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Riots in Rome spark extra anti-violence measures for 2nd-leg matches in Europa League

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ROME — Riots in Rome last week have sparked extra anti-violence measures for several of Thursday's second-leg matches in the Europa League's last 32.

Police in Rotterdam are tightening security and drafting in reinforcements ahead of a highly charged match between Feyenoord and Roma after Dutch fans destroyed a 400-year-old fountain before the first leg last week, which ended 1-1.

The problems in Rome have prompted worries over artistic treasures in Florence ahead of Tottenham's visit to Fiorentina following a 1-1 draw in London.

With 2,200 Tottenham supporters expected in the Renaissance city, Florence officials will be posting extra police around the historic center's monuments and museums.

And with Celtic heading to Milan to face Inter after a 3-3 first-leg draw, the Scottish club's assistant manager John Collins warned supporters that it is "vitally important" to behave in the northern Italian city.

Celtic was fined 10,000 euros ($11,000) by UEFA for crowd disturbances at a match in Croatia with Dinamo Zagreb last year.

Inter has won three straight in Serie A but is still eighth in the Italian league, meaning its best route to qualifying for the Champions League could come by winning the Europe's second-tier competition.

Roma and Tottenham will each be seeking smooth nights so they can prepare for a couple other big upcoming matches.

Tottenham faces Chelsea in the League Cup final on Sunday while Roma hosts leader Juventus on Monday in a 1 vs. 2 matchup in Serie A.

Elsewhere, Liverpool visits the Ataturk Olimpiyat Stadium in Istanbul for the first time since its win in the 2005 Champions League final when it carries a 1-0 lead into the second leg against Besiktas.

The draw for the last 16 will be held Friday in Nyon, Switzerland.

Here are some other things to know about Thursday's games:


DEFENDER vs. MIGHTY CONTENDER

Reigning champion Sevilla travels to Borussia Moenchengladbach with one eye fixed on a tough Spanish league match against Atletico Madrid awaiting it on Sunday.

Sevilla will look to preserve its 1-0 first-leg lead aware that Moenchengladbach is unbeaten in seven European home games — having won five — and that it has scored 16 goals and conceded just one in four Europa League matches at Borussia-Park.

PHOTO: A worker shows a destroyed fragment of the fountain called "Barcaccia", made by Pietro Bernini and his son Gian Lorenzo in 1627, at the Spanish steps, Rome, Friday, Feb. 20, 2015. The square and the iconic Spanish Steps were left covered with beer bottles and other litter, while the recently restored Barcaccia fountain was damaged in the clashes before Thursday's Europa League match at Roma, which ended in a 1-1 draw. Rome Mayor Ignazio Marino called on Feyenoord or the Netherlands to pay for damages after fans of the Dutch soccer club rampaged through the famous Piazza di Spagna. "Whoever breaks it, should fix it," Marino told RAI state TV on Friday. "Someone has to accept responsibility — either the football club or the Netherlands." EU Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans said authorities should impose hard-hitting penalties on the hooligans. "We need a tough approach to make justice prevail and also because sports should not be damaged by the violence of hooligans," said Timmermans, a Dutchman who considers Rome his "second home." (AP Photo/Claudio Peri, Ansa)
A worker shows a destroyed fragment of the fountain called "Barcaccia", made by Pietro Bernini and his son Gian Lorenzo in 1627, at the Spanish steps, Rome, Friday, Feb. 20, 2015. The square and the iconic Spanish Steps were left covered with beer bottles and other litter, while the recently restored Barcaccia fountain was damaged in the clashes before Thursday's Europa League match at Roma, which ended in a 1-1 draw. Rome Mayor Ignazio Marino called on Feyenoord or the Netherlands to pay for damages after fans of the Dutch soccer club rampaged through the famous Piazza di Spagna. "Whoever breaks it, should fix it," Marino told RAI state TV on Friday. "Someone has to accept responsibility — either the football club or the Netherlands." EU Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans said authorities should impose hard-hitting penalties on the hooligans. "We need a tough approach to make justice prevail and also because sports should not be damaged by the violence of hooligans," said Timmermans, a Dutchman who considers Rome his "second home." (AP Photo/Claudio Peri, Ansa)

However, the hosts have not won at home against Spanish opposition in the last two matches, losing to Espanyol in 1987 and drawing against Villarreal in this season's group stage.

"We play against a powerful side that has twice our budget, a very mighty squad that is third in the Bundesliga, but I'm confident we will win," Sevilla president Jose Castro said.

Between Sevilla and Moenchengladbach, the teams have won this competition five times.


BAS THE BOSS

Bas Dost will be in the spotlight when Wolfsburg takes a 2-0 first-leg lead to Sporting Lisbon.

The Dutchman has scored eight goals in three matches in the past week and has 11 in 11 Bundesliga matches this season.

It wasn't always like that. Dost struggled for two seasons in Wolfsburg before finally making his breakthrough.

Often injured and unfit, beset by self-doubt and lack of opportunity, Dost was nearly forgotten. But Wolfsburg coach Dieter Hecking adamantly refused to let Dost leave the club and the striker is now repaying the confidence.

Dost scored four goals in a 5-4 win over Leverkusen, notched two against Sporting and then got both in a 2-1 victory over Hertha Berlin.

"It's all just working out now," Dost said. "I am having a lot of fun now and I hope it stays that way for a long time."


ICARDI'S WORTH

With four goals in his last three matches for Inter Milan, Mauro Icardi has drawn level with Juventus striker Carlos Tevez atop the Serie A scoring chart at 14 goals apiece.

With a contract that pays him an estimated 900,000 euros ($1 million) per season and is due to expire in 2018, Icardi understandably is in the market for an upgrade.

While Inter is reportedly prepared to offer Icardi a new deal worth 2.7 million euros ($3 million) per season, the Gazzetta dello Sport reports that the club might also consider selling the Argentina international for something like 40 million euros ($45 million).


Associated Press writer Harold Heckle in Madrid and AP Sports Writer Nesha Starcevic in Frankfurt contributed to this report.

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