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Europa League last-16 second-leg talking points

The continuation of Sevilla's UEFA Europa League run, Borussia Dortmund's professional job in London and the impressive Ladislav Krejčí feature highly as our reporters sum up the second legs.

Dortmund players celebrate quarter-final qualification with their supporters at White Hart Lane
Dortmund players celebrate quarter-final qualification with their supporters at White Hart Lane ©AFP/Getty Images

Hosts to miss Basel party
The Swiss champions might have been playing in the 18 May UEFA Europa League final at their own stadium; now, though, the best they can hope for is to attend the showpiece match as spectators. Their round of 16 conquerors Sevilla, meanwhile, could yet visit St. Jakob-Park for a second time this term, as they are still in contention to become the first club to win a UEFA competition for three seasons running since Bayern's mid-1970s European Cup hat-trick.

No complacency under Tuchel
Many thought Borussia Dortmund were almost certainly through to the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals when they arrived at White Hart Lane for the second leg against Tottenham Hotspur. Thomas Tuchel's men did not play like that, though, pressing Spurs high, showing hunger from the off and smothering any Lilywhite efforts to get back into the tie. The versatility and intelligence of players like Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, allied to their coach's know-how, promises to make Dortmund very hard to stop.

The competition's top scorer this term, Aritz Aduriz
The competition's top scorer this term, Aritz Aduriz©AFP/Getty Images

How far can Athletic go?
Athletic Club's run of three straight away victories in the UEFA Europa League ended at Valencia on Thursday, yet Ernesto Valverde's side prevailed on away goals following a tense two-legged affair against their Spanish Liga rivals. Eight-goal Aritz Aduriz struck again at his old Mestalla stomping ground, and with the experienced forward in this kind of form, who would rule out a third European final for the Bilbao outfit?

Sparta's Krejčí catches eye
At 23, Czech international winger Ladislav Krejčí has played his entire career at Sparta – but maybe not for too much longer on the evidence of the Czech team's remarkable 3-0 triumph at Lazio. Krejčí's cutback for Bořek Dočkal's opener at the Stadio Olimpico was canny; his finish for Sparta's second wonderfully composed; and his energy throughout emblematic of a side that performs with real selflessness, joy and no small amount of elegance.

Talent spotting in Brussels
There were 19 foreign scouts at the Constant Vanden Stock Stadium, with no shortage of talent to cast their eyes over. For Anderlecht, Dennis Praet (21) showed glimpses of his potential on the left while the pace and power of Frank Acheampong (22) provided a unrealised threat up front. Shakhtar's Viktor Kovalenko (20) put in a shift in a pressure-relieving midfield role yet it was local boy Youri Tielemans (18) who perhaps shone brightest during a 19-minute cameo. It seems the playmaker was born with a ball at his feet.

Villarreal's returning hero
Villarreal's former Spain Under-21 keeper Sergio Asenjo has endured a torrid 11 months, ravaged by knee ligament problems. In his absence, on-loan Alphonse Aréola has established himself as the club's No1, with Mariano Barbosa also being deployed for UEFA Europa League purposes. Both are carrying knocks, however, allowing Asenjo a first outing since April 2015. The 26-year-old seized the moment with both hands at Leverkusen's BayArena, looking composed and alert throughout and helping the Yellow Submarine stay watertight with another clean sheet.

Sparta's Ladislav Krejčí impressed in the Czech side's eye-catching victory over Lazio
Sparta's Ladislav Krejčí impressed in the Czech side's eye-catching victory over Lazio©AFP/Getty Images