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Goals galore in the first leg of the Europa League round of 16

Another Europa League matchday, another glut of wonderful goals and spectacular matches.

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If you were worried that this round of the Europa League couldn't possibly live up to the excitement of the last round, worry no more, because we just bore witness to some fantastic football in the first leg of the round of 16.

In eight matches, we saw 23 total goals scored, no match go scoreless, and at least two goals in seven of the matches. There was drama abound, with four comeback wins by home teams, a late road equalizer for Roma against Italian rivals Fiorentia, a hat trick for Gonzalo Higuain of Napoli, two red cards, two first-minute goals, and so much action it was hard to keep up.

It was impossible to go wrong watching any of these matches, but three of them stood out from the pack for their sheer quality and entertainment value.

Wolfsburg 3-1 Inter Milan

Things started disastrously for Wolfsburg when their midfield went to sleep and allowed a free run for Rodrigo Palacio to score in the fifth minute, but after that it was all Wolfsburg, all the time. They found an equalizer before half an hour went by, and Inter were frankly lucky that they weren't down by halftime. Wolfsburg came out hard in the second half as well, creating pressure and stress that Inter's defense couldn't handle. Finally it was their goalkeeper who cracked, with Juan Pablo Carrizo completely failing on a pass to his left back and setting up a goal for Kevin De Bruyne. Then it was Carrizo at fault again when he made a hash of trying to save a free kick from De Bruyne, and despite the advantage of an away goal, it looks like Inter have a mountain to climb in the second leg.

Villarreal 1-3 Sevilla

This is the match that everyone was looking forward to in the late set of matches, with two Spanish sides going head to head for superiority. These two teams are tight in the La Liga table and have won some impressive matches to get this far in the Europa League, but only one can go on to try to win European glory for Spain. Before the match it looked like it would be an even, cagey affair ... then Sevilla scored 13 seconds in and it all went downhill for Villarreal. They were down 2-0 by the half hour mark and while they clawed a goal back early in the second half, they gave up a third on Sevilla's very next possession. With three away goals and a two-goal lead, Sevilla may have already put this tie to bed.

Zenit St Petersburg 2-0 Torino

Torino will need another miracle second leg after the first went about as poorly as possible, starting with midfielder Marco Benassi getting two yellow cards before the half hour mark and getting worse when Axel Witsel hammered home Zenit's opener when Daniele Padelli spilled a shot and no one cleared it away. Even factoring in that they were playing a man down for over an hour, Torino's play was sloppy, undisciplined, and begging to be exploited. That Zenit only scored one more goal has much, much more to do with the Russians not taking their chances than any particular quality from Torino.

Full results from the round of 32 first leg

Zenit St Petersburg 2-0 Torino

Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk 1-0 Ajax

Wolfsburg 3-1 Inter Milan

Club Brugge 2-1 Beşiktaş

Napoli 3-1 Dynamo Moscow -- blog recap

Everton 2-1 Dynamo Kyiv

Fiorentina 1-1 AS Roma -- Roma blog recap

Villarreal 1-3 Sevilla