Leipzig, West Ham earn draws in Europa League QF’s

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Leipzig, West Ham earn draws in Europa League QF's

Europa League quarter-finals saw RB Leipzig and West Ham drawing their matches while Braga managed to overcome Rangers.

RB Leipzig returning to Europa League after being given a bye in the previous round, needed an own goal from Davide Zappacosta to earn a 1-1 draw against Atalanta at home.

Luis Muriel’s brilliant individual effort after 17 minutes gave the Italian side the lead as he cut into the box and evaded two challenges before sending a powerful shot past Peter Gulacsi to give his side the lead.

The hosts improved after halftime and got their equalizer just before the hour mark.

Atalanta goalkeeper Juan Musso saved Andre Silva’s penalty and denied Willi Orban from the rebound but could not keep out Zappacosta’s mistimed header from the resulting corner.

Both teams hit the woodwork twice and Atalanta needed Merih Demiral’s help in clearing Nordi Mukiele’s shot off the goal line in stoppage time to keep the tie in the balance.

Leipzig will travel to Bergamo for the second leg next Thursday in what promises to be another absorbing contest.

A 10 man West Ham side managed to eke out a draw against Lyon at home in the first leg of their Europa League quarterfinal.

West Ham were dealt a blow when Aaron Cresswell was shown red after he brought down Lyon captain Moussa Dembele when through on goal, with the game goalless.

The Hammers had to spend the entire second half a man down, but the home side took a shock 52nd-minute lead when Jerome Boateng’s mistake fell to Jarrod Bowen whose shot deflected off of the diving German defender to loop over Lyon goalkeeper Anthony Lopes.

West Ham’s lead lasted for just 14 minutes as Tottenham’s on-loan midfielder Tanguy Ndombele equalized the scoreline after tapping home from close range.

The second leg in France will take place next Thursday (April 14) with the winner of the tie meeting either Barcelona or Eintracht Frankfurt in the last four.

Braga managed the only result in the first leg of the Europa League quarterfinals when they beat Rangers 1-0 on home turf.

Abel Ruiz’s effort just before the break was the difference in front of a thunderous crowd.

The reigning Scottish champions, after shocking Dortmund in the previous round, struggled to create and failed to register an effort on target against their highly-charged hosts, who also had a first-half goal disallowed.

The sides meet at Ibrox next Thursday with the winners of the tie facing either RB Leipzig or Atalanta in the last four.

 

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