London – Arsenal reached the semi-finals after recovering from a wobble to draw 2-2 at CSKA Moscow and progress 6-3 on aggregate as Lazio suffered a second-half capitulation at RB Salzburg to crash out in the Europa League quarter-finals but Olympique de Marseille staged a thrilling fightback to see off Leipzig in the south of France on Thursday.
Favourites Atletico Madrid reached the last four after losing 1-0 at Sporting to go through 2-1 over the two legs.
Lazio led 4-2 from the first leg in Rome and increased their advantage when Ciro Immobile scored his eighth goal in this season’s competition in the 55th minute.
However, Salzburg equalised a minute later through Munas Dabbur.
Salzburg then scored three times in five crazy minutes through Amadou Haidara, Hee Chan-hwang and Stefan Lainer to claim a remarkable 6-5 aggregate victory and become the first Austrian side into a European semi-final since 1996.
Former European champions Marseille found themselves 2-0 down on aggregate inside two minutes at the Stade Velodrome when Leipzig’s Bruma silenced the home crowd.
But they recovered to win 5-2 for a 5-3 aggregate win.
Stefan Ilsanker’s own goal put Marseille level on the night and the French club were ahead inside 10 minutes when a lighting counter-attack ended with Bouna Sarr firing home.
Marseille edged ahead in the tie for the first time when inspirational captain Dimitri Payet’s whipped free kick was stabbed home by Florian Thauvin before halftime.
The visitors scored a second when Jean-Kevin Augustin’s superb free kick turned the tie in Leipzig’s favour again in the 55th minute.
However, Payet’s magical goal with the outside of his right foot on the hour sent the home fans wild.
Leipzig poured forward looking for the decisive away goal but Marseille’s Hiroki Sakai broke clear in stoppage time to seal victory, firing into an empty net.
Arsenal took a commanding 4-1 lead to Moscow but trailed to goals from CSKA’s Fedor Chalov and Kirill Nababkin and looked in danger of throwing away their advantage.
CSKA’s fans, hundreds of whom watched shirtless from behind the goal, roared on their team but Danny Welbeck’s well-taken goal calmed Arsenal’s nerves.
Aaron Ramsey scored in stoppage time to complete the comeback for the Gunners.
Sporting made Diego Simeone’s Atletico side suffer in the Portguese capital where Fredy Montero’s 28th minute goal halved the Spanish club’s first-leg lead.
However, Atletico held on to progress on aggregate after their striker Antoine Griezmann missed a hatful of chances and will take their place in Friday’s semi-final draw. (Reuters/NAN)