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Europa League round up: Porto have slight edge over Napoli

Updated: Thursday, 13 Mar 2014 22:30 | Comments

Porto's Colombian forward Jackson celebrates after scoring
Porto's Colombian forward Jackson celebrates after scoring

Jackson Martinez scored the only goal in the 57th minute as Porto claimed a 1-0 first-leg advantage over Napoli in their Europa League last-16 clash in Portugal.

The Colombian striker hit a left-footed diagonal shot past Napoli goalkeeper Pepe Reina to give his side the edge heading to Italy next week.

Carlos Eduardo had previously beaten Reina in the opening half but his goal had been disallowed for offside.

The victory at the Dragao stadium maintained a perfect start for new coach Luis Castro, who replaced Paulo Fonseca last week after his promotion from the B team and claimed a 4-1 win against Arouca in his debut.

Valencia virtually assured themselves of a quarter-final place after a remarkable 3-0 win at Ludogrets.

The Spaniards went 1-0 up through Antonio Barragan after five minutes but looked in trouble when Seydou Keita was sent off in the 25th and gave away a penalty in the process.

Diego Alves kept out Roman Bezjak's spot-kick, though, and the visitors went on to add more goals through Federico Cartabia and Philippe Senderos.

Stunned Ludogrets then had a man of their own sent off, Juninho Quixada, to cap a miserable night.

Second-half substitute Mario Gomez struck a 79th-minute equaliser to give Fiorentina a slight edge in their Europa League last-16 clash with Serie A rivals Juventus.

Gomez, who came off the bench in the 67th minute, cancelled out Arturo Vidal's third-minute opener as Thursday's first leg in Turin finished 1-1.

Real Betis stunned city rivals Sevilla with a 2-0 win despite being outplayed for much of the derby.

Sevilla had won their previous four games in all competitions and were six unbeaten, and they dominated Thursday night's game.

Yet they somehow came away facing an imposing second-leg test next week after Leo Baptistao's first-half header and Salva Sevilla's strike gave Betis victory.

Valencia have one foot in the quarter-finals following a 3-0 win at Ludogorets.

The Spaniards went 1-0 up through Antonio Barragan after five minutes but looked in trouble when Seydou Keita was sent off in the 25th, giving away a penalty in the process.

Diego Alves kept out Roman Bezjak's spot-kick, though, and the visitors went on to add more goals through Federico Cartabia and Philippe Senderos.

Ludogorets then had Juninho Quixada dismissed to cap a dismal night.

Lyon will be expected to reach the last eight following a 4-1 win over Plzen.

Tomas Horava took advantage of some poor defending from the Ligue 1 side to claim an early lead before the score was levelled by Gueida Fofana 10 minutes later.

Alexandre Lacazette gave Lyon the lead early in the second half before Arnold Mvuemba and Fofana wrapped up the win.

Jackson Martinez scored the only goal in the 57th minute as hosts Porto claimed a 1-0 first-leg advantage over Napoli.

AZ Alkmaar put themselves in the driving seat in their tie against Anzhi Makhachkala, nicking a 1-0 lead in Holland thanks to a first-half penalty from Aron Johansson.

Basle ended Salzburg's 14-game winning streak in all competitions as they played out a goalless draw in the first leg at St Jakob Park.

Meanwhile, Swiss outfit Basle ended Salzburg's 14-game winning streak in all competitions as they played out a goalless draw in their Europa League round-of-16 first-leg tie at St Jakob Park

Salzburg last tasted defeat against Rapid Vienna on 24 November and while they remain unbeaten in the competition, they were unable to take an advantage back to Austria for the second leg of the tie.

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