Sports Desk, Mar 17 (EFE).- Barcelona edged Galatasaray 2-1 Thursday to prevail in their Europa League knockout stage tie to reach the quarterfinals, while Sevilla, who have won the competition a record six times, were eliminated by West Ham United in extra time.
After a scoreless draw in the first leg at Camp Nou, Barça had it all to do in Istanbul and needed a timely intervention by Jordi Alba to stop Bafetimbi Gomis from putting Galatasaray up 1-0 in the 5th minute.
Frenkie de Jong hit the post on the visitors’ best chance before the Turkish club took the lead in the 28th minute with a goal from Marcao.
Xavi’s men kept their composure, drawing level nine minutes later thanks to Pedri, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang hit the cross-bar on the last play of the first half.
Four minutes into the second half, Galatasaray goalkeeper Iñaki Peña – on loan from Barcelona – made a pair of good stops to deny Sergio Busquets and Aubameyang only to see De Jong redirect the ball back to the Gabonese striker, who made it 2-1 with his seventh goal in 10 matches for the Blaugrana.
Sevilla started Thursday’s contest in London with a 1-0 advantage after the first leg and would have added to that if not for an excellent save by keeper Alphonse Areola to thwart Youssef En-Nesyri from point-blank range.
The visitors would end the 120-plus minutes with 56 percent possession, but the energetic home side put eight shots on target compared with two for Sevilla.
The Hammers’ last European trophy was in 1965 and they hadn’t reached the final eight of a continental competition in more than four decades.
Tomas Soucek leveled the tie at 1-1 in the 39th minute with a massive assist from Michail Antonio.
The second half saw chances at both ends, but none that turned into goals and the sides went to extra time.
Early in the second additional period, Andriy Yarmolenko put West Ham ahead to stay, hammering in the rebound after Sevilla keeper Bounou made the initial stop on Pedro Fornals. EFE gmh-er/dr