Arsenal, Sociedad advance as group winners

Sports Desk, Nov 3 (EFE).- The results of Thursday’s final matches of the 2022-2023 Europa League group stage saw Arsenal, Real Sociedad, Ferencvaros, Fenerbahce and Feyenoord join Real Betis, SC Freiburg, Union Saint-Gilloise in directly qualifying for the round of 16 as group winners.

While second-place finishers Manchester United, AS Roma, PSV Eindhoven, AS Monaco, Rennes, Nantes, Midtjylland and Union Berlin can look forward to two-leg playoffs against the clubs that finished third in their Champions League group.

The Champions dropouts include the likes of FC Barcelona, Sevilla, Ajax and Juventus. The draw to determine the matchups for the February playoffs is set for Monday in Nyon, France.

A goal by Kieran Tierney in the 17th minute proved sufficient for Arsenal to beat FC Zurich 1-0 and win Group A by 2 points over PSV, 2-1 winners against Bodo/Glimt.

In Group E, Man United triumphed 1-0 away to Sociedad with a goal by 18-year-old Alejandro Garnacho and the two teams ended the group stage level on points at 15, but the Spanish club took the top spot thanks to goal difference.

A similar scenario played out in Group H.

Monaco thumped Red Star Belgrade 4-1 to improve to 10 points, the same as Ferencvaros, who lost 1-0 at Trabzonspor. Yet the Hungarian side won the group with a better head-to-head record versus the squad from the principality.

Fenerbahce took the crown in Group B, blanking Dynamo Kyiv 2-0 to finish with 14 points, 2 better than Rennes, who were held 1-1 by AEK Larnaca.

Roma hosted Ludogorets to decide second place in Group C behind Betis. The visitors went ahead late in the first half on a goal by Rick, but the home side turned things around in the second period.

Sub Nicolo Zaniolo drew a pair of penalties in the space of nine minutes and Lorenzo Pellegrini converted twice from the spot to make it 2-1.

Zaniolo added a third goal with five minutes left in regulation.

In Group G, Nantes topped Olympiacos 2-0 to edge out Qarabag – who drew with Freiburg – for second place.

Thursday’s results in Group F, where Feyenoord beat Lazio 1-0 and Midtjylland got past SK Sturm Graz 2-0, left all four teams with 8 points.

The tiebreakers put Feyenoord first and Midtjylland second. EFE apa/dr

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