Chloe Beresford·27 October 2022
Chloe Beresford·27 October 2022
Thursday night can only mean one thing, and that’s the return of the Europa League.
Here’s what went down.
Scorers: Dalot 44′, Rashford 65′, Ronaldo 81′
Over in England, Manchester United returned to European competition and beat Sheriff 3-0.
Cristiano Ronaldo, who made his return to the squad after recent drama, was increasingly active throughout the opening 45 minutes however the Portugal captain struggled to find his scoring touch.
Despite United’s initial dominance, Sheriff almost took the lead against the run of play as Rasheed Akanbi went inches away from connecting with the ball.
However, the pressure from the hosts eventually cracked the visitors when Diogo Dalot got on the end of a Christian Eriksen corner for 1-0.
Coming out after the break United continued to push for a second with Ronaldo again falling short and becoming visibly frustrated.
Erik ten Hag would eventually turn to his bench and Marcus Rashford eased any pressure with a thumping header for 2-0.
Then in the dying moments, the man wearing number seven eventually found his goal after stabbing home a loose ball for United’s third.
The result means second-place Manchester United have qualified for the knockouts.
Scorers: Hetemaj 54′, Hoskonen 62′ (OG); Abraham 41′
The pressure was on Roma Thursday night as Jose Mourinho’s side needed a win to stay alive and came out on top 2-1.
The visitors thought they had an early lead when Bryan Cristante’s header was ruled out by VAR after previously hitting the woodwork minutes earlier.
Eventually, they were able to break the deadlock when Tammy Abraham made the most of a free-kick from Lucas Pellegrini.
The Englishman subsequently became the sixth Roma player to score 10 goals in major European competitions in the 2000s (Alongside the likes of Edin Dzeko, Francesco Totti and others).
However, coming out after the break it did not take long for the hosts to hit right back and Roma’s perseverance was all but undone.
Against the run of play, Përparim Hetemaj drilled a shot toward the goal and it deflected past Rui Patricio for 1-1.
A little bit of luck then fell the way of Mourinho’s men. Arttu Hoskonen’s own-goal turned things in favour of the Serie A side and when things turned 2-2 in dramatic fashion, David Browne’s stunning strike was ruled by VAR.
The result means Roma are still alive in the competition but must win their final game to reach the knockouts.
Scorers: Veerman 55′, De Jong 63′
Arsenal knew that a draw would be enough to see them through to the knockout stages, and a win would secure their place at the top of Group A, but in the end they got neither.
Despite a strong starting lineup, the Gunners got off to a slow start, with PSV star Cody Gakpo going closest to getting off the mark in the opening exchanges.
Gakpo then had the ball in the back of the net with a superbly skilful effort, but his attempt was ruled out for offside.
And indeed the home side had another ruled out just before half time after Xavi Simons danced through the Arsenal backline but netted in vain.
Just after half-time, Eddie Nketiah went close with an instinctive snap shot fired towards goal.
Yet the break changed very little for Arsenal and PSV were energised. After Simons and Gakpo had combined well again and went close to taking the lead, the home side had the advantage for real this time thanks to a superb finish from Joey Veerman.
It was soon 2-0 lead after Aaron Ramsdale attempted a punch from a corner, a move which was quickly capitalised upon by Luuk de Jong.
Then after some brilliant build-up play and a superb finish from Gakpo, PSV thought they had a third, but it was once again ruled out for an offside.
Arsenal’s defence was stretched all over the place, and De Jong went close again only to be denied by a good save from Ramsdale.
Some superb last ditch defending from Everton loanee Jarrad Branthwaite from kept another Nketiah shot out with just over ten minutes to play, but it was not nearly enough for the Gunners.
Scorers: Knoche 68′ (P)
Union Berlin recovered from a shock defeat to Bochum to pull off a narrow win at home to Braga and their impressive run this season continues.
Robin Knoche scored from the spot to help the German club sit second in their group, two points above the Portuguese side with a game to go.
Scorers: Fekir 56′
Real Betis remain unbeaten in their last five Europa League games after delivering an away victory at Ludogorets thanks to Nabil Fekir.
The result means Betis won their group while Ludogorets are second and tied with third-place Roma on points.
Thursday also sees the Uefa Conference League in action, with West Ham hosting Silkeborg.