Europa League round-up: AC Milan beat Slavia Prague, Fiorentina and AS Roma also win as Atalanta draw

AC Milan, AS Roma and Fiorentina all scored four goals each in their Europa League and Conference League round of 16 first legs, whilst Atalanta could only draw in Portugal.

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AC Milan and AS Roma were the happiest Italian sides from the round of 16 first legs in the Europa League and the Europa Conference League, in which Atalanta and Fiorentina were also in action.

Milan‘s Europa League match against Slavia Prague proved to be a trickier affair than it should have been despite eventually winning 4-2, whilst Roma proved far too strong for Brighton as they emphatically won 4-0 at the Stadio Olimpico.

Atalanta headed to Lisbon to face Sporting again on Wednesday night and drew 1-1, whilst Fiorentina were away at Maccabi Haifa in the Conference League where they dramatically won 4-3 with a late Antonin Barak winner.

AC Milan beat 10-player Slavia Prague

Milan Leao Pulisic
AC Milan’s Christian Pulisic and Rafael Leao in Europa League action. [@acmilan]

Milan‘s job was made easier before the half-hour mark when El Hadji Malick Diouf was shown a straight red card for a studs-up challenge on Christian Pulisic. Slavia Prague had created a couple of good opportunities in the opening exchanges.

That prompted a flurry of goals as Olivier Giroud opened the scoring. Incredibly, a great volley from David Doudera brought Slavia Prague level, but a wonderful strike from Tijjani Reijnders and a header from Ruben Loftus-Cheek made it 3-1 at half-time.

Despite the extra player, Milan allowed Slavia back into it again with Ivan Schranz scoring to make it 3-2. Christian Pulisic made it 4-2 in the final five minutes, but this was a great chance to put the tie completely to bed before the trip to the Czech Republic.

AS Roma make light work of Brighton

AS Roma players celebrate. [@OfficialASRoma]

AS Roma appeared to have been handed a very tricky tie as Roberto De Zerbi‘s Brighton side, whilst inconsistent, can beat anyone on their day. It is a team brimming with talent, but they proved to be no match for Daniele De Rossi‘s rejuvenated Roma side.

The Giallorossi were creating chances from the first whistle and it was Paulo Dybala who rounded Jason Steele and opened the scoring after 12 minutes. The Premier League side posed a real threat going forward and Mile Svilar produced some superb saves, but Romelu Lukaku pounced on a Lewis Dunk mistake to make it 2-0 just before half-time.

Goals in the second half from Gianluca Mancini and Bryan Cristante mean that Roma have got full control over this tie before their trip to Brighton. De Rossi may have the chance to rest players which will help the battle to finish in the Serie A top four. The match before the second leg is away at Fiorentina and being able to go full strength is a big advantage.

Atalanta renew acquaintances with Sporting CP

Atalanta’s Berat Djimsiti and Gianluca Scamacca. [@Atalanta_BC]

Whilst Lisbon is a wonderful city, Atalanta fans may have wished they’d been drawn against someone new. Atalanta and Sporting were in the same Europa League group and after Sporting went through the knockout round play-off, they ended up being drawn together again.

It was Paulinho who opened the scoring at the Estadio Jose Alvalade, but Gianluca Scamacca managed to equalise before the half-time break with some very smart play. It will be another very tight game when the teams meet in Bergamo.

Fiorentina grab late win against Maccabi Haifa

Fiorentina‘s Europa Conference League journey took them to Budapest on Thursday evening, although they were taking on Israeli side Maccabi Haifa, who cannot play at their own stadium due to Israel’s bombardment of Palestine.

La Viola took a very early lead through M’Bala Nzola, but Abdoulaye Seck equalised in the 12th minute. Maccabi Haifa then took the lead when Gadi Kinda made it 2-1 before half-time. Lucas Beltran equalised on the hour mark, before Maccabi went back in front again. Rolando Mandragora made it 3-3 shortly before Maccabi were reduced to 10 players.

Antonin Barak proved to be the hero as he scored a 95th-minute winner that allowed Fiorentina to take a lead back to the Stadio Artemio Franchi.

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