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Arsenal, Chelsea reach Europa League quarters

Arsenal, Chelsea reach Europa League quarters
Arsenal players celebrate after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scores a goal during their Europa League match against Rennes at Emirates Stadium.
LONDON, Mar 15 (Agencies) | Publish Date: 3/15/2019 11:54:01 AM IST

Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang struck twice as his side beat Stade Rennes 3-0 to reach the Europa League quarter-finals and join Chelsea, who earlier on Thursday thrashed Dynamo Kiev 5-0 with a hat-trick from Oliver Giroud. But Inter Milan went out after a 1-0 home loss to Eintracht Frankfurt.

Arsenal had lost the first leg 3-1 against Rennes in France but it took them just 15 minutes to swing the tie their way.

Their Gabon forward Aubameyang tapped home a cross from Aaron Ramsey with just five minutes on the clock and then turned provider 10 minutes later when he crossed for Ainsley Maitland-Niles to double the lead with a header.

Although Rennes hit the post early in the second period, they were mostly toothless and Aubameyang cemented the victory with another goal from close range after 72 minutes.

Arsenal became only the second team in Europa League history to win a tie after losing the first leg 3-1.

Chelsea’s French striker Giroud, the competition’s top scorer this season, got his seventh and eighth goals before Marcos Alonso tapped in a third just before halftime.

Giroud netted his third goal after 59 minutes when he headed home a Willian free kick and Callum Hudson-Odoi added a fifth to cap an 8-0 aggregate victory for the Premier League side.

The perfect hat-trick – goals with his left and right foot plus a header - was Giroud’s first for Chelsea and the win was the London club’s ninth in 10 European games this season and their biggest in the UEFA Cup or Europa League.

In the only tie between two former winners of the UEFA Cup, the predecessor to the Europa league, Eintracht stunned three-time champions Inter with a 1-0 victory that took them through.

Luka Jovic, the 21-year-old striker on loan from Benfica, lobbed Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic after six minutes and the visitors held on to progress after a goalless first leg.

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