The eventful Europa League went down yesternight as teams sealed their place in the first legs and get a foot into the championship but it is Benfica’s Felix Joao where all the attention went.
The teenager and the English referee stole the show as the player who is getting suitors from all over Europe scored a hattrick to become one of the youngest players to do so while Mike Olver was on the spot for giving penalties.
It was an eventful night for teenage striker Joao Felix and English referee Anthony Taylor as Benfica took control of their Europa League quarter-final tie with Eintracht Frankfurt.
Felix, 19, scored a hat-trick, the first a penalty, with Frankfurt’s Evan Ndicka sent off for conceding it.
Luka Jovic levelled for the German side, but Felix’s second and Ruben Dias’ header put Benfica in control.
Felix struck his third before Goncalo Paciencia headed in for the visitors.
Felix, a graduate of Benfica’s youth set-up, is now the youngest player to score a hat-trick in the Europa League at 19 years and 152 days. Marko Pjaca previously held the record for Dinamo Zagreb against Celtic in 2014 at 19 years and 219 days.
Another English referee, Michael Oliver, was in the spotlight in Spain, awarding two penalties as Valencia scored twice in stoppage time to claim a 3-1 victory at La Liga neighbours Villarreal.
Oliver first pointed to the spot when Valencia’s Goncalo Guedes was fouled by Santiago Caseres. Dani Parejo’s penalty was well saved by Andres Fernandez, but Portugal winger Guedes followed up to give the visitors the lead.
Former Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla equalised with the second penalty after Ezequiel Garay brought down former Leicester midfielder Vicente Iborra.
A dramatic final few minutes first saw Daniel Wass fire in to give Valencia the lead before Guedes poked home his second to give the visitors a commanding lead heading to Mestalla next Thursday.