Nigeria’s hope of having players in the final of this season’s European club football was further reduced on Thursday night following the exit of the duo of Peter Olayinka and Iyayi Believe Atimwen from the Europa League, AOIFootball.com reports.
With no Nigerian player remaining in the UEFA Champions League following the exit of Zaidu Sanusi and his Porto side, the hope now lies on Samuel Chukwueze and his Villarreal team after they booked a date with Arsenal in the semifinals.
The Eagles winger was at his playing best last night as he turned provider for Paco Alcacer to put the Yellow Submarines ahead in the 36th minute before Gerard Moreno then doubled their lead just before the break.
The 21-year-old then rattled the post twice before the visitors pulled one back via the boots of Mislav Orsic to make it 2-1 before former Bendel Insurance man Atimwen was introduced to try and get an equalizer for Dinamo Zagreb.
The hosts however held on to seal a 3-1 aggregate win with Chukwueze named the man of the match following a fantastic display as he earned a rating of 7.9, creating 3 big chances, completing 6 of his 8 dribbles, winning 9 duels and also completing 73% of his passes.
Elsewhere at the Sinobo Stadium in Prague, it was a disappointing outing for Peter Olayinka and his Slavia Praha side as they failed to build on their first-leg result to crash 4-0 at home to the superior firepower of Arsenal.
First-half strikes from Nicolas Pepe, Alexandre Lacazette, and Bukayo Saka put the Gunners on a stroll before Lacazette grabbed his second of the game to seal a 4-0 win as Arsenal reached the semifinals at the expense of Praha.