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Just qualified for the semi-finals of the Europa League, after their victories this week against Granada (2-0) and on the ground of Slavia Prague (4-0), Manchester United and Arsenal had various fortunes on Sunday during of the 32nd day of the English Championship.
With its typical team, Manchester United managed to win late in the match against Burnley (3-1), while Arsenal narrowly avoided a new home defeat early in the afternoon (1-1 against Fulham), two teams struggling not to descend.
In this encounter against one of their pet peeves at Old Trafford, the Mancunians failed to score in the first 45 minutes, a first since December.
They opened the scoring as soon as they returned from the locker room, thanks to a center from Rashford that Bruno Fernandes cleverly let pass for Greenwood, who then adjusted Peacock-Farrell with a flat foot (1-0, 48th).
Burnley was able to take advantage two minutes later of the opposing deconcentration by equalizing on a corner by his captain Tarkowski (1-1, 50 ‘).
Without forcing too much, the Red Devils regained the advantage late in the game, on a new strike from Greenwood slightly deflected by Cork (2-1, 84 ‘). Then Cavani scored in the wake, easily, his eighth goal of the season in the league.
This victory consolidates Manchester United’s position in second place, eight points behind Manchester City and ten points ahead of Leicester.
All eyes are on the Europa League semi-final on April 29 against AS Roma. Despite the loss, Burnley still has a margin ahead of the relegation first, with six points and one more game to go.
Recently victorious over Sheffield United (3-0) and Slavia Prague (4-0), Arsenal is decidedly unable to continue and has not managed to win two straight league victories since January.
A minute or so, Mikel Arteta’s players could even have made history, on the wrong side. The ninth defeat of the season at home was narrowly avoided against Fulham (1-1). This would have been unheard of since 1930.
Led from the 59th minute after a penalty from Josh Maja, the Gunners snatched the draw in the 7th minute of added time. Scorer Edward Nketiah came into play in the 70th minute, replacing Alexandre Lacazette, who suffered from a hamstring.
Deprived of Aubameyang, David Luiz and Tierney, Arteta nevertheless believes that his players have done the right thing: “We controlled the game and created chances. We did not concede a single shot on target, until to this penalty which completely changed the game. “
Ninth in the championship and behind in the race to qualify for European places, Arsenal depends more than ever on the Europa League to save its season, eleven days before the semi-final first leg against Villarreal of Unai Emery, his former coach.
The specter of relegation is becoming clearer for Fulham, who is six points behind the first non-relegation. On Saturday Sheffield United became the first officially relegated team after their second top season.