Roma advance to final 16 amid racist behavior by Feyenoord fans

BY foxsports • February 26, 2015

Roma progressed to the last 16 of the Europa League with victory over Feyenoord but the match was overshadowed by crowd trouble in Rotterdam, including an apparent incident of racism.

Goals from Adem Ljajic and Gervinho helped Roma seal a 3-2 aggregate win following the 1-1 first-leg draw, but it was more ugly scenes off the field which will dominate the headlines. The first leg in Rome was also marred by trouble involving visiting fans and there were reports of unrest before Thursday's return meeting as well, with police said to have detained 17 people.

The second leg was then played amid a hostile and intimidating atmosphere at De Kuip. French referee Clement Turpin spoke to both managers towards the end of a volatile first half after Roma's Ivory Coast forward Gervinho seemingly had an inflatable banana thrown in his direction from a section of the stadium housing Feyenoord fans.

The match was then suspended for around 15 minutes at the start of the second half when Turpin took the players off the pitch. It was not immediately clear why the match had been halted but it came moments after Turpin had shown Feyenoord substitute Mitchell Te Vrede a straight red card for a challenge on Kostas Manolas.

Te Vrede, who looked astonished to be dismissed, was on the pitch because the man he replaced, Colin Kazim-Richards, had gone off. Kazim-Richards had earlier been hit in the face by Daniele De Rossi's arm. De Rossi, who escaped punishment for that incident, had been attempting to block his opponent from challenging Roma keeper Lukasz Skorupski following a through-ball.

When the players eventually came back out after the suspension, there was more drama as Feyenoord scored almost immediately after the match restarting to level up the scores once again when Elvis Manu - who had replaced Khalid Boulahrouz following Te Vrede's red card - broke through to slide a shot past Lukasz Skorupski.

As the home side celebrated that goal, Feyenoord reserve goalkeeper Erwin Mulder was also shown a red card following a touchline incident. Feyenoord's joy at equalising was short-lived, though, as Roma netted what would prove to be the decisive goal just three minutes later as Gervinho slotted past Kenneth Vermeer to make it 3-2 on aggregate.

With tensions remaining high in a match which saw objects regularly being thrown onto the pitch, Feyenoord pushed for a goal that even things up again on the night, but they could find no way past Skorupski. Feyenoord's exit from the competition is unlikely to be the end of the matter for the Dutch side, though, with UEFA expected to launch an investigation into Thursday's incidents.

Celtic's Europa League campaign came to a frustrating end with a 1-0 defeat by Internazionale at the San Siro after Hoops defender Virgil van Dijk was dismissed in the first half. 

The Scottish champions were more than holding their own until the defender was sent off by referee Ivan Kruzliak in the 36th minute after picking up two yellow cards. It was an uphill task for Ronny Deila's side thereafter and they never really came close to getting the vital goal before Fredy Guarin drilled in a wonderful strike with two minutes remaining to make it 4-3 on aggregate and take a rather unconvincing Serie A side into the last 16.

The Hoops will turn their attention to the visit of second-placed Aberdeen on Sunday in a match which will go some way to deciding the destination of the Scottish Premiership title.

Luciano Vietto scored twice as Villarreal booked their place in the last 16 of the Europa League after they preserved a 2-1 lead over Salzburg from their first meeting a week ago, the Yellow Submarine won 3-1 in Austria in order to progress.

Vietto's double turned the tie on its head after Marco Djuricin's goal had put Salzburg in front. The hosts were broken after that and Giovani dos Santos wrapped up an impressive win.

Wolfsburg repelled a string of Sporting Lisbon attacks to reach the last 16 of the Europa League with a goalless draw in Portugal.

With a 2-0 aggregate lead from the first leg, Wolfsburg focused their efforts on keeping Sporting at bay and could thank goalkeeper Diego Benaglio for making a string of saves to frustrate the hosts. The match was slow to get going but came alive in the second part of the first half as Sporting created a number of chances.

Napoli cruised to a routine victory over Trabzonspor and confirmed their last-16 place in the Europa League in the process on Thursday night.

Having won last week's first leg 4-0, Rafael Benitez's men had the one task of avoiding capitulation to complete. They did just that, with Jonathan de Guzman's goal getting them a 1-0 win on the night and a 5-0 one on aggregate.

Torino got the better of a ding-dong battle in torrential rain to eliminate Athletic Bilbao from the Europa League.

The Serie A side twice saw their lead pegged back but finally prevailed 3-2 on the night to win 5-4 on aggregate and advance to the last 16. Fabio Quagliarella's penalty, Maxi Lopez's header and Matteo Darmian's eventual winner ensured Andoni Iraola's excellent goal and one from Oscar De Marcos were in vain.

Zenit Saint-Petersburg eased to a 4-0 aggregate win over runaway Eredivisie leaders PSV Eindhoven to reach the last 16 of the Europa League. Leading through Hulk's first-leg goal, Zenit won the return on their home patch with another goal from the Brazilian and two from striker Salomon Rondon.

Dinamo Moscow came from behind to beat Anderlecht 3-1 on Thursday.

Aleksandar Mitrovic had put the Belgians in front after 28 minutes but a fine strike from Aleksei Kozlov levelled it two minutes into the second half before Artur Yusupov tidied up from Aleksandr Kokorin's penalty miss in the 64th minute. Kevin Kuranyi then wrapped it up with a strike in the fifth minute of time added on.

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