AC Milan advance despite losing thriller to Rennes

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AC Milan cemented their spot in Friday’s Europa League last-16 draw despite losing a thriller to Rennes.

Trailing 3-0 from the first leg in Italy, Rennes gave their fans hope of a memorable comeback when Benjamin Bourigeaud scored in the 11th minute.

AC Milan leveled on the night through Luka Jovic’s header before Bourigeaud’s penalty restored the home side’s lead.

The visitors equalized again through Rafael Leao before Bourigeaud completed his hat-trick with another penalty.

But it was not enough as AC Milan won the knockout round play-off tie 5-3 on aggregate.

Ex-Chelsea player Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who scored two goals in the first leg, came on as a substitute in the second half for AC Milan.

They will be unseeded in Friday’s draw, meaning they could meet one of several seeded British teams, including Liverpool, West Ham, Brighton and Rangers.

Elsewhere, Roma went through on penalties against Feyenoord.

With the tie locked at 2-2 after 120 minutes – both legs having finished 1-1 – keeper Mile Svilar saved two spot kicks as Roma won the shootout 4-2.

Azerbaijan’s Qarabag are through after defeating Sporting Braga 6-5 on aggregate – despite losing the second leg 3-2 on a dramatic night in Baku.

Nariman Akhundzade, 19, scored the all-important goal for the hosts – reduced to 10 men in the 57th minute – in the 122nd minute.

After a goalless first leg, Freiburg came from 2-0 down at home to Lens to advance 3-2 after extra time, with Austria forward Michael Gregoritsch scoring a 99th-minute winner for the German club.

Former Arsenal and Chelsea forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, 34, and ex-Watford winger Ismaila Sarr scored as Marseille knocked out Shakhtar Donetsk, winning 3-1 for a 5-3 aggregate victory, while Sporting Lisbon, Sparta Prague and Benfica also booked their place in Friday’s draw.

Source: BBC

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