Europa League

Photo by Silvia Lore/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Europa League wrap: Late heroics lead Celtic, Gladbach to wins

Leave a comment

Manchester United was one of five clubs to punch tickets to the Europa League knockout rounds by the end of play Thursday.

[ RECAPS: Man Utd-Partizan | Wolves-Slovan Bratislava ]

The Red Devils beat Partizan Belgrade to join Sevilla, Celtic, Espanyol, and Basel in the next stage, while five teams have been eliminated: Rennes, Trabzonspor, Rosenborg, Besiktas, and Astana.

Borussia Monchengladbach 2-1 AS Roma

Federico Fazio made amends for an early own goal by leveling the score for AS Roma, but if you’ve been following the Bundesliga this year you know there was always a pretty good chance that Lilian Thuram’s kid Marcus was gonna make an impact on the proceedings.

Lazio 1-2 Celtic

Ciro Immobile’s early goal threatened to thwart the visitors’ hopes of a clinched knockout round berth, but James Forrest leveled the score before halftime and Olivier Ntcham found a winner deep in stoppage time to deliver the goods. Celtic made the Round of 32 last year before bowing out to Valencia.

Rangers 2-0 Porto

Alfredo Morales and Steven Davis secured a keynote win for Steven Gerrard‘s managerial resume, taking four of six points from the Portuguese giants. It’s not over yet, though, as Rangers’ 7 points are joint-top with Young Boys and both Feyenoord and Porto have four with two matches to play.

Full Europa League scoreboard

Vitoria 1-1 Arsenal — Wednesday, RECAP
APOEL Nicosia 2-1 Qarabag
Dudelange 2-5 Sevilla
CFR Cluj 1-0 Rennes
Standard Liege 2-1 Eintracht Frankfurt
LASK 4-1 PSV Eindhoven
Basel 2-1 Getafe
Lugano 0-0 Malmo
Manchester United 3-0 Partizan Belgrade — RECAP
Astana 0-5 AZ Alkmaar
Copenhagen 1-1 Dynamo Kiev
Krasnodar 3-1 Trabzonspor
Braga 3-1 Besiktas — USMNT’s Boyd scores
Rosenborg 0-2 Sporting Lisbon
Feyenoord 1-1 Young Boys
Porto 2-0 Glasgow Rangers
Ferencvaros 0-0 CSKA Moscow
Espanyol 6-0 Ludogorets
Wolfsburg 1-3 Gent
Oleksandriya 2-2 Saint-Etienne
Wolfsberg 0-3 Istanbul Basaksehir
Borussia Monchengladbach 2-1 Roma
Wolves 1-0 Slovan Bratislava — RECAP

Manchester United runs past Partizan

Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images
Leave a comment

Manchester United outclassed Partizan Belgrade in a 3-0 win on Thursday, cementing its status in the knockout rounds of the Europa League.

Mason Greenwood had a goal and an assist, while Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial also scored at Old Trafford.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

United beat Partizan 1-0 in Belgrade, and sits six points clear of them. AZ Alkmaar also won today and has eight points to the Red Devils’ 10.


Three things we learned

1. Red Devils follow plan to a 3: This fixture was always supposed to be straightforward, and United was able to put it on cruise control with goals from Greenwood and Martial before halftime. Rashford blasted an Ashley Young feed home four minutes into the second half to cast out any thoughts of a Partizan comeback. As a bonus, the domination — Shots were 14-2 — allowed 18-year-old James Garner to get a half hour run.

2. Teenage dream: Greenwood turned 18 just five weeks ago, but he finishes like a season veteran. Look how coolly he slots home near post while giving the far post eyes. He’s yet to score in 11 Premier League appearances, but those goals are coming, aren’t they? Now if only the Red Devils supporters and the media can avoid demanding he score 30 a season before he’s ready (looks at Marcus Rashford).

3. In-form Rashford finding his groove: United’s 22-year-old striker got on the score sheet for the fourth time in five matches. He was blanked against Bournemouth at the weekend but now has five goals and an assist in his last quintet of matches. The expectations placed on him so early in his career were stupid, but they’ve created a pretty hardened man. Now if only he can figure out that whole penalty thing.

Man of the Match: Rashford.

El Tri’s Jimenez the hero of Wolves win

Photo by Tim Goode/EMPICS/PA Images via Getty Images
Leave a comment

Raul Jimenez made it two-for-two, scoring another match winner for Wolves against Slovan Bratislava in Europa League play.

The big, bad man headed home a deflected Adama Traore cross in the second of a dozen stoppage time minutes, giving Wolves a 1-0 win at the Molineux.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Wolves are now on the precipice of the knockout rounds, a point back of leaders Braga. They sit five clear of third place Slovan Bratislava, who beat Besiktas despite a goal from USMNT winger Tyler Boyd.

Jimenez now has 12 goals and 3 assists in 21 matches this season.

WATCH: USMNT winger Boyd opens Besiktas account in Europa League

Photo by MIGUEL RIOPA/AFP via Getty Images
Leave a comment

Besiktas’ Europa League campaign was on life support, and a USMNT winger picked up the paddles.

Tyler Boyd has his first goal with his new club, drawing level with Braga in Portugal with a tight move and smooth finish.

[ MORE: Americans Abroad ]

Boyd, 24, had been an unused sub in four of Besiktas’ last five matches, and his lone start was the side’s 2-1 loss to Braga at home in Turkey.

Handed another chance away from home, Boyd is on the board. Besiktas has since given the lead back to Braga ahead of a huge second half.

Boyd was recalled to the USMNT by Gregg Berhalter earlier Thursday.

Europa League preview: Man Utd, Wolves eye qualification

Photo by Ed van de Pol/Soccrates/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Manchester United midfielder Fred wants to get Europa League knockout round qualification done and dusted on the double.

United hosts Partizan Belgrade at 3 p.m. ET Thursday, and a win would boost them six points clear of their visitors with two matches to play.

Fred said he’s hopeful not just for the place in the next round, but to help more of the squad get playing time.#UEL

“It will also provide more opportunities for players to get a run of games, which is very important as we have a lot of games coming up and will need the entire squad, so to have already achieved qualification is important,” said Fred. “With this run of games coming up, we’ll be gradually putting the pieces together over these fixtures.”

[ MORE: Atalanta 1-1 Man City | Red Star 0-4 Spurs ]

The Red Devils will bid to achieve that goal without Victor Lindelof, who was an unused sub for the 1-0 win in Serbia.

Meanwhile, Wolves are home to face Slovan Bratislava in a Group K which is anything but straightforward.

The Premier League side is a point back of Braga’s seven, and sits two clear of Thursday’s visitors. Besiktas, stunningly, is without a point through three matches.

Nuno Espirito Santo said the advantage is not enough, and Wolves cannot expect to be safe for the knockout rounds.

“We are always confident, we cannot expect things to happen, we have to make them happen,” he said. “We have to play the game, we are ready to compete and Slovan are a very tough team. Competing well is more important (than thinking about qualifying).”

Arsenal failed in its early bid to earn a place in the Europa League knockout rounds, but an Eintracht Frankfurt defeat of Standard Liege in Belgium could send both the Gunners and Eintracht there.

Other notable UEL Thursday fixtures

Lazio v. Celtic — 12:55 p.m. ET

Rangers v. Porto — 3 p.m. ET

Wolfsburg v. Gent — 3 p.m. ET

Borussia Monchengladbach v. Roma — 3 p.m. ET

Braga v. Besiktas — 3 p.m. ET