Ashton matches Champions Cup record as Saracens surge into semis
Chris Ashton matched a European Champions Cup try-scoring record with a double in Saracens' emphatic 38-13 quarter-final victory over Glasgow Warriors at Allianz Park.
Ashton touched down in either half to take his tally in the competition to 36, joining Toulouse wing Vincent Clerc at the top of the all-time list.
Owen Farrell kicked 18 points as the defending champions extended their unbeaten run in the competition to 16 matches and set up a final-four clash with Munster at the Aviva Stadium.
Gregor Townsend welcomed nine Scotland internationals back into his starting XV, but lost influential lock and co-captain Jonny Gray to a failed head injury assessment after 11 minutes.
After coming under significant pressure for much of the first half, Lee Jones gave Glasgow hope by reducing the difference between the teams to six points soon after the break.
However, scores from Marcelo Bosch, Brad Barritt and another from Ashton came in a late flurry, with Ryan Wilson's consolation doing little to take the shine off a stunning performance that booked a semi-final place for the fifth successive season.
Chris Ashton scores his 36th European try and draws level with Vincent Clerc as the competition's all-time leading try scorer! pic.twitter.com/hiK89QzCFp-- Champions Cup (@ChampionsCup) April 2, 2017
Saracens ploughed forward in a blistering start and came close to opening the scoring twice inside five minutes, but Ashton and Sean Maitland were deemed in touch by the TMO when stretching over to ground in opposite corners.
The hosts were unrelenting and a penalty from Farrell in front of the posts provided the first points of the match in the ninth minute, but Finn Russell levelled two minutes later.
The Warriors replaced Gray with Greg Peterson after he collided with Farrell's elbow and the England international kicked a pair of penalties either side of a difficult miss to send Saracens clear.
It got even better for Sarries when Ashton showed great footwork after receiving the ball from Barritt, rolling through Russell's tackle for a try in the corner.
Glasgow narrowed the gap eight minutes after the restart when Jones collected Russell's chip and stepped inside Alex Goode before fending off Ashton, though Russell could not add the extras as the gap stood at six.
Normal service quickly resumed with Saracens dominating the territory and Bosch darted through a gap in the Glasgow line to dab down before the hour mark.
The fluid hosts continued to push on and, after Maitland was held up just before the line, Barritt crossed after Saracens won the ball at a Warriors scrum.
Ashton's history-making moment came two minutes from time when Goode created space for the outgoing winger to ground in the right corner, though Glasgow bowed out of their maiden outing at this stage of the competition with a show of grit from Wilson after regulation time had passed.