Liverpool and AC Milan, leaders of the competition, easily qualified for the quarter-finals of the Europa League on Thursday, also joined by Leverkusen and Marseille, who nevertheless came close to a huge disappointment against Qarabag and in Villarreal. The surprises would have been big. But in the end they did not happen and it was very close.

In Leverkusen, Bayer was led 2-0 by Qarabag, a modest Azerbaijani opponent, who thought he would inflict his first defeat of the season on Bayer and also eliminate it since the two teams had parted back to back at the first leg (2-2), at the end of a match where the German club had already had to overcome two goals.

The scenario repeated itself in Germany and it was a double from Patrick Schick in added time (90 3 and 90 7) which allowed the leader of the Bundesliga, promised to the title with ten points ahead of Bayern Munich , to win to string together a 37th match without defeat. OM also came close to disaster, which took on the appearance of a comeback when Villarreal, whom they had crushed 4-0 in their first act, led 3-0, before Jonathan Clauss reduced the score, synonymous with qualification, again in added time (3-1).

It was much quieter for Liverpool, who again crushed Sparta Prague 6-1, after the correction already inflicted in the first leg (5-1), and for AC Milan who confirmed their superiority over Slavia (4 -2 in the first leg), winning 3-1 in Prague. The only downside for the Milanese: the exit of French international goalkeeper Mike Maignan, injured in a knee, during a clash with a player from the Czech club.

Held in check at home (2-2), Benfica for its part managed to validate its presence in the quarters, by winning 1-0 against Glasgow Rangers. West Ham had a much easier time beating Freiburg 5-0, thus erasing their initial defeat (1-0) in Germany.

Results of the Europa League round of 16 second leg played on Thursday:

Villarreal (ESP) – Marseille (FRA) 0 – 4 / 3 – 1

Glasgow Rangers (SCO) – Benfica Lisbonne (POR) 0 – 1 / 2 – 2

West Ham (ENG) – Freiburg (GER) 5 – 0 / 0 – 1

Slavia Prague (CZE) – AC Milan (ITA) 1 -3 / 2 – 4

Liverpool (ENG) – Sparta Prague (CZE) 6 – 1 / 5 – 1

Brighton (ENG) – AS Rome (ITA) 1 – 0 / 0 – 4

Atalanta Bergamo (ITA) – Sporting Portugal (POR) 2 – 1 / 1 – 1

Bayer Leverkusen (GER) – Qarabag (AZE) 3 – 2 / 2 – 2