Arsenal duo Mohamed Elneny and Eddie Nketiah celebrate
It was strong end to the Europa League group stage for British clubs, and for Sporting Life followers, as all five sides won their final game and a healthy profit was banked.
Arsenal entertain in Ireland
Eddie Nketiah became Arsenal’s leading goalscorer this season as the Gunners ended the Europa League group stages with an entertaining win away to Dundalk.
With Mikel Arteta’s men misfiring domestically, the second string again showed them the way in a 4-2 victory at the Aviva Stadium.
Nketiah opened the scoring and Mohamed Elneny added a second before Jordan Flores pulled one back for the hosts.
Joe Willock and Folarin Balogun pulled Arsenal further clear after the break, although Dundalk would grab a late consolation through Sean Hoare.
Tottenham take top spot
Tottenham ensured they finished top of Group J in the Europa League with a 2-0 win over Royal Antwerp.
Spurs needed to beat the Belgian side to finish at the summit and secure a seeding for the next stage, and second-half goals from Carlos Vinicius and Giovani Lo Celso got the job done.
Jose Mourinho again saw his side produce a flat first-half performance, a key feature of their group campaign, but would have been happy with what he witnessed after the break.
Vinicius tapped in after Gareth Bale’s free-kick had been tipped onto the post and then Lo Celso buried Antwerp with a cool finish with 20 minutes to go.
Foxes in fine form
Leicester eased past AEK Athens 2-0 as they marched on in the Europa League to win their group.
Quickfire first-half goals from Cengiz Under and Harvey Barnes ensured the Foxes clinched top spot in Group G.
Brendan Rodgers’ side finished ahead of Braga, who beat Zorya Luhansk 2-0, and will be seeded in Monday’s draw for the last 32.
AEK Athens end their campaign bottom after losing five of their six games, including a 2-1 home defeat to the Foxes.
Rangers round-off with win
Rangers banked a £1.4million windfall as Steven Gerrard’s team made sure they will be seeded for Monday’s last-32 draw.
A 2-0 triumph over Lech Poznan at Stadion Miejski earned the Light Blues the standard £515,000 win bonus – plus an extra £900,000 prize for pipping Benfica to top Group D.
But it is the fact Gers are now set to avoid a string of European heavyweights – including Manchester United, Arsenal, Ajax, Bayer Leverkusen, and Roma – in the next round which will be priceless to Gerrard.
Striker Cedric Itten fired the Light Blues ahead as he made the most of a rare run out through the middle before Ianis Hagi confirmed the unbeaten Scottish Premiership leader’s fourth victory from six games as he tapped home from point-blank range after the break.
Welcome boost for Celtic
David Turnbull’s first Celtic goal earned the Hoops a battling 3-2 win over Lille to finish their disappointing Europa League campaign on a high.
A much-changed home side had no chance of qualifying prior to their final Group H game against the French side but showing impressive energy and desire they took the lead in the 22nd minute when Christopher Jullien headed in from a corner.
Jonathan Ikone levelled two minutes later as the Hoops recent frailties resurfaced but Callum McGregor soon restored the home side’s lead from the spot.
Timothy Weah, who had a spell on loan at Celtic, equalised in the 71st minute but 21-year-old midfielder Turnbull, a bit-part player since joining Celtic from Motherwell in August and making his European debut for the Parkhead side, drove in a third with impressive assurance.