AC Milan and West Ham continue their good progress towards the quarterfinals of the Europa League

MILAN.- AC Milan made no bones about defeating a numerically inferior Slavia Prague 3-1 on Thursday to advance to the quarter-finals of the Europa League.

Christian Pulisic Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Rafael Leão finished off the second leg of the tie by scoring goals during the first half in Prague. The Italian club won 7-3 on aggregate after their 4-2 victory at San Siro last week.

Seven-time European Cup champions, Milan have never won the Europa League or its predecessor, the UEFA Cup.

The tournament offers the Rossoneri the only realistic chance of winning a trophy this season after being eliminated from the Italian Cup and be 16 points behind its classic rival Inter, leader of Serie A.

Pulisic opened the scoring with a low shot from 10 meters in the 33rd minute. In his first season with Milan, he totaled 11 goals in 38 games in all competitions. The American attacker has emulated the most productive campaign of his career, that of 2019-20 with Chelsea.

Slavia got complicated with the expulsion of Tomas Holes after 20 minutes.

The only adverse thing for Milan was the injury to their starting goalkeeper Mike Maignan at the start of the match.

This is how West Ham arrived:

West Ham They qualified after beating German Freiburg 5-0 in London.

The Hammers overturned a 1-0 first-leg deficit with goals from Brazilian Lucas Paquetá and Jarrod Bowen in the first half. Aaron Cresswell made it 3-0 after the restart and Mohammed Kudus sealed it with a double. Kudus’s first was outstanding: he controlled the ball from behind midfield and left the rival defenders in the way.

West Ham, champions of the Conference League last season, have won 11 straight home games in European competition the last two seasons.

Marseille was close to squandering the 4-0 lead they took after the first leg against Villarreal. The Spanish team scored three goals on Thursday until Jonathan Clauss scored in stoppage time for the French visitor to seal the 5-3 aggregate victory.

Benfica advanced after defeating Rangers 1-0. Rafa Silva scored the decisive goal in the 66th minute for the Lisbon club. The teams drew 2-2 in Scotland last week.