Roma trapped, PSV frustrated
José Mourinho had warned his players of the trap that awaited them in Bulgaria. But the message from the Portuguese obviously did not go through and Roma lost on the lawn of Ludogorets (1-2). Shaken from the first minutes, the Italians struggled to be dangerous and ended up bent on a goal from the Brazilian Cauly (72nd). Relaunched by their entrants and in particular Eldor Shomurodov, author of the equalizer (86th), the Giallorossi again yielded in stride on a cross shot from Nonato (88th), also entered during the second period.
Eliminated at the gates of the Champions League by Rangers, PSV also missed their entry into the Europa League against Bodo Glimt (1-1). At home, the Dutch cracked on a sublime goal from Gronbaek, author of a shot wrapped in the right which left Walter Benitez on the spot (44th). Upset by the technical mastery of the Norwegians, Ruud van Nistelrooy’s men managed to save the day thanks to Cody Gakpo, launched by a subtle deviation in a touch from Anwar El Ghazi (63rd).
Arsenal, Braga, Betis and Union Saint-Gilloise away winners
Largely dominating on the lawn of FC Zürich, Arsenal could have gotten bogged down in a trap match after Kryezu equalized for the locals at the end of the first period (44th). But the Gunners were able to count on a very inspired Marquinhos. Already author of the opener at the conclusion of a flash counter (16th), the Brazilian winger found the head of Nketiah to offer victory to the English (62nd).
On the move to Helsinki, Betis did the job without shaking. Launched by a penalty from Willian José just before the break (45 + 3), the Andalusians made the break on another set piece. Willian José, again, took advantage of a scramble from a corner to double the lead (64th). The Finns were too safe to hope to catch the semi-finalist of the last edition. Also in Scandinavia, among the Swedes of Malmö, Braga obtained a similar score. In total control, the Portuguese were denied two goals (19th and 47th) but still managed to secure. First thanks to Bruno Rodrigues half an hour into the game (30th). Then on a penalty converted from a cross shot by Horta (70th).
In Berlin, the Union duel turned to the advantage of the Belgians. Sharper, Union Saint-Gilloise made the Germans bend in the last minutes of the first act. Launched on the left side, Boniface made a superb rush by returning to the axis before shifting perfectly Lynen, who concluded at the near post (40th).