Manchester United put their crushing defeat against Liverpool behind them with a dominant 4-1 win over Real Betis in the first leg of their Europa League last 16 tie. On the other hand, Arsenal drew 2-2 away to Sporting Lisbon, leaving them with work to do to reach the quarter-finals.
Early Lead for United
Marcus Rashford scored his 26th goal of the season, putting United ahead in the first half. However, Betis leveled the score against the run of play with a goal from Ayoze Perez. The visitors nearly took the lead before half-time, but Perez’s deflected cross came back off the post.
Second Half Comeback for United
Antony and Bruno Fernandes, who was named captain again by coach Erik ten Hag, were the heroes of the second half. Antony curled a brilliant shot into the top corner, and Fernandes headed in Luke Shaw’s corner to give United a 3-1 lead. Wout Weghorst sealed the victory with a close-range goal six minutes from time.
Arsenal Forced to Come From Behind
Despite taking the lead through William Saliba’s header, Arsenal were forced to come from behind to earn a 2-2 draw in Lisbon. Sporting equalized with a header from Goncalo Inacio and took the lead through Paulinho’s finish inside the area. Granit Xhaka’s cross deflected off Hidemasa Morita and into his own net, allowing Arsenal to escape with a draw.
Other Europa League Results
Juventus took a narrow 1-0 lead to Germany over Freiburg, while Roma saw off Real Sociedad 2-0 at the Stadio Olimpico. Sevilla took a 2-0 lead over Fenerbahce, and Union Berlin snatched a 3-3 draw against Union Saint-Gilloise. Bayer Leverkusen beat Ferencvaros 2-0 at home, and Shakhtar Donetsk and Feyenoord drew 1-1.
UEFA Conference League Results
Michael Antonio scored two first-half goals to secure West Ham’s 2-0 victory over AEK Larnaca. Villarreal were held to a 1-1 draw away at Anderlecht, while Nice and Fiorentina both took 1-0 leads over Sheriff Tiraspol and Sivasspor, respectively.
Manchester United’s victory over Real Betis was a much-needed response to their heavy defeat against Liverpool. Meanwhile, Arsenal will have to work hard in the second leg against Sporting Lisbon to secure a place in the quarter-finals. Juventus, Roma, Sevilla, and Union Berlin all have the advantage going into their second leg matches, while the UEFA Conference League also provided some exciting results.