The Europa League semifinals are set and three big names remain in the competition as Arsenal, Chelsea and Valencia all moved on from the quarterfinal round on Thursday, joining underdog Eintracht Frankfurt. Arsenal and Valencia cruised into the semis while Chelsea had struggles in the back but were able to overcome them, and it was Eintracht that overcame a 4-2 loss in the first leg to move on. Here is what to know from end of the quarters.
UEFA Europa League scores
Arsenal 1, Napoli 0 (Arsenal advances 3-0 on aggregate)
Chelsea 4, Slavia Prague 3 (Chelsea advances 4-3 on aggregate)
Valencia 2, Villarreal 0 (Valencia advances 5-1 on aggregate)
Eintracht Frankfurt 2, Benfica 0 (Eintracht advances on away goals after finishing 4-4 on aggregate)
A look at the semifinalists
This is a huge opportunity, specifically for all of the semifinalists, but not just because it’s a continental trophy. The winner of the Europa League automatically qualifies for next season’s Champions League, and all four are in contention to qualify through their domestic league, but winning this competition is another path to the tournament for them.
On Thursday, Arsenal faced a tough test at Napoli, but the Italian club could only put two of its 19 shots on frame, shooting itself in the foot as the Gunners cemented their victory with this outrageous free kick from Alexandre Lacazette.
Chelsea jumped out to a 3-0 lead after just 17 minutes, but with the game 4-3 in the second half with the Blues leading 5-3 on aggregate, things got a little shaky but it never felt like the Blues would blow it.
In Spain, Valencia cruised against its regional rival to keep its Europa League hopes alive, and Eintracht was able to tame Joao Felix this time around to move on.
As a result, Arsenal will face Valencia in the semifinals and Chelsea will take on Eintracht. Those matches are set for May 2 and May 9, with the final on May 29.
Europa League bracket
You can watch Europa League action live on fuboTV (Try for free).