Porto and Celtic crashed out in Champions League qualifying but last season's semi-finalists Ajax managed to advance to the play-off round.

It was a day of upsets as giants Porto and Celtic fell in the third round of qualifying following respective losses to Krasnodar and CFR Cluj.

Porto – who had featured in the Champions League group stage in each of the last three campaigns, including a run to last season's quarter-finals – were upstaged 3-2 by visiting Krasnodar on Tuesday.

Krasnodar blitzed Porto with a three-goal first half thanks to Magomed Suleymanov's brace as the Russian side prevailed on away goals after a 3-3 draw.

Scottish champions Celtic were denied a play-off berth by Cluj, whose 4-3 victory on the night in Glasgow secured a shock 5-4 success across two legs.

Celtic led the second leg 3-2 after 76 minutes but Billel Omrani and George Tucudean struck inside the final 10 minutes to silence Parkhead and give the Romanian outfit a memorable victory.

Captain Dusan Tadic was at the double as Erik ten Hag's Ajax held on to beat PAOK 3-2 in Amsterdam, where the Eredivisie holders escaped 5-4 on aggregate.

Tadic scored twice and missed a penalty as Ajax's hopes of repeating last season's remarkable Champions League run stayed alive amid uncertainty over the future of Real Madrid target Donny van de Beek.

In Copenhagen, 22 penalties were taken as Red Star Belgrade sensationally prevailed 7-6 in a dramatic shoot-out.

Penalties were required after the Copenhagen-Red Star tie ended 2-2 on aggregate following Tuesday's 1-1 stalemate at Telia Parken.

Elsewhere, Basel and Dynamo Kiev bowed out as LASK, Club Brugge, Dinamo Zagreb, Olympiacos, APOEL and Rosenborg progressed.

 

Champions League play-off ties:

CFR Cluj v Slavia Prague
APOEL v Ajax
LASK v Club Brugge
Dinamo Zagreb v Rosenborg
Young Boys v Red Star Belgrade
Olympiacos v Krasnodar

Chelsea's complaint over the alleged racist abuse of Callum Hudson-Odoi during a Europa League clash at Dynamo Kiev will be investigated by a UEFA inspector.

The Premier League side revealed last week that chairman Bruce Buck and their club secretary had spoken to UEFA's match delegate regarding an accusation of racist abuse of a Chelsea player in the closing stages of their 5-0 victory in Ukraine.

In their statement, Chelsea said they expected the governing body to "conduct a fulsome investigation" into the matter and UEFA has now confirmed an inspector will determine whether there is enough evidence to charge Kiev.

"An ethics and disciplinary inspector has been appointed to evaluate a complaint lodged by Chelsea about the alleged racist abuse of the player Callum Hudson-Odoi," a UEFA statement read.

"The ethics and disciplinary inspector will now evaluate whether or not there is sufficient evidence to open disciplinary proceedings against Dynamo Kiev in accordance with article 55(1)(f) and (2) of the UEFA disciplinary regulations.

"Information in respect of this evaluation will be made available in due course."

This update follows UEFA charging Montenegro with racist behaviour after alleged incidents that occurred in England's 5-1 win in Podgorica, when teenage winger Hudson-Odoi made his first senior start for the Three Lions.

Speaking about the incidents in the Montenegro game, Hudson-Odoi said he had heard "monkey stuff".

He told beIN SPORTS: "I don't think discrimination should be anywhere, we are equal.

"We have to play a fair game and enjoy the moment, but when you're hearing stuff like that from the fans, it's not right, it's unacceptable. Hopefully UEFA deal with it properly."

Chelsea say one of their players was racially abused by Dynamo Kiev supporters during their Europa League game in Ukraine.

Maurizio Sarri's side won 5-0 in last week's second leg to progress to the quarter-finals of the competition, where they will face Slavia Prague.

Olivier Giroud scored a hat-trick with Marcos Alonso and teenage winger Callum Hudson-Odoi also on the scoresheet for the Blues.

But on Monday, Chelsea revealed the club made a complaint to UEFA over racist abuse during the closing stages of the game.

"We can confirm a report of racist abuse directed at one of our players in the final minutes of the match in Kiev from a small section of home supporters," said Chelsea's statement.

"We wholeheartedly condemn such abhorrent behaviour.

"The matter was reported to the referee at the final whistle and the chairman and club secretary spoke to the UEFA match delegate immediately after the match.

"We expect UEFA to conduct a fulsome investigation and we will provide full cooperation."

In November 2015, Dynamo Kiev were ordered to play two European home games behind closed doors after a reported attack on black fans at a Champions League game against Chelsea.

Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri believes Ruben Loftus-Cheek has what it takes to become "one of the best midfielders in Europe".

An Olivier Giroud hat-trick and goals from Marcos Alonso and Callum Hudson-Odoi secured a resounding 5-0 win against Dynamo Kiev on Thursday as Chelsea booked their place in the Europa League quarter-finals with an 8-0 aggregate victory.

Despite not getting on the scoresheet, Sarri was impressed with Loftus-Cheek's contribution and thinks he has all the attributes to be one of the very best on the continent.

"He did very well, he is improving in the last month," he told BT Sport.  

"He has been able to train after the problem with the back. He had a wonderful match and I'm really happy he could play for 90 minutes.

"His potential as a player is very, very, high. Physically, technically and tactically he is improving. He can become one of the best midfielders not only in England but in Europe."

Giroud's perfect hat-trick means he is the Europa League's top scorer this season with nine goals and Sarri was delighted with his display.

"Recently, every time he has been on the pitch, he has played really very well," he later told a media conference.

"He's scored nine goals in this competition. As you know very well, Olivier is a very important player. I'm really very happy for him."

Sarri's former club Napoli also progressed to the last eight on Thursday after a 4-3 aggregate win over Salzburg, but the Italian says he would only like to meet the Partenopei for the final in Baku on May 29.

"I prefer to face them in the final," he added.

"First of all, because it means we are in the final and I am happy with that. And second, it means that Napoli are in the final, and I am happy.

"You know very well my relationship with the city, with the people. So, for me, it will be very difficult to play against them in Naples."

Chelsea cruised into the Europa League quarter-finals as Olivier Giroud's hat-trick helped secure a resounding 5-0 win over Dynamo Kiev at the Olympic Stadium on Thursday.

The Blues travelled to Ukraine with a commanding 3-0 lead from the first leg in London a week ago and any faint hopes that Alyaksandr Khatskevich's side had of clawing their way back into the tie were extinguished by Giroud's fifth-minute opener.  

The Frenchman added a second shortly after the half-hour mark before Marcos Alonso tapped in a third just before the interval.

Giroud completed his hat-trick in the 59th minute and Callum Hudson-Odoi added a fifth 12 minutes from time as Maurizio Sarri's side made it four wins from their last five games in all competitions.

Fresh from his call-up to the France squad earlier on Thursday, Giroud got Chelsea up and running when Willian's corner was deflected into his path six yards out and the 32-year-old had the simple task of steering home.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek was denied by a fine Denys Boyko save soon after before Giroud grabbed his second in the 33rd minute by applying a superb finishing touch to Alonso's cross from 12 yards.

Provider then turned scorer on the stroke of half-time when Alonso prodded in from close-range after smart play down the right by Hudson-Odoi.

Serhiy Sydorchuk was denied by Kepa Arrizabalaga and the post in quick succession after the restart before Giroud brought up his hat-trick just before the hour with a neat header from Willian's free-kick.

Not long after Alonso crashed a free-kick against the crossbar, the impressive Hudson-Odoi sealed a memorable away day by collecting Giroud's pass and clipping past Boyko.

 

What does it mean? Sarri's struggles consigned to memory

A few weeks ago it was not inconceivable that Sarri would not even be in charge for this tie, but the Italian has weathered the storm – at least for now.  

He came out of the Kepa fiasco in the EFL Cup final with his reputation arguably enhanced, has now comfortably steered his side through a potentially tricky Europa League tie and also overseen an upturn in their Premier League form. A great few weeks for the former Napoli boss. 

Giroud forgets domestic woes

The World Cup winner has scored just once in the Premier League this season, but he is certainly enjoying himself in the Europa League. His perfect hat-trick puts him out on his own as the top scorer in this season's competition with nine goals. 

Sydorchuk fluffs his lines

It hardly mattered to the final scoreline, but Dynamo's captain had two glorious chances to at least give the club's fans something to cheer. They both came in the same passage of play, but he was denied by Kepa and then the post when it looked easier to score.

What's next?

Chelsea return to Premier League action on Sunday with a trip to Everton, while Dynamo travel to Olimpik Donetsk on the same day in the Ukrainian Premier League.

Maurizio Sarri has dismissed the latest round of speculation his time at Chelsea is coming to an end. 

With Chelsea sixth in the Premier League and in danger of missing out on qualification for the Champions League, Sarri's future is under threat despite taking Manchester City to penalties in the EFL Cup final. 

Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo is reportedly one of the names under consideration by the Chelsea board should Sarri be sacked, but the former Napoli head coach is not thinking about whether he will be in charge for the 2019-20 season. 

"I don't know. I don't mind at the moment," Sarri told reporters ahead of Thursday's Europa League tie against Dynamo Kiev when asked about his future. 

"For me, now, the next match is very important, and the next match in Liverpool against Everton. For me, the next season at the moment is too far [away]. 

"I want to be focused on these matches, first of all. Then we have the international break, and then a lot of matches – I hope, and I think – in the last part of the season. But we need only to be focused on our matches, the next two, which are very important. 

"We want to be in the top four at the end of the Premier League. And, at the end of the Europa League, we want to be in the final."

Gonzalo Higuain is the headline absentee from Chelsea's squad for the game in Kiev, with Danny Drinkwater and Gary Cahill also left at home despite the English side holding a 3-0 lead in the tie.

Sarri confirmed the striker is suffering from illness so is not being risked ahead of Sunday's Premier League game at Everton. 

"He had a fever after the match in the Premier League, for two days," Sarri said. "So yesterday evening, we with the doctor decided to leave him at home to recover for the next match."

Chelsea are highly likely to progress to the quarter-finals having established a strong lead in last week's opening leg, but Sarri is concerned about the surface in Kiev.

"A disaster. The pitch is not good," Sarri stated. "I think that it's dangerous, really dangerous. It's really dangerous to play any football here in this moment, and I think it's really very dangerous for injuries. But the situation is this, so we have to accept the situation.

"We have to play on this pitch. There isn't another solution, but I cannot understand why UEFA are so, so... haven't really given much attention to everything, especially to the player list.

"You have to present the player list at a certain minute, and then we have to play on such a bad pitch. The situation is this, though. I think it will be very difficult, also, for Dynamo because the pitch is no good.

"It's a problem for us, but also for our opponents, I think. I don't know the reason - probably the winter. I played here two years ago and the pitch was wonderful. [Now it is] Very, very dangerous."

Callum Hudson-Odoi needs to improve before he can be considered a great player, according to Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri.

The 18-year-old has been used sparingly by the Italian this season but has still done enough in his limited appearances to attract the attention of German heavyweights Bayern Munich.

He scored against Dynamo Kiev on Thursday, netting late on as Chelsea strolled to a 3-0 Europa League last-16 first-leg win at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea fans are desperate to see Hudson-Odoi given more starts but Sarri believes he needs to improve out of the spotlight before he can establish himself in the Blues' starting XI.

"Hudson-Odoi is a very important young player but he is 18 and needs to improve," he told a media conference.

"He has convinced me he is a very great player. I have my opinion and he cannot be at the top yet.

"He needs to improve because he can arrive at the top only at 22 or 23, like every other player.

"So, I now think we need to improve without the pressure of the media, without the pressure of the fans, without the pressure of the club.

"I think it's very dangerous, at 18, to have this pressure. You have to improve, tactically, mentally and physically at that age."

Hudson-Odoi's late goal added to earlier strikes from Pedro and Willian to give the scoreline a more accurate reflection of Chelsea's dominance.

Sarri admits, though, that his side should have been out of sight by half-time given the volume of chances they created against an insipid Dynamo outfit.

When asked if they should have scored more, he replied: "Yes, of course, especially in the first half. We could have scored more, but the result is a good result.

"We were able not to concede a goal at home, which is very important in this competition.

"We have to be careful. We have to play the second leg [on March 14] and go there with a very good level of attention and application because we want to qualify."

Pedro, Willian and Callum Hudson-Odoi helped Chelsea to a 3-0 win over Dynamo Kiev in their Europa League last-16 first-leg tie on Thursday.

Maurizio Sarri's side dominated throughout and, despite missing a host of opportunities in the first half, ended up with a commanding advantage ahead of next week's second leg in Ukraine.

Pedro's first Europa League goal of the campaign set them on their way after 17 minutes before Willian doubled their advantage with a superb free-kick in the 65th minute.

Substitute Hudson-Odoi then whipped in a third in the 90th minute as Sarri's men strolled to a third consecutive win in all competitions in the most comfortable of fashions.

After a bright start, Chelsea forged ahead in the 17th minute thanks to sublime play from Olivier Giroud.

The Frenchman collected Pedro's pass and picked out the Spaniard's subsequent surge into the penalty area with a superb flick, the former Barcelona man then sliding through Denys Boyko's legs from eight yards.

An unmarked Pedro should have doubled the Blues' advantage three minutes later but fired straight at Boyko from just six yards, while Ross Barkley was denied by the Dynamo goalkeeper's legs soon after.

Boyko brilliantly repelled Pedro's volley and Marcos Alonso saw an effort deflected narrowly wide as Chelsea threatened to pull out of sight before half-time.

Willian ensured those missed were not too costly, however, whipping a superb free-kick into Boyko's top-right corner from 25 yards in the 65th minute to double the Blues' lead.

Alonso flashed wide and Ruben Loftus-Cheek clipped over before Hudson-Odoi coolly slotted past Boyko late on to ensure Chelsea travel to Ukraine next week with one foot in the quarter-finals.

 

What does it mean? Sarri steadies the ship                        

Few would have given Sarri a chance of still being in charge for this game a few weeks ago, but the Italian has well and truly weathered the storm.  

He came out of the Kepa Arrizabalaga fiasco in the EFL Cup final with his reputation not just intact, but arguably enhanced, and has now overseen three consecutive wins in all competitions. His only disappointment from this game will be that Chelsea did not win by a greater margin, given their utter dominance.

Pedro too dynamic for Dynamo 

The 31-year-old was unplayable in the first half, pulling Dynamo's defenders all over the pitch. He got Chelsea on their way early on with a cool finish and only failed to finish with a hat-trick courtesy of a combination of wayward finishing and inspired goalkeeping.

Barkley fails to sparkle

With competition for places in Chelsea's midfield never greater, the England international will consider this an opportunity missed. He shot straight at Boyko from a promising position in the first half and scarcely featured again before his departure just after the hour mark.

What's next?

Chelsea return to Premier League action on Sunday when Wolves travel to Stamford Bridge, while Dynamo face a domestic derby against Arsenal Kiev on the same day.

Maurizio Sarri rejected the idea that Chelsea's players have started showing him more respect, saying that their return to form is down to an improved mentality rather than a shift in his relationship with his squad.

Following a troubling sequence of four defeats in seven games across all competitions, Chelsea have shown signs that they are regaining confidence after back-to-back victories against Tottenham and Fulham in the Premier League.

Those wins have teed the Blues up for the visit of Dynamo Kyiv in the Europa League on Thursday and Sarri said he was happy with his side's response since the chaos of goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga's refusal to be substituted in the EFL Cup final loss to Manchester City.

When asked whether his squad is difficult to manage, Sarri told reporters: "In my opinion no. Of course the situation is not easy because we are Chelsea, we have to win something, but the players are not very difficult to manage.

"They respected me before. It wasn't a problem for me, the dressing room. We have some problems with the mentality because we did very bad in two or three matches, not the dressing room.

"I was lucky because I have two very good goalkeepers. In the match against Tottenham, [Willy] Caballero did very well, in the match against Fulham, Kepa did very well.

"I am lucky for this because we have really two very, very good goalkeepers. You can see the situation was well managed, I was lucky I think."

Chelsea go into their round-of-16 tie against Kyiv having qualified with a 5-1 aggregate win over Malmo, and Sarri indicated that the Europa League is an important competition for his players.

However, the Italian does not see it as Chelsea's best hope of qualifying for next season's Champions League.

He said: "I think we can gain the spot in the Champions League in the Premier League. We are fighting.

"We are only two points away [from the top four] at the moment, and have to play one match [in hand]. But the Europa League is a very important competition, the second in Europe, an important trophy with a spot for the Champions League."

Blues defender David Luiz backed his coach's comments about the club's handling of recent controversies and described Sarri as "a great human".

"You don't change your character because of the situation; you change the situation," said the Brazil international.

"He's a great human, someone with the love and passion with football, loving with people and trying to help everyone, giving the best advice.

"When you lose a game, like we did in Manchester [6-0 at City], no one is going to be happy and coming here joking around. He's a real person, and real people have feelings good and bad."

Chelsea will play Dynamo Kiev in the last 16 of the Europa League, while Arsenal have been paired with Ligue 1 side Rennes.

Both Premier League clubs are at home for the first legs, which are set to be played on March 7, with the return games taking place a week later.

Sevilla, five-time winners of the competition, are also at home first in their tie with Slavia Prague.

Fellow LaLiga side Villarreal are away to Zenit first, while Valencia host more Russian opposition in Krasnodar.

Serie A giants Inter will go to Eintracht Frankfurt, with Napoli welcoming Austrian champions Salzburg in the opening leg.

"Salzburg are a great team with great international experience," said Napoli coach Carlo Ancelotti. "They played in the semi-final of the Europa League [last year]. And in the group they won six games out of six. We'll have two big games!"

In the remaining match, Benfica travel to Dinamo Zagreb before hosting the conclusion of the tie.

Europa League last-16 draw in full

Chelsea v Dynamo Kiev

Eintracht Frankfurt v Inter

Dinamo Zagreb v Benfica

Napoli v Salzburg

Valencia v Krasnodar

Sevilla v Slavia Prague

Arsenal v Rennes

Zenit v Villarreal

Ajax, AEK Athens and Young Boys secured their place in the group stage of the Champions League after winning their respective play-off ties.

Ajax and AEK Athens are on the brink of qualifying for the Champions League group stages after the first legs of their play-off ties.

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