By Kayode Adebiyi
Manchester United and Wolverhampton Wanderers cruised into the Europa League last 16 round with emphatic aggregate wins on Thursday, but while AS Roma squeezed through, Sporting and Porto were eliminated.
Manchester United breezed to a 6-1 aggregate win over Club Bruges after a 5-0 return leg rout of the Belgians at Old Trafford, with new signing Odion Ighalo among the scorers.
Wolves advanced with a 6-3 overall victory against Espanyol in spite of a 3-2 second-leg defeat in Spain.
Arsenal suffered a shock exit to Olympiakos Piraeus on away goals after a 2-1 extra-time home defeat.
The Portuguese trio of Benfica, Sporting and FC Porto as well as Ajax Amsterdam and Celtic were also eliminated.
Odion Ighalo celebrated his first start for Manchester United with his maiden goal for the club after Bruno
Fernandes had fired the home side ahead with a 27th-minute penalty kick.
The penalty kick had produced a red card for Club Bruges defender Simon Deli.
The centre-back was dismissed after he dived in goalkeeping fashion to handle a Daniel James shot before Fernandes sent Simon Mignolet the wrong way with the spot-kick.
Scot McTominay made it 3-0 on the night with a fine first-time shot from 18 metres just before the break.
And Brazilian midfielder Fred put the icing on the cake with a late brace for United, who won Europe’s second-tier competition in 2016.
Wolves took a 4-0 first-leg lead to Espanyol and never looked in danger as Adama Traore scrambled in a close-range effort.
Matt Doherty also scored as they twice cancelled out goals from Jonathan Calleri who scored a hat-trick.
AS Roma, 1-0 winners against Gent in the first leg, looked to have a struggle on their hands when Jonathan David leveled the tie on aggregate after 25 minutes.
However, Justin Kluivert eased the Serie A side’s nerves with a quick equaliser as they progressed.
Bayer Leverkusen blew FC Porto away with a 3-1 win on the road after taking a 2-1 lead in Germany last week.
They completed the job with goals from Lucas Alario, Kerem Demirbay and Kai Havertz, before Moussa Marega netted a consolation for the home side.
Sporting exited after losing 4-1 at Istanbul Basaksehir following extra time to go down 5-4 on aggregate.
This was after Edin Visca gave the hosts a lifeline with a late goal in normal time and then netted a penalty kick to take them through.
Vfl Wolfsburg beat Swedish side Malmo 3-0 away to breeze through 5-1 on aggregate.
FC Basel also progressed with a 1-0 home win over APOEL Nicosia for a 4-0 aggregate success.