🇪🇺 Man Utd do enough; Arsenal draw in stoppage time; Ajax collapse

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Alex Mott

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A huge week of European football is capped off this evening with the first leg of the Europa League quarter-finals.

Let’s have a look at how they played out.

Granada 0-2 Manchester United

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Scorers: Rashford 30′, Fernandes (PEN) 90′

A first half goal from Marcus Rashford and a late penalty from Bruno Fernandes was enough for Manchester United as they beat Granada 2-0 on Thursday.

This was the biggest game in Granada’s history and started in a manner befitting of the occasion.

It was all energy but very little quality from the Spanish side as United slowly got a grip on the game in the first half.

And they opened the scoring on 30 minutes as Marcus Rashford raced through and finished coolly.

It took him on to eight goals for the season in Europe, a tally only Bobby Charlton had reached.

Into the second period and an uneventful game coasted to full time as United completed the win with a stoppage time penalty.

Granada 0
Manchester United 2
Full time

Arsenal 1-1 Slavia Prague

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Scorers: Pépé 86′; Holes 90+3

Arsenal conceded a stoppage time equaliser to draw 1-1 with Slavia Prague on another terrible night at the Emirates.

The Gunners looked a different proposition with Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka in the starting XI and were dominating the ball in the early exchanges.

But in a poor opening half the best chance fell to Calum Chambers, whose header was tipped over by the visiting goalkeeper.

Into the second half and Alexandre Lacazette really should have found the back of the net, one-on-one with the goalkeeper he somehow construed to hit the bar when it looked easier to score.

They eventually did get their goal though, with four minutes to go as Nicolas Pépé capitalised on a mistake and finish brilliantly from close range.

Unbelievably, the match wasn’t done there, as Tomas Holes scrambled on the goal line and poked one past Bernd Leno for an equaliser.

Arsenal 1
Slavia 1
Full time

Ajax 1-2 Roma

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Scorers: Klassen 39′; Pellegrini 57′, Ibanez 88′

Roma came from behind to beat Ajax 2-1 and ended the Amsterdam side’s 24-match unbeaten run in all competitions.

The Italians were the ones taking the game by the scruff of the neck early on and almost took the lead on 15 minutes as Bryan Cristante’s effort from range was tipped acrobatically wide.

But it was the Dutchman who got the opening goal as Davy Klassen pounced on a mistake in the Roma defence and slotted the ball home from eight yards out.

Into the second half and Dusan Tadic had a golden opportunity to double Ajax’s advantage from the penalty spot only to see his effort saved by Pau Lopez.

And they would pay for that miss almost immediately as Lorenzo Pellegrini’s free kick squirmed under Kjell Scherpen and went over the line.

Astonishingly, and completely against the run of play, Roma got their winner as Roger Ibanez volleyed in from a corner.

Ajax 1
Roma 2
Full time

Dinamo Zagreb 0-1 Villarreal

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Scorers: Moreno (PEN) 44′

A first half penalty was all Villarreal needed to beat Dinamo Zagreb 1-0 in their quarter-final.

It was the home side who got off to the brighter start and almost scored after 10 minutes only for Kevin Theophile-Catherine’s header to hit the side netting.

But against the run of play, Unai Emery’s men got an invaluable away goal late in the half as Gerard Moreno confidently stroked home a penalty.

It was enough for the Spaniards who saw out the rest of the game well.

Dinamo Zagreb 0
Villarreal 1
Full time

The return legs will be completed next Thursday, April 15.