LNTUP

UEFA Europa League roundup

Photo: Getty Images
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Anderlecht(Dendoncker 87′) 1-1 Manchester United (Mkhitariyan 37′)

Man Utd were denied by a late equaliser as they drew 1-1 with Anderlecht in their Europa League quarter-final first leg in Brussels.

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Jose Mourinho’s men generally looked a cut above their Belgian hosts for much of the match, but United were denied by a late equaliser as they drew 1-1 with Anderlecht.

Although Anderlecht initially looked bright, United soon took over and were impressive in the first half, with Sergio Romero remaining completely untested.

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Henrikh Mkhitaryan gave United the lead in the 36th minutes with a close-range effort. Mkhitaryan stabbed in from the tightest of angles after a full-stretch Ruben kept out Marcus Rashford’s low effort.

Anderlecht improved in the second period, but United were still in control until the hosts’ late leveller through Leander Dendoncker, who headed superbly past Sergio Romero with four minutes left.

Pogba, in acres of space, should have made it 2-0 with just eight minutes remaining after Ibrahimovic’s delightful set-up, but the Frenchman could only strike against the body of Ruben from 12 yards out. And 4 minutes prior to this incident, Dendoncker ultimately equalised for Anderlecht FC to send the home fans into tizzy.

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The draw is United’s 14th of the season, but Mourinho will feel they are well placed for the return leg at Old Trafford.

The return leg will be played on Thursday, April 20, as United look for an automatic route into the Champions League and another piece of silverware.

Olympique Lyonnais ( Tolisso 83 / Morel 85 ) 2-1 Beşiktaş J.K. Football Team ( Babel 15 )

Clashes in the stands that forced some supporters on to the pitch delayed Lyon’s Europa League quarter-final first-leg win over Besiktas. Trouble prompted police involvement outside the ground before violence behind one goal as players warmed up. The game kicked off 45 minutes late with Lyon scoring twice within 2 minutes in the closing minutes of the game to win 2-1.

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Former Liverpool winger Babel smashed Beşiktaş into a 15th-minute lead with a full-blooded conversion of Talisca’s pass inside.

Tolisso hit a post with a header as Lyon poured forward and Cornet looked better poised to score in the 81st minute, only for Spanish stopper Fabricio to flick his attempt to safety.

A calamitous error from Besiktas goalkeeper Fabri allowed Lyon to snatch a dramatic 2-1 victory.

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Just a minute after Corentin Tolisso had cancelled out Ryan Babel’s early opener, Spaniard Fabri turned into trouble in his area, allowing Jeremy Morel to tuck home Lyon’s winner. Before Besiktas had time to react, it was 2-1, with Morel catching Fabricio in possession to steal the ball and roll it home unopposed.

AFC AJAX { Klaassen 23 (P), 52 } 2-0 FC SCHALKE 04

Ajax are in pole position to reach the semifinals of the Europa League after claiming a “DOMINANT” 2-0 victory over Schalke in the first leg of their last-eight clash.

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It was raining chances around the Schalke goal !! Only a combination of the woodwork, good goalkeeping and some inaccurate finishing kept the score down. The Bundesliga visitors could hardly get out of their own half.

Ajax threatened as early as the fourth minute when Nick Viergever’s acrobatic volley flew high and wide of the Schalke goal.

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Nineteen minutes later the hosts took the lead. Amin Younes’ run into the box was halted illegally by Alessandro Schopf and AFC Ajax were awarded a penalty as a result. The captain i.e. Davy Klaassen stepped up to take the penalty and drilled it into the top-right corner, thus scoring his first UEL goal of the season.

They might have doubled their lead just after the half-hour mark. Davinson Sanchez was agonisingly close to turning in a cross by Klaassen and then, when the ball was sent back in, Sanchez and Bentaleb both challenged for it.

It was the defender who got the final touch and it needed a fingertip save from Fahrmann onto the bar to prevent an own goal.

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Schalke did not manage their first attempt on target until the final moments of the half but Benedikt Howedes’ shot was comfortably saved by Andre Onana.

Ajax scored again in the 52nd minute and Klaassen was on target again !! Klaassen expertly steered home on the half-volley after Justin Kluivert’s cross picked him out unmarked inside the box.

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Schalke were rocking, another poor pass out of defence allowing Younes to play in Traore who was superbly denied by the onrushing Fahrmann.

Ajax produced many chances but a great goalkeeping display from the Schalke goalkeeper, Fahrmann kept them at bay.

CELTA DE VIGO ( Sisto 15 / Aspas 18 / Guidetti 38 ) 3 – 2 K.R.C. GENK ( Boëtius 10 / Buffel 67 )

Celta Vigo recovered from an early deficit to claim a 3-2 win from the first leg of their Europa League quarterfinal against Genk at Balaidos.

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The Belgian visitors took a 10th-minute lead through Jean-Paul Boetius’ header. Trossard floated a cross into Boëtius, whose powerful header was too tough to handle for Sergio Álvarez, despite the keeper getting to it.

The in-form Belgians found themselves behind just seven minutes later, after Pione Sisto and Iago Aspas took full advantage of Celta’s first shooting opportunities, and John Guidetti made it 3-1 before half-time.

In the 15th minute, Guidetti backheeled Johnny’s pass into the path of Sisto, who curled up the ball over the keeper.

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They scored again in the 18th minute when Aspas intercepted Colley’s pass and then advanced a few metres just to drive a low shot across Ryan and into the far corner.

Celta made it 3-1 in the 38th minute when Guidetti fired home low into the near corner of Ryan’s net, and at half-time things were looking rosy for the Spanish side.

However, Genk survived a couple of escapes at the start of the second half only to pull a goal back in the 68th minute when Buffel headed home at the second attempt following a defensive misjudgement by Jonny Castro.