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Europa League round of 16 second legs: Game-by-game preview

Get the lowdown on the eight matches as the 2022/23 UEFA Europa League round of 16 concludes.

Gabriel Jesus training with Arsenal on Tuesday ahead of their second leg against Sporting CP
Gabriel Jesus training with Arsenal on Tuesday ahead of their second leg against Sporting CP Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Manchester United have a bit of breathing space, but it's still all to play for heading into the second legs of the UEFA Europa League round of 16. Arsenal-Sporting CP is one of three ties still level following first legs that pretty much all swung one way and then the other.

Get the lowdown on every game.

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Thursday 16 March

Betis vs Man United (first leg: 1-4)

Betis coach Manuel Pellegrini will need to utilise all his managerial know-how to turn this tie around after Erik ten Hag's men eased to victory at Old Trafford with a dominant second-half performance. The Chilean tactician has lost just once in seven home games against United, emerging victorious in four of the last five with both West Ham and Manchester City – a run that includes a 4-1 derby victory back in September 2013. That'd do the trick.

Did you know?
Sir Matt Busby's United team were eliminated at the last-eight stage of the 1963/64 European Cup Winners' Cup by Sporting CP despite winning the first leg 4-1. The Red Devils suffered a 5-0 reverse in Lisbon.

Highlights: Man United 4-1 Betis

Fenerbahçe vs Sevilla (0-2)

These sides played out a thriller back in the 2007/08 UEFA Champions League, the pendulum swinging back and forth before Volkan Demirel's penalty heroics won it for Fenerbahçe. We could be set for a repeat. Make no mistake, the visitors were the better team for much of the first leg and it may not take much to knock Sevilla's fragile confidence. "If we play like we did in the first half in our stadium, we can score goals," warned Fenerbahçe boss Jorge Jesus.

Did you know?
Sevilla are 19 games unbeaten in Europa League knockout stage first legs, winning 15, but have lost their last three second legs.

Highlights: Sevilla 2-0 Fenerbahçe

Feyenoord vs Shakhtar Donetsk (1-1)

Feyenoord could have put the tie to bed in Warsaw but instead face a nervy return in Rotterdam, just days before a vital league trip to Ajax. All the drama came late on in the first leg, with Shakhtar taking a 79th-minute lead when Yaroslav Rakitskyy glanced in a corner – their first attempt on target. Ezequiel Bullaude came off the bench to head his first Feyenoord goal two minutes from time to ensure the tie remains on a knife-edge.

Did you know?
Shakhtar are unbeaten in three previous meetings with Feyenoord (W2 D1), including a 2-1 victory on their only previous trip to Rotterdam in the 2017/18 Champions League group stage.

Highlights: Shakhtar Donetsk 1-1 Feyenoord

Freiburg vs Juventus (0-1)

Juve were irresistible at times during the first leg, and Freiburg boss Christian Streich spoke for many when he declared Ángel Di María "a joy to watch". Subduing the Argentinian may hold the key for the German hopefuls as they seek a way back into the tie, and it may not have been a coincidence that, as the 35-year-old tired, Freiburg finished strongly in Turin. This season has already been memorable for the Bundesliga high-flyers, but the scalp of Juve would top the lot.

Did you know?
Juventus have lost only one of their last 21 Europa League matches (W11 D9).

Highlights: Juventus 1-0 Freiburg

What next?

Winners of the ties earn a place in the quarter-final draw on Friday 17 March, which is an open draw with no seedings.

Arsenal vs Sporting CP (2-2)

Sporting CP coach Rúben Amorim struck an upbeat tone despite his team failing to hold on for victory in the first leg. "The tie is open," he said. "I would be more optimistic with a 2-1 or 3-1 lead, but now we believe more that it's possible [to qualify]." Hidemasa Morita's own goal when the Portuguese side were in the ascendancy has put the Gunners in the box seat, however, with boss Mikel Arteta declaring: "We have to show [in the return] that we are the better team."

Did you know?
Arsenal have won three out of three at home in Europe this season, keeping three clean sheets in the process.

Highlights: Sporting CP 2-2 Arsenal

Ferencváros vs Leverkusen (0-2)

The hosts have it all to do after Xabi Alonso's Leverkusen took a big step towards the quarter-finals with a comfortable 2-0 win in Germany. The influential Kerem Demirbay ran the midfield and opened the scoring with a fierce strike, before a late diving header from Edmond Tapsoba gave the Bundesliga outfit breathing space. That said, Ferencváros are a different proposition in Budapest, where they are unbeaten in the Europa League this season (W3 D1).

Did you know?
Leverkusen had lost their last four Europa League knockout fixtures in Germany before the first leg.

Highlights: Leverkusen 2-0 Ferencváros

Real Sociedad vs Roma (0-2)

"We controlled the match without having the ball," said José Mourinho after his clinical Roma side established a two-goal cushion. The assumption is that there will be more of the same in Spain, with the Giallorossi sitting back, soaking up the pressure and hitting La Real on the counterattack and from set pieces. "At Anoeta, we must put things right," demanded Real Sociedad boss Imanol Alguacil. "It's difficult against a Mourinho team – they give you nothing for free."

Did you know?
Roma have registered goals in 35 of their last 36 European matches.

Highlights: Roma 2-0 Real Sociedad

Union SG vs Union Berlin (3-3)

At what point do we stop being surprised? Union SG have won plenty of admirers during their return to the European stage following a 58-year absence. They won their group ahead of Union Berlin and picked up where they left off in their second 3-3 draw of the campaign. Three times they led; three times Union Berlin hauled them back. The Belgian side hope home advantage will make the difference but need no reminding that Union Berlin did not do badly on their last visit.

Did you know?
There has only ever been one higher-scoring draw in Europa League history, when Werder Bremen shared eight goals with Valencia in 2010.

Highlights: Union Berlin 3-3 Union SG

What is the round of 16?

The round pits the eight group winners from the Europa League group stage against the eight sides that made it through the Europa League knockout round play-offs.

Ties are played over two legs and conclude on Thursday 16 March; the away goals rule has been abolished. The eight winners advance to the quarter-finals; the eight losers will no longer be involved in 2022/23 European competition.

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