0 win at home. Another fantastic European night all round!
Hopefully all teams will be rewarding with a half decent draw in the next round and will prolong their stay in European competition. Genuinely chuffed for all 3!