Arsenal win, United held in Europe
Mikel Arteta marked his first European game as Arsenal manager with a 1-0 victory at Olympiakos in the first leg of their round-of-32 meeting in the Europa League yesterday.
Manchester United were held to a 1-1 draw at Club Brugge while Inter Milan had an easier time at Ludogorets in Bulgaria, with Christian Eriksen scoring his first goal for the Italian club in a 2-0 win.
Another Premier League side, Wolverhampton Wanderers, cruised to a 4-0 win over Espanyol, thanks to a hat-trick by Diego Jota and a spectacular long-range volley by Ruben Neves.
Winning the Europa League may be the best chance for all three Premier League teams to book a spot in the lucrative UEFA Champions League next season.
Scottish side Rangers delivered the comeback of the evening by rallying from 2-0 down to beat Braga 3-2 at home.
Five-time Europa League champion Sevilla failed to win again after a 1-1 draw at Romania’s Cluj while Ajax surprisingly lost 2-0 at Getafe.
Basel, Roma, Leverkusen and Wolfsburg also won. The second legs are scheduled for next week.
LACAZETTE ON TARGET
Having ended a two-month scoring drought this past weekend, Alexandre Lacazette made it two goals in two games, with a late winner in Athens.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang started the move on the left and released Bukayo Saka, who surged into the area and provided a precise cross for Lacazette to tap in nine minutes from time.
Arsenal had goalkeeper Bernd Leno to thank for keeping the game goalless until then, with the German making several key saves in the first half.
“The first 10-15 minutes, we suffered,” Arteta said. “The executions on the simple things was poor. We had a situation where we could completely break them and we kept giving simple balls away and that was almost throughout the game.”
Emmanuel Bonaventure put Brugge ahead after 15 minutes in Belgium, collecting a long pass from goalkeeper Simon Mignolet and one-timing a lob over the onrushing Sergio Romero.
Brugge had several chances for a second goal, but Anthony Martial equalised for United in the 36th, capitalising on Brugge’s sloppy play to beat Mignolet one-on-one for his third goal in four games. Martial also hit the post later in the first half.
United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made six changes to his starting line-up from the team that beat Chelsea 2-0 at Stamford Bridge on Monday. But new signing Odion Ighalo remained on the bench until he replaced Martial in the 67th.
Yesterday’s Europa League results:
Brugge 1-1 Man United
Frankfurt 4-1 Salzberg
Copenhagen 1-1 Celtic
Getafe 2-0 Ajax
Ludogorets 0-2 Inter
Shakhtar 2-1 Benfica
Sporting 3-1 Basaksehir
Cluj 1-1 Sevilla
APOEL 0-3 Basel
Alkmaar 1-1 LASK
Bayer 2-1 Porto
Olympiacos 0-1 Arsenal
Rangers 3-2 Braga
Roma 1-0 Gent
Wolfsburg 2-1 Malmo
Wolves 4-0 Espanyol