Manchester United delivered a commanding performance away from home as they breezed past LASK in a 5-0 victory to all but book their place in the quarter-finals of the Europa League.
Fresh from sealing a pulsating win against rivals Manchester City at a packed Old Trafford on Sunday, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men lined up for this last – first leg in front of just people in Linz .
The Covid – pandemic meant fans were locked out and United did superbly in challenging circumstances.
Odion Ighalo’s cracking first-half effort was complemented by fine Daniel James and Juan Mata efforts, with Mason Greenwood and fellow substitute Andreas Pereira rubbing salt into the wounds in stoppage time.
It was a faultless away performance in imperfect surroundings, setting up Solskjaer’s men to progress when – or rather if – the sides meet for the second leg at Old Trafford next Thursday.
The other remaining Premier League team in the Europa League, Wolves, also played behind closed doors for their visit of Olympiakos.
But it was a frustrating night for Nuno Espirito Santo’s men as they struggled to break down the Greek side, who were reduced to ten-men in the first half when Borges Semedo fouled Diogo Jota.
AFP or licensors
Olympiakos then took a surprise lead shortly after the break, Youssef El-Arabi tapping in a low cross from the right.
The visitors hit back midway through the second half though. Pedro Neto’s free-kick took a huge deflection off the wall before bounced into the net.
The other remaining British team had a terrible night though as Steven Gerrard’s Rangers were left with a mountain to climb after losing 3-1 at home to Bayer Leverkusen.
Coronavirus didn’t prevent the crowds from coming to Ibrox but many of the revellers will probably wish they didn’t show up as the German side outclassed their team.
A penalty from Kai Havertz and goals from Charles Aranguiz and Leon Bailey sealed the 3-1 win for Leverkusen. George Edmundson scored Rangers ’goal.
Below you can see all the results from Thursday’s Europa League last – 16 first leg ties.
Eintracht Frankfurt 0-3 Basel
Istanbul Basaksehir 1-0 FC Copenhagen
LASK 0-5 Manchester United
Sevilla PP Roma
Inter Milan PP Getafe )
Olympiakos 1-1 Wolves
Rangers 1-3 Bayer Leverkusen
Wolfsburg 1-2 Shakhtar Donetsk