Europa League Roundup: Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur put 4 past their opponents; Other EL results

Manchester United continued impressive away form and also returned to winning ways in style with a crushing 4-0 victory over Spanish side Real Sociedad in Turin.

The emphatic win means that United have now put one foot in the last 16 of the Europa League.

It was another vintage away performance from United, shaking off some poor early momentary lapses thanks to the genius of Bruno Fernandes and an imperious display of counter-attacking football.

Fernandes put United ahead at the break after he capitalized on a moment of chaotic defending from Sociedad and then double their advantage with a brilliant curled effort which survived the tightest of VAR offside reviews before the hour-mark.

Marcus Rashford and Daniel James then added to the tally as United secured a memorable fourth victory in Turin which all but puts the tie beyond Sociedad, who failed to harness the talents of David Silva on a forgettable night for the La Liga club.

Stats and facts from the match (Backed by Opta)

  • Manchester United are unbeaten in their last nine away games across all competitions (W5 D4), while they have kept a clean sheet in four of their last six.
  • Marcus Rashford has scored seven goals in European competition this season for Manchester United – excluding qualifiers, this is the most by an Englishman in a season for the Red Devils since Bobby Charlton scored eight in the 1964-65 Fairs Cup.
  • Daniel James scored his fourth goal of the season for Manchester United (12th appearance), equalling his goal tally across all competitions for the club last term – four goals in 46 games.
  • Since his UEFA Europa League debut in February 2018, Manchester United’s Bruno Fernandes has been involved in more goals in the competition than any other player (24 – 16 goals, 8 assists).
  • Real Sociedad remain winless in five games against English opponents in European competition (D1 L4) – they have failed to score in each of the last four, with three of those coming against Manchester United.
  • Real Sociedad have only won one of their four home games in the UEFA Europa League this season (D1 L2), despite attempting 49 more shots than their opponents across these four games (77 shots for, 28 shots faced).

Wolfsberger 1-4 Tottenham: Gareth Bale, Heung-Min Son, Lucas Moura, Carlos Vinicius put Spurs in driving seat

Europa League Roundup

Tottenham also followed in Manchester United’s footsteps and took a giant stride towards booking their place in the Europa League last 16 of the competition.

Gareth Bale also got on the scoresheet in the resounding 4-1 win over Wolfsberger in Budapest.

Heung-Min Son gave Tottenham a 13th-minute lead when he headed in Bale’s cross while Bale’s brilliant finish made it 2-0 before the half-hour.

Lucas Moura scored a solo effort to extend Spurs’ advantage on 34 minutes while Wolfsberger pulled one back from the penalty spot through Michael Liendl early in the second half.

But a late finish from Carlos Vinicius ensured that Jose Mourinho’s men take a three-goal cushion back to London ahead of the second leg next Wednesday.

Jose Mourinho: “We had to come and play with ambition which we did. The score should have been more than 3-0 at half-time.

“In the second half we made that mistake that gave them life. There were some similarities with Everton. If you’re in control and make a mistake you give the opposition life and the game can change. In here it didn’t change. But the 3-2 was not far from happening.

“We had good control of the game. Lots of chances. I believe the last goal put almost a period on this tie. 4-1 away is a very good result.

“I don’t consider this an incredible victory, just a good victory that brings good feelings. But flying back, the plane will be a different plane than after a defeat. Tomorrow morning in training, the same.

“We managed to rest a few players by not playing them 90 minutes – like Sonny only playing 45 minutes at 3-0.”

Benfica 1-1 Arsenal: Bukayo Saka scores in draw against the Portuguese side

Europa League Roundup

In Arsenal’s Europa League last-32 tie in Rome on Thursday night, Bukayo Saka scored to give the Gunners an advantage heading into the return leg.

The match was moved to the Estadio de Olimpico due to government concerns over the new coronavirus variant in the UK.

The first half was a cagey affair and Arsenal should have gone into the break in front, but Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang fired just wide with only goalkeeper Helton Aleixo Leite to beat.

But the game sprang to life after the break and Benfica were awarded an early penalty when Emile Smith Rowe was penalized for handling the ball in the area.

Europa League top scorer and captain Pizzi dispatched from the spot.

However, their lead only lasted a few minutes as Arsenal hit back almost instantly. Cedric Soares, who started his career at Benfica’s fierce rivals Sporting Lisbon, fired in a cross that was turned home by Saka. VAR checked the goal for offside – Arsenal were flagged 10 times during the game – but it stood.

The last-32 tie is finely poised for the second leg next Thursday in Athens with Arsenal holding a slender advantage with the away goal.

Europa League results

Thursday 18th February

  • Dynamo Kiev 1-1 Club Brugge
  • BSC Young Boys Bern 4-3 Bayer Leverkusen
  • Braga 0-2 Roma
  • Crvena Zvezda 2-2 AC Milan
  • Krasnodar 2-3 Dinamo Zagreb
  • Olympiakos FC 4-2 PSV Eindhoven
  • RZ Pellets WAC 1-4 Tottenham Hotspur
  • Real Sociedad 0-4 Manchester United
  • Slavia Prague 0-0 Leicester City
  • Antwerp 3-4 Rangers
  • Benfica 1-1 Arsenal
  • Granada 2-0 Napoli
  • Lille 1-2 Ajax
  • Maccabi Tel Aviv 0-2 Shakhtar Donetsk
  • Molde 3-3 Hoffenheim
  • Red Bull Salzburg 0-2 Villarreal
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