Arsenal and Chelsea reached the last 16 of the Europa League football on Thursday night after the Gunners comfortably saw off BATE Borisov 3-0 and Maurizio Sarri’s troubled side relieved some of the pressure on him with the same scoreline against mediocre Malmo.
Arsenal will now play Rennes in the last 16 of the Europa League while Chelsea will face Dynamo Kiev.
After falling 1-0 in Belarus, Arsenal were level on aggregate after just three minutes when Zakhar Volkov sliced Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s low cross past Denis Scherbitski in his own goal.
Unai Emery’s side deservedly went through thanks to two thumping headers from Shkodran Mustafi and Sokratis either side of the break.
“We wanted this result but also we wanted to play for our supporters here. We did our best to come back (in the tie) and the team worked very well,” Emery told BT Sport.
Ahead 2-1 from the first leg in Sweden, Chelsea had to wait until 10 minutes after the break for the first sign of excitement, Olivier Giroud tapping in the decisive goal of a humdrum encounter at Stamford Bridge.
Ross Barkley made sure of the win with a super free-kick in the 74th minute, just after Malmo’s Rasmus Bengtsson was sent off for his second bookable offence, before 18-year-old Callum Hudson-Odoi made the most of a rare start by crashing home the third.
Europa League round of 16 draw
Chelsea v Dynamo Kiev
Eintracht Frankfurt v Inter Milan
Dinamo Zagreb v Benfica
Napoli v Salzburg
Valencia v Krasnodar
Sevilla v Slavia Prague
Arsenal v Rennes
Zenit St Petersburg v Villarreal
First legs will be played on March 7, second legs on March 14