European knockout football is back, and the first week of action across the Champions League and Europa League was filled with plenty of thrills and spills. Notably, Paris Saint-Germain thrashed Barcelona 4-1 at the Camp Nou, and FC Porto stunned Juventus with a 2-1 win in Portugal in Europe’s elite competition, whilst in the Europa League, a whopping 59 goals were scored across the 16 first-leg round of 32 ties.
The goal frenzy across Europe’s secondary competition, which worked out at over 3.6 goals a game on average, would have been nerve-racking for the fans. However, the neutrals were spoilt for choice, and it will certainly make the punters think twice when looking at the UEFA Europa League odds from Betfair ahead of the second legs.
So, without further ado, let’s take a look at how the drama unfolded in some of the Europa League’s highest-scoring games. Read on to find out more!
Young Boys 4 vs 3 Bayer Leverkusen
Young Boys have been in free-flowing form in the Swiss Super League, scoring 12 times in their last four domestic games, and they carried that goalscoring ability into their Europa League tie with Bayer Leverkusen. Christian Fassnacht and Theoson Siebatcheu gave the hosts a two-goal lead inside the first 20 minutes before Elia Meschak extended their cushion to three just before half-time. However, the Bundesliga side fought back in the second half, with Patrik Schick striking twice before Moussa Diaby levelled the scores in the 68th minute. But the drama didn’t end there, as Siebatcheu notched the winner in the last minute of the 90.
Antwerp 3 vs 4 Rangers
Amazingly, the early kick-off between Young Boys and Leverkusen wasn’t the only seven-goal thriller, as Antwerp and Rangers followed suit in the later games. The first half was largely a nervy affair until Joe Aribo gave the Gers the lead in the 39th minute. That strike from outside the box opened up the game but surprisingly it was Antwerp who went in at half-time with the lead. A wonderful looping header from Felipe Avenatti and a late penalty, eight minutes into added time, converted by Lior Rafaelov turned the game in the hosts’ favour. Borna Barišić fired Rangers back into the game from the spot 15 minutes into the second half, but that was quickly cancelled out by Martin Hongla. A late well-worked goal from Ryan Kent looked to have secured a draw for the Gers. However, the drama wasn’t over as Barišić converted another penalty in the 90th minute.
Molde 3-3 Hoffenheim
Hoffenheim will be left ruing the fact that they didn’t come away from Norway with a comfortable victory over Molde. Mu’nas Dabbur gave the Bundesliga side a 2-0 lead inside the first 30 minutes. However, Martin Ellingsen pulled one back for the hosts before Christoph Baumgartner extended Hoffenheim’s lead back to two just before the half-time whistle. Dabbur looked to have bagged his hattrick 10 minutes into the second 45, but his strike was ruled out by VAR for offside, and the striker later missed a penalty, which would have all but ensured a victory for his side. Instead, Molde had the opportunity to get back into the game, and they did just that with two quick goals form Eirik Ulland-Andersen and David Datro Fofana, leaving it all to play for at the Rhein-Neckar-Arena.
Other scorelines worth an honorary mention include; Krasnodar 2 vs 3 Dinamo Zagreb, Olympiacos 4 vs 2 PSV, Real Sociedad 0 vs 4 Manchester United and Wolfsberger AC 1 vs 4 Tottenham Hotspur
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