European Cup Review: How Osimhen, Lookman, others fared in the UCL, UEL, & ECL

European Cup Review: How Osimhen, Lookman, others fared in the UCL, UEL, & ECL

  • The first knockout round of the three major European club cup competitions ended this week, with some clubs progressing to the quarterfinals while others were eliminated.
  • EaglesTracker explores the fate of Nigerian stars in the UEFA Champions League, Europa League, and the Europa Conference League.

UEFA Champions League

Eliminated

Umar Sadiq, Real Sociedad de Futbol

After spending years playing for clubs in Italy, Scotland, the Netherlands, Serbia, and Spain, Umar Sadiq finally made his UEFA Champions League debut this season, playing for Real Sociedad de Futbol.

The Spanish side did well to make it past the group stages. Still, their adventure in Europe's premier club competition ended after falling to an aggregate [1-4] defeat to Paris Saint-Germain FC.

Zaidu Sanusi, FC Porto

After impressing for Nigeria at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations in Cote d'Ivoire, Zaidu Sanusi sustained a serious injury that ruled him out of action for the rest of the season.

Sidelined, the Super Eagles full-back was not in action as FC Porto was dumped out of the Champions League by Arsenal FC.

Porto won the first leg [1-0] on home soil and lost by a similar scoreline in the return leg. However, the Portuguese giants exited the competition after losing 4-2 on penalties.

Victor Osimhen, SSC Napoli

Osimhen returned from the 2023 AFCON, and straightaway hit top form for SSC Napoli, scoring five goals in his first three games back in Italy.

The first of those goals came in SSC Napoli's [1-1] home draw with FC Barcelona in the first leg of their European clash.

However, the 25-year-old striker failed to shine in the return leg as Barca sealed a [3-1] victory to progress to the quarterfinals.

UEFA Europa League

Advanced

Ademola Lookman, Atalanta BC

Lookman showed why he is the key man in attack for Atalanta BC after netting a crucial goal in their [3-2] aggregate victory over Sporting CP in the Europa League.

The Italians had the first-leg advantage following a [1-1] draw in Portugal but threw it away after falling behind at half-time in the second leg.

However, Lookman gave Atalanta BC a lifeline with the equaliser a minute into the second half before Gianluca Scamacca netted the winner in the 59th minute.

Nathan Tella, Victor Boniface; Bayer 04 Leverkusen

During the first half of the season, Victor Boniface fired four goals to help Bayer Leverkusen reach the knockout round of the UEFA Europa League.

However, injury kept him out of the Germans' double-legged meeting with Qarabag FK.

In his absence, compatriot Nathan Tella stepped up to help Bayer claim a [2-2] draw away from home.

The Bundesliga club came from two goals down to secure a thrilling [3-2] comeback win in Germany to ensure there will be European football for Boniface when he returns from injury.

Samuel Chukwueze, AC Milan

Samuel Chukwueze and AC Milan are through to the quarterfinals of the Europa League after sealing a [7-2] aggregate victory against SK Slavia Prague.

The Slavians had it rough in the first leg, falling to a 4-2 defeat at San Siro.

However, their hopes of overturning that deficit were dashed as AC Milan soared to a [3-1] second-leg win at the Fortuna Arena, with Chukwueze featuring for the last 27 minutes.

Eliminated

Muhamed Tijani, Igoh Ogbu; SK Slavia Prague

While Samuel Chukwueze and AC Milan were celebrating their quarterfinals ticket, Igoh Ogbu and Muhamed Tijani were on the losing side with Slavia Prague.

Tijani and Ogbu missed the first leg, but the former Lillestrøm defender was in action in the return leg, where the Slavians conceded three goals.

Victor Olatunji, AC Sparta Prague

It was always going to be an arduous task for AC Sparta Prague to outgun Premier League powerhouse, Liverpool.

Despite boasting the talents of Victor Olatunji, the Czech Republic champions struggled to contain the Reds, losing [11-2] on aggregate to bow out of the competition.

UEFA Europa Conference League

Advanced

Raphael Onyedika, Club Brugge KV

Onyedika featured as Club Brugge KV lost [2-1] to Molde FK in Norway.

However, Club Brugge KV progressed on aggregate thanks to their comprehensive [3-0] win in Belgium in the first leg.

Rafiu Durosinmi, FC Viktoria Plzeň

When Rafiu Durosinmi returns from injury, there will be Conference League games to play as FC Viktoria Plzeň is through to the next round of the competition.

FC Viktoria Plzeň played two goalless draws with Servette but advanced following a [3-1] penalty-shootout triumph over the Swiss side.

Bright Osayi-Samuel, Fenerbahce SK

Fenerbahce's quarterfinal chances were cast in concrete after claiming a [3-0] away win over Royale Union Saint-Gilloise.

The Belgian side put up a gallant fight to secure their pound of flesh with a [1-0] victory in the return fixture in Turkey, but the Super Lig club progressed comfortably.

William Troost-Ekong, PAOK Thessaloniki FC

With William Troost-Ekong out due to injury, PAOK fell to a [2-0] defeat to GNK Dinamo Zagreb in Croatia on March 7th.

However, the Greek side rose to the occasion in the return leg to seal a [5-1] win in Greece for a [5-3] aggregate victory.

Eliminated

Chuba Akpom, AFC Ajax Amsterdam

Akpom and AFC Ajax failed to score in both legs as Aston Villa FC secured a goalless draw in Amsterdam before soaring to a [4-0] win in Birmingham.

Quarterfinal Fixtures

The quarterfinal draw of the Champions League, Europa League, and the Conference League were concluded on Friday.

UEFA Europa League

The reward for reaching the last eight of the competition for Samuel Chukwueze and AC Milan is a clash with AS Roma. It is the first time in history the Italian giants will face each other in European competitions.

Bayer 04 Leverkusen will hope to have Victor Boniface back from injury when they take on West Ham United.

Ademola Lookman and Atalanta have been drawn against Liverpool, and the Serie A club will need to be at their very best when they trade tackles with the Reds.

  • AC Milan vs AS Roma
  • Bayer 04 Leverkusen vs West Ham United
  • Atalanta vs Liverpool

UEFA Europa Conference League

Bright Osayi-Samuel and Fenerbahce will face Greece Super League 1 giants Olympiacos for a chance to reach the semifinals.

Rafiu Durosinmi's Viktoria Plzeň has a difficult-looking matchup against Serie A side, Fiorentina.

It is time for the path of William Troost-Ekong and Raphael Onyedika to cross as PAOK FC and Club Brugge meet in the quarterfinals.

  • Club Brugge vs PAOK
  • Olympiacos vs Fenerbahce
  • Viktoria Plzen vs Fiorentina
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