Sevilla 2- 1 Leicester
Jamie Vardy broke his recent goal-drought to give Leicester an away goal and keep alive their hopes of reaching the last eight of the Champions League despite a narrow first-leg defeat away to Sevilla.
The England international had gone nine games without scoring and was a peripheral figure for much of yesterday’s game but sprang into life to finish Danny Drinkwater’s superb cross with 17 minutes remaining in Spain.
It was one of only two shots on target the Foxes produced during a game in which they were largely under the cot and had trailed 2-0 in first half thanks to Pablo Sarabia’s header and a close-range finish from Joaquin Correa for Sevilla.
City’s other hero was keeper Kasper Schmeichel, who saved a Correa penalty with the score at 0-0 and made a number of other good saves.
Sevilla also hit the post and bar had over 70% possession but will only take a slender lead to the King Power Stadium for the second leg on 14 March
Juventus 2 – 0 FC Porto
Substitutes Marko Pjaca and Daniel Alves struck goals within two minutes of one another as Juventus punished 10-man Porto to take charge of their Champions League last-16 tie.
The hosts saw left-back Alex Telles dismissed after two bookings in a 74-second spell, the second after a wild sliding tackle on Stephan Lichtsteiner on 27 minutes.
His side spent long spells in their own half and survived a Paulo Dybala strike against the post before the interval.
But Juve – who had 77% possession – broke through when Pjaca drove low into the net five minutes after coming on and Alves finished from six yards 80 seconds after his own introduction.
The goals ensured Juve’s fourth successive 2-0 win on the road in all competitions and their advantage now looks huge ahead of the return on 14 March.
EUROPA return Leg
Man U 1-0 St Etienne
Manchester United eased into the last 16 of the Europa League with victory at Saint-Etienne but goal scorer Henrikh Mkhitaryan could be out of Sunday’s EFL Cup final after limping off.
Leading 3-0 from the first leg thanks to a Zlatan Ibrahimovic hat-trick, United started sharply in front of a noisy home support at a stadium often referred to as ‘The Cauldron’, with Mkhitaryan flicking in Juan Mata’s cross early on to leave the hosts needing five goals.
The Armenian departed shortly after and clutched his hamstring as he entered the tunnel, an injury which could impact on manager Jose Mourinho’s team selection for Sunday’s Wembley meeting with Southampton.
And although United had defender Eric Bailly sent off for two bookable offences in the second half, they rarely looked under pressure in securing a place in Friday’s last-16 draw.
Short of a Loic Perrin header, which was easily held by Sergio Romero in the first half, United – who had made six changes – were comfortable throughout, with Marcus Rashford poking wide when well placed in the second period.
The first leg of their next game in the competition will arrive days before an FA Cup tie at Chelsea but with just one defeat in 25 matches, Mourinho continues to shuffle his pack efficiently and the challenge for three-cup successes remains in tact.
- Other Europa Results
- Schalke1PAOK Salonika1
- Fenerbahçe1FK Krasnodar1
Wayne Rooney Eyes China Move
Wayne Rooney’s agent Paul Stretford is in China to see if he can negotiate a deal for the forward to leave Manchester United.
There are no guarantees of success and it is thought a deal remains highly unlikely before the Chinese transfer window closes on 28 February.
But the fact Stretford has travelled to China is a clear indication United boss Jose Mourinho would let Rooney, 31, go.
And if he does not leave this month it seems certain he will go in the summer.
Rooney has fallen down the pecking order at United under Mourinho.
The England captain has been made aware of interest in him from the Chinese Super League for some time, although it is not known which clubs Stretford has spoken to.
Beijing Guoan, believed to be the favourite team of Chinese President Xi, had been seen as one of the favourites to sign Rooney but sources close to the club have told BBC Sport they are not interested in signing him.
Because of new restrictions on overseas players, Jiangsu Suning and Tianjin Quanjian look like the most likely remaining options.
However, the England captain’s representatives have already spoken to Tianjin Quanjian and their coach, Fabio Cannavaro, said talks did not progress.
On Tuesday, Mourinho said he did not know whether Rooney, who has only just returned to training after a hamstring injury, would still be at Old Trafford in a week’s time.
It is not known whether this latest development will affect Rooney’s chances of being involved in Sunday’s EFL Cup final against Southampton.
Valencia Stuns Real Madrid
Leaders Real Madrid suffered just their second La Liga loss of the season in a shock defeat against Valencia.
Former West Ham striker Simone Zaza opened the scoring for the hosts with a spectacular strike and Fabian Orellana doubled the lead before Cristiano Ronaldo pulled a goal back.
Ronaldo could have snatched a point late on, but failed to hit the target with his looping header.
Zinedine Zidane’s side remain one point clear of Barcelona with a game in hand.
Italian Zaza, 25, failed to score in 11 appearances for the Hammers and broke down in tears at the weekend after his first goal since May. His fourth minute strike against Real at the Mestalla was brilliant, spinning in the area and shooting into the top corner.
Just five minutes later, Orellana finished off a flowing counter-attack, but just before the break Ronaldo’s towering header – on his 700th club appearance in his career – from Marcelo’s cross gave Los Blancos hope.
Welshman Gareth Bale came off the bench for just his second appearance after a three-month injury layoff for the final half hour and nearly scored, but Enzo Perez blocked his point-blank header.
Victory allows struggling Valencia to move up to 13th in the table, with boss Voro their third manager of the season.