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Europa League: Man United through, Arsenal shockingly out

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Wolves advanced in Europa League play earlier Thursday comfortably, and while Manchester United also moved on with ease, Arsenal crashed out in painful fashion.

Bruno Fernandes was a menace as Manchester United rolled over 10-man Club Brugge 5-0 at Old Trafford. He struck the post just minutes in before forcing a bigtime save from Simon Mignolet. Fernandes eventually put Manchester United up from the penalty spot just before the half-hour mark, giving the Red Devils the opener after Simon Deli was sent off for clearly handling the ball in the box.

With the man advantage, Manchester United ran ragged, with Odion Ighalo scoring his debut Red Devils goal and Scott McTominay also finding the back of the net in his full return to the squad from injury. The second half was a breeze, with Manchester United hold Club Brugge without a shot on target, while the Red Devils popped off 18 shots with eight of them on frame. Fred tacked on a pair in the final 10 minutes to complete the scoreline.

[ MORE: Early games see Wolves, Bayer advance among others ]

Arsenal appeared to be stumbling towards penalties at the Emirates as they took on Olympiakos. Then they were rescued by a moment of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang magic. Then they were out.

After the Gunners won 1-0 in Greece, the return leg at the Emirates was a slog, with Arsenal falling in regulation 1-0 on a 58th minute Pape Abou Cisse header. That sent the match to extra time where it seemed penalties were imminent after Olympiakos substitute Georgios Masouras hit the crossbar. With just seven minutes to go, Aubameyang produced a bicycle kick to put the Gunners in front.

But just minutes later, Olympiakos leveled the aggregate scoreline with a Youssef El Arabi header in the 119th minute. Aubameyang had another chance to win it for the Gunners, but he couldn’t finish right on the doorstep at the buzzer and Arsenal crashed out of the competition.

In an empty stadium, Inter started sluggish but came back to advance past Ludogorets Razgrad 4-1 on aggregate thanks to a 2-1 victory at the San Siro. Brazilian winger Cauly opened the scoring for Ludogorets to get Inter close on aggregate, but an own goal brought Inter back level and Romelu Lukaku put the Italians in front before halftime to put them out of reach. Lukaku’s strike was a wild header that he worked while laying prone in front of Ludogorets goalkeeper Plamen Iliev.

Ajax’s disappointment continued as last year’s Champions League semifinalists dumped out of Europe via a 3-1 aggregate defeat to Getafe. After a 2-0 first-leg loss, Jamie Mata piled on the Dutch side’s woes with a fifth-minute opener. Danilo got Ajax on the board to level things up minutes later and Carel Etling doubled Ajax’s total to put them 2-1 up and within one on aggregate, but it wasn’t enough. Ajax had 71% possession but could only manage three shots on target, while the two teams racked up nine yellow cards.

Celtic failed to hold serve at home as it crashed out of European competition on a roller coaster 3-1 loss to FC Copenhagen. The visitors scored the opener on a hilarious defensive fail by Celtic five minutes after halftime.

Celtic seemed to have rescued the match as Odsonne Edouard struck in the 83rd minute, but Copenhagen bounced straight back as Pep Biel and Dame N'Doye stunned the Dublin crowd to send Celtic crashing out of Europe.

Shakhtar Donetsk advanced past Benfica in a wild 3-3 draw that saw the Ukranians move on via a 5-4 aggregate victory. Both teams held leads at various stages, but with Shakhtar trailing 2-1 shortly after halftime, Taras Stepanenko and Alan Patrick found the back of the net to put Shakhtar up for good. Benfica’s elimination seals the fate for all three Portuguese sides in the competition after both Sporting CP and Porto were bounced in the early kicks.

Sevilla labored to a 0-0 draw with Romanian side CFR Cluj, with the Spaniard advancing on away goals after a 1-1 aggregate draw. The two teams ripped off a combined 34 shots but neither found the back of the net. Sevilla racked up 2.17 xG, so elimination was not harsh on the Romanians.

The Round of 16 draw will be held at 7:00 a.m. ET tomorrow morning.

Europa League results (bolded team advances)

Arsenal 2-2 Olympiacos (AET)
Manchester United 5-0 Club Brugge
Inter Milan 2-1 Ludogorets
Benfica 3-3 Shakhtar Donetsk
Ajax 2-1 Getafe
Celtic 0-1 FC Copenhagen
Sevilla 0-0 CFR Cluj

Europa League roundup: Big comeback for Gerrard’s Rangers; Marsch’s Salzburg falls

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Both Old Firm rivals picked up notable first leg results, while American coach Jesse Marsch endured a tough knockout round debut as the Europa League sprung back into action on Thursday.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ] 

Premier League sides Arsenal and Wolves both collected wins — the latter in highlight-reel fashion — after Manchester United drew in Belgium to start the day.

Rangers 3-2 Braga

The visitors set the tone for an audacious tie with a marvelous 11th-minute goal, but Steven Gerrard‘s hosts took a one-goal lead with an even better comeback.

Fransergio scored the show-stopping opener in question before Barcelona loanee Abel Ruiz made it 2-0 before the hour mark.

Rangers thundered back, though, with Joe Aribo bookending a brace from Ianis Hagi — son of Gheorghe — to take an advantage to Portugal.

Hagi has 10 caps but has yet to score for Romania, but has three goals and an assist in his first six matches for the Glaswegian set.

Eintracht Frankfurt 4-1 Red Bull Salzburg

Marsch’s men were down 2-0 at the break and 4-0 before the hour mark, but will at least have the comfort of Hwang Hee-Chan’s 85th-minute away goal to bring back to Austria for the second leg.

Daichi Kamada scored a hat trick for the Bundesliga side, with Filip Kostic netting Eintracht’s other goal.

Copenhagen 1-1 Celtic

The Glaswegian set saw two of its stars combine to produce a quarter-hour lead, with Odsonne Edouard the scorer off a Callum McGregor assist, but ex-Hull and Sunderland man Dame N'Doye salvaged a draw for the hosts in the second half.

Full Thursday UEL scoreboard

CFR Cluj 1-1 Sevilla
Club Brugge 1-1 Manchester United — RECAP
Eintracht Frankfurt 4-1 Red Bull Salzburg
Copenhagen 1-1 Celtic
Getafe 2-0 Ajax
Ludogorets Razgrad 0-2 Inter Milan
Shakhtar Donetsk 2-1 Benfica
Sporting Lisbon 3-1 Istanbul Basaksehir
APOEL Nicosia 0-3 Basel
AZ Alkmaar 1-1 LASK
Bayer Leverkusen 2-1 Porto
Olympiacos 0-1 Arsenal — RECAP
Rangers 3-2 Braga
Roma 1-0 Gent
Wolfsburg 2-1 Malmo
Wolves 4-0 Espanyol — RECAP

Allardyce stews after Sunderland blows late derby lead to Newcastle

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Oh, Sunderland, what has happened to you?

A point at St. James Park on Derby Day is nothing to be ashamed of, but the Black Cats should’ve been free and clear of the drop zone with all three points on Sunday.

[ MORE: Match recap | Watch Mitrovic’s equalizer ]

Instead, a late equalizer from Aleksandar Mitrovic gave the Magpies a tie ahead of Newcastle’s trip to 17th place Norwich last week, a side they blasted 6-2 earlier this season.

Outspoken manager Sam Allardyce was not pleased with his team.

“For me, if we don’t start getting these clean sheets it’s going to be a massive problem. We are a team that has to score twice to win. Sadly we didn’t get the second goal and we conceded late on again. We had the chances to put the game to bed, but missed them.

“Second half, I don’t know why we sat in and let Newcastle come at us. Maybe that was the size of the game, but in the end we haven’t done that and it’s two points dropped. We should have won this one. We need four wins from the last eight, so it’s now must-win rather than draw.”

Allardyce made some mind-boggling subs in the final 20 minutes, and it remains to be seen how many were because of injuries. Wahbi Khazri, Jan Kirchhoff and Younes Kaboul were all removed from the game in favor of John O'Shea, Lee Cattermole and Dame N'Doye. Only the Cattermole sub occurred after the goal. Kaboul may’ve been injured.

The Black Cats now stew on this draw over the international break before consecutive home matches against West Brom and Leicester City, then an all-important trip to Norwich City.

Premier League roundup: Leicester, Sunderland results could shake up both ends of table

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Jurgen Klopp said the era of single-team dominance of the Premier League is over, and after another wild day in the league, well, how could we argue?

[ MORE: Arsenal’s Oxlade-Chamberlain out for “months” ]

Sunderland and Bournemouth boosted their hopes for PL safety while Leicester City opened the door for another team to take the table lead by the close of business Wednesday.

All that and more in our PL roundup.

Norwich City 1-2 Chelsea — RECAP

The Canaries went from zero to panic in 39 seconds after Kenedy buried an early chance to put Norwich City under the knife. Diego Costa made it 2-0 for Chelsea before Nathan Redmond pulled one back for the hosts in the second half. The win moves Chelsea to eighth, five points back of fifth, while Norwich is in 18th thanks to the next game in our rundown.

Sunderland 2-2 Crystal Palace — RECAP

Dame N'Doye‘s first half goal had the Stadium of Light energized for a move out of the drop zone. While that move materialized, a win did not. Palace got goals from suddenly-hot striker Connor Wickham in the 61st and 67th minutes to stun the Black Cats, but Fabio Borini netted a beauty with moments to play to level things up. Sunderland is out of the drop zone on goal differential, but cross-town rivals Newcastle have played two less matches and have the same amount of points. An absolutely massive Tyne-Wear Derby looms March 20.

during the Barclays Premier League match between Leicester City and West Bromwich Albion at The King Power Stadium on March 1, 2016 in Leicester, England.
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Leicester City 2-2 West Bromwich AlbionRECAP

Tony Pulis loves to put a dent in title bids, and the West Brom boss did it again on Tuesday as the Baggies pulled a point out of King Power Stadium. Leicester City had come back from Salomon Rondon’s early goal to take a lead through Danny Drinkwater and Andy King, but Craig Gardner stayed hot with a curling free kick to ensure the point.

Bournemouth 2-0 Southampton — RECAP

Benik Afobe‘s Cherries career is looking pretty good after the striker capped off a big New Forest Derby win with his second half goal. Steve Cook also scored for Bournemouth on an off-night for visiting Saints. The Cherries are eight points clear of the drop.

Aston Villa 1-3 Everton — RECAP

Romelu Lukaku now has more Premier League goals in a single season than anyone in Everton history after his 17th of the season helped Everton to a 3-0 lead. Rudy Gestede scored for last-place Villa, while Aaron Lennon and Ramiro Funes Mori also scored for Everton. Funes Mori added an assist.

Sunderland 2-2 Crystal Palace: Late equalizer saves Black Cats

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  • Borini strikes late on
  • Wickham with two goals
  • No win in 11 for Palace

Sunderland and Crystal Palace played out an entertaining 2-2 draw at the Stadium of Light on Tuesday with Fabio Borini’s late equalizer dragging the Black Cats out of the relegation zone.

Dame N'Doye put Sunderland 1-0 up but former Black Cat Connor Wickham struck twice in quick succession around the hour mark to put Palace 2-1 up.

It looked like the Eagles were going to claim their first PL win of 2016 but Borini struck as the clock hit 90 to make it 2-2.

With the point Sunderland move to 17th and are on 24 points, pushing them out of the relegation zone on goal difference. Palace are now without a win in 11 PL games and are on 33 points.

[ MORE: Watch full match replays

Palace looked dangerous early on with Wilfried Zaha turning Sunderland’s defense inside out before rifling a shot at the near post which

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Palace went close to taking the lead as Vito Mannone superbly saved Scott Dann‘s header from a corner, with both teams eager to push forward whenever they could. Sunderland were forced into a change as Younes Kaboul replaced the injured John O'Shea.

In an even first half both teams created chances but the Black Cats went ahead in the 36th minute as N’Doye was teed up by Jermain Defoe and his tame shot deflected off Dann and left Wayne Hennessey flat-footed as the ball rolled into the net. 1-0 to the Black Cats.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Palace were level after 61 minutes as Yannick Bolasie set up Wickham who rifled in for this third goal in two games. 1-1 at the Stadium of Light and Palace deserved to be level.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score

Wickham then doubled his and Palace’s tally in the 67th minute — to make it foru goals in two games for the English striker — as a corner was nodded down into his path and he volleyed home with his left foot. 2-1 and the Eagles had turned the game on its head.

Lee Cattermole took a blow to his head which saw him cut his left eyebrow open and force a short delay, as Sunderland pushed hard for an equalizer late on.

That finally arrived in the 90th minute as substitute Borini fired home into the far corner from a ridiculously tight angle to make it 2-2. Emmanuel Adebayor tried his best to put Palace back in the lead but the scores finished level and Sunderland, momentarily, climbed out of the bottom three.