Often a source of frustration, Lucas Ocampos is enjoying one of his best spells in Europe and after scoring twice in the first leg, the 23-year-old fired Marseille past Athletic Club when the two sides met in San Mamés on Thursday.
Leading 3-1 from the first leg a Dimitri Payet penalty put Marseille firmly in control before Ocampos cut inside two defenders and rifled the ball into the bottom corner.
Iñaki Williams pulled one back for Athletic but Marseille cruised through to the quarter-finals with Ocampos in terrific form. The former River Plate forward now has four goals in his last three matches and is finally making good on his enormous potential.
Atlético Madrid joined Marseille in the next round after thrashing Lokomotiv Moscow 8-1 on aggregate.
After winning 3-0 at the Wanda Metropolitana, Ángel Correa made certain by darting through the Lokomotiv defence to score an away goal.
Despite the Russian club equalising, Atleti ran riot with Saúl Ñíguez and a Fernando Torres brace easing Diego Simeone’s side through before Correa wonderfully created the fifth for Antoine Griezmann.
Rodrigo Battaglia was the hero as Sporting Clube de Portugal edged past Viktoria Plzeň as his headed goal in extra-time sent the Leões through 3-2 on aggregate.
The Czech side winning 2-0 in the second leg after 90 minutes cancelled out Sporting’s first leg advantage but former Huracán and Racing Club midfielder, Battaglia rose to head in the winner during the additional 30 minutes.
Plzen 2-1 Sporting [2-3 on agg.] – Rodrigo Battaglia pic.twitter.com/86MDxAPrtJ
— FootballVids4K (@FootballVids4K) March 15, 2018
But it wasn’t all good news for Argentinians in the Europa League as Zenit St. Petersburg crashed out against RB Leipzig.
Sebastián Driussi, Emiliano Rigoni, Matías Kranevitter and Leandro Paredes all started for Zenit aiming to overturn the 2-1 first leg defeat but when Jean-Kévin Augustin gave the Bundesliga club the lead, the tie was slipping away from Roberto Mancini’s side.
Driussi volleyed an equaliser on the night in first half stoppage time but unable to find another to force extra-time, Leipzig held on for a place in the quarter final.