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Europa League Results: Loftus-Cheek Inspires Milan, Lukaku Scores in Roma’s Draw with Feyenoord

In a thrilling day of Europa League action, standout performances from Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Romelu Lukaku took the spotlight, while teams like Marseille, Benfica, and Galatasaray experienced intense moments in their respective clashes.

Milan Dominates Rennes with Loftus-Cheek’s Brace

AC Milan left a strong impression by defeating Rennes 3-0 in the first leg of the Europa League’s round of 16 playoffs. Ruben Loftus-Cheek, the former Chelsea midfielder, shone with a brace, scoring the opener with a header in the 32nd minute and adding another from close range after a corner early in the second half. Rafael Leão sealed the victory for the hosts.

This win solidifies Loftus-Cheek’s excellent form, having scored five goals in his last five appearances for Milan. Despite Milan’s rich history in the Champions League, they have never lifted the Europa League or its predecessor, the UEFA Cup.

Lukaku Maintains Form in Roma’s Draw with Feyenoord

In another exciting showdown, Roma faced Feyenoord, and Romelu Lukaku continued his goal-scoring streak by netting the equalizer in a 1-1 draw. The Belgian striker scored his sixth goal in this season’s Europa League, making it 21 goals in his last 18 appearances in the competition.

This clash reignited the rivalry between the two teams, recalling the 2022 Europa Conference League final where Roma secured a 1-0 victory. However, this match marked the European coaching debut for former Roma captain Daniele De Rossi, who took over from José Mourinho last month.

Dramatic Moments in Other Matches

The Marseille vs. Shakhtar Donetsk encounter in Hamburg had a thrilling conclusion with Iliman Ndiaye’s 90th-minute goal giving Marseille a 2-1 lead, only for Shakhtar Donetsk’s Eguinaldo to salvage a 2-2 draw in a game relocated to Germany due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Ángel Di María led two-time European Cup champion Benfica to a 2-1 victory over 10-man Toulouse, converting two penalties in the second half, including one in stoppage time. Freiburg and Lens played to a tense 0-0 draw in Lens.

Next Steps and Expectations

These thrilling encounters marked the Europa League playoff phase, with the eight successful teams set to face the group winners in the next round. Notable teams like Liverpool, West Ham, and Brighton, along with Leverkusen, Atalanta, Villarreal, Rangers, and Slavia Prague, eagerly await their opponents.

The Europa League continues to be a competition filled with excitement and surprises, and fans can expect more memorable moments as the knockout stages progress. The return legs are scheduled for February 22, promising further action and determining which teams will advance to the quarter-finals.