Ajax knocked out of Europa League by Getafe

By Sports Desk February 27, 2020

Getafe continued their sensational season by dumping Ajax out of the Europa League on Thursday, the LaLiga high-flyers progressing 3-2 on aggregate despite a 2-1 away defeat.

Jose Bordalas' side won a bad-tempered first leg 2-0 against last season's Champions League semi-finalists and they extended their advantage in the fifth minute of the reverse fixture when Jaime Mata struck.

That left Ajax needing four goals to progress but Danilo, making his first start for the club, tapped in Donny van de Beek's low cross five minutes later to equalise on the night.

Carel Eiting whipped a deflected free-kick past David Soria in the 63rd minute to give Ajax some hope, though Getafe progressed despite being denied by the woodwork on three occasions.

Elsewhere in the round of 32, Istanbul Basaksehir produced a stunning comeback to knock out Sporting CP 5-4 on aggregate, Edin Visca scoring the winner in extra time, while Shakhtar Donetsk beat Benfica 5-4 on aggregate after a thrilling 3-3 draw in the second leg in Lisbon.

Sevilla, who won the Europa League three times in a row under Unai Emery between 2014 and 2016, edged through their tie with Cluj on away goals after a 1-1 aggregate draw.

The Romanian champions were denied a famous victory when Alexandru Paun's late strike was ruled out following a VAR check that ruled Lacina Traore handled the ball.

Last year's finalists Arsenal crashed out in extraordinary circumstances with captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's overhead kick having seemingly secured their progress only for Youssef El-Arabi to strike in the last minute of extra time to send Olympiacos through on away goals.

Manchester United, Inter, Roma, Wolfsburg and Bayer Leverkusen were among the major sides to progress, with the draw for the last 16 set to be made in Nyon on Friday.

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    The Premier League's 'big six' and Milan, Inter and Atletico Madrid have affirmed their commitment to UEFA competitions after acknowledging "the Super League project was a mistake" and apologising "to fans, national associations, national leagues, fellow European clubs and UEFA".

    All nine clubs must abide by a set of "reintegration measures" in order to be allowed back into the UEFA fold.

    These include commitments to UEFA Statutes and to competing in existing UEFA competitions for which they qualify, rejoining the European Club Association and taking "all steps within their power" to terminate their involvement in the company established to run the Super League.

    The clubs will also contribute to a €15million goodwill fund to be used for youth and grassroots football in Europe, while they will see five per cent of UEFA club competition revenues withheld for one season. UEFA says that revenue money will also be redistributed.

    Should any of the nine clubs attempt a similar breakaway in future, they will be fined €100m. Breaching any other aspect of the Club Commitment Declaration – the agreement signed to enable their return to UEFA competitions – will incur a fine of €50m.

    Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham, Liverpool, Milan, Inter and Atletico all renounced the Super League following significant opposition from fans, players and sponsors over their proposed involvement.

    However, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus have so far refused to follow suit and all three could now face strong punishment by UEFA, with the matter referred to disciplinary bodies.

    UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said: "I said at the UEFA Congress two weeks ago that it takes a strong organisation to admit making a mistake especially in these days of trial by social media. These clubs have done just that.
     
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    "The measures announced are significant, but none of the financial penalties will be retained by UEFA. They will all be reinvested into youth and grassroots football in local communities across Europe, including the UK. 
     
    "These clubs recognised their mistakes quickly and have taken action to demonstrate their contrition and future commitment to European football. The same cannot be said for the clubs that remain involved in the so-called 'Super League' and UEFA will deal with those clubs subsequently."

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