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Manchester United, AS Roma and Villarreal by winning away on Thursday all three in the first leg of the quarter-finals of the Europa League, have taken an option on qualifying for the semi-finals.
Arsenal for its part who had done the hardest by finally finding the opening in the 86th minute by the former Lille native Nicolas Pépé may have regrets, with the equalizer of Slavia Prague in added time (1-1).
The Mancuniens of Paul Pogba, winners of the event in 2017, went to win over the Spaniards of Granada (2-0) thanks to the achievements of Marcus Rashford (31st) and the Portuguese Bruno Fernandes who converted a penalty ( 90th).
Half an hour into the game, Rashford perfectly exploited a long opening by Swedish defender Victor Lindelöf. The 23-year-old international striker’s goal came just after a dangerous situation in favor of the Andalusians in their first quarter-final of a European competition, for their very first appearance.
The partners of the former Lyonnais Maxime Gonalons then found the post in the 41st minute on a volley from the Venezuelan Yangel Herrera. Rashford then gave way to Edinson Cavani (65th) and the Mancuniens benefited at the very end of the game from a converted penalty for a score (2-0) which allows them to approach the return match next Thursday in a comfortable situation. .
Just like the Italians of AS Roma who obtained a victory slightly against the course of the game on the lawn of Ajax Amsterdam. The Romans had yet conceded the first goal on a realization of Davy Klaassen (39, 1-0). Then shortly after the restart, everything changed: Tadic missed a penalty for the Dutch (53rd) and four minutes later Lorenzo Pellegrini equalized taking advantage of an error by goalkeeper Scherpen (1-1, 57th). AS Roma took the advantage by Roger Ibanez, up close (2-1, 87), on a volley after a chest control.
The Spaniards of Villarreal won on the lawn of Dinamo Zagreb thanks to a single goal before the break from Gerard Moreno on a penalty awarded for a hand from French defender and former Stéphanois Kevin Théophile-Catherine (1-0, 44th).
The Arsenal Gunners, finalists in 2019, have long sought the opening. They found it after the exit of the ex-Lyonnais Alexandre Lacazette replaced in tip by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Pepe gave a short-lived advantage to his family on a pass from the former Stéphanois (1-0, 86th) before the equalizer at the end of added time in Prague, on a header from Tomas Holes, helped by the hands not enough Bernd Leno farms (1-1, 90 4).