European Action Recap: Fiorentina Advance to UECL Knockout Stage

Italian clubs scored a perfect record on Thursday night as they caught three wins out of three in European competitions. Lazio, Roma, and Fiorentina all beat their opponents with the same score 2-1.

But while the two sides of the Italian capital, both playing in the Europa League, will have to wait next week to know if they make it to the knockout stage, the Viola booked their ticket to the next round of the Conference League tonight already.

So let’s take a look a bit more in details about what happened in this European night:

Lazio vs Midtjyilland 2-1

Lazio partially avenged the shame of the first leg against Midtjylland, when they were hammered 1-5 by the Danish side. Tonight at the Stadio Olimpico, goals from Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Pedro helped the Biancocelesti come from behind and take one step closer to qualifying to the next stage of the Europa League.

All Lazio have to do now is get at least one point in Rotterdam against Feyenoord next Thursday.

Maurizio Sarri’s side conceded one early in the game as Gustav Isaksen took advantage of a Mario Gila defensive mishap to pierce Ivan Provedel and put Midtjyilland ahead. But Milinkovic-Savic pulled the chestnuts out of the fire for Lazio on 36 minutes with a sharp right-foot conclusion.

Pedro made it two for the home side on 58 minutes, chasing away the ghost of the Midtjylland rout.

HJK Helsinki vs Roma 1-2

With a bit more troubles than expected, Roma made a full score in Finland to maintain their chances of making it to the knockout stage.

The Giallorossi beat HJK Helsinki 2-1 with goals from Tammy Abraham and Stephan El Shaarawy. Former Serie A player Perparim Hetemaj scored a temporary equalizer for the Finnish side, who even came close to drawing level late in the game as David Browne found the back of the net with a spectacular screamer from outside of the box.

Roma could breathe a sigh of relief as Browne’s effort was disallowed by the VAR, which caught a foul in the build-up. However, the job is still not done for José Mourinho and co as they will need to beat Ludogorets of Bulgaria next week at the Stadio Olimpico to book their ticket to the next round.

The two sides are even on points but the Bulgarian have won in the first leg, therefore the Giallorossi have no other option than getting all points on offer if they want to avoid being “relegated” to the Conference League.

Fiorentina vs Basaksehir 2-1

Fiorentina came from behind at the Artemio Franchi to beat Basaksehir and secure their qualification to the knockout stage of the Conference League. It was Luka Jovic to steal the stage with a brace that put the Viola back on track after Danijel Aleksic had drawn first blood for the Istanbul side.

Fiorentina still have a chance to qualify as first from their group. They are even on points with the Turkish side who have a better goal difference on heads-to-heads, though (Basaksehir beat Fiorentina 3-0 in the first leg).

But, if they do better than Basaksehir next week (i.e., if they won and Basaksehir lose or if they tie and the Turks lose) the will come on top in the group, avoiding to pass through the playoff round.