Europa League: Manchester United cruise, Arsenal stutter
Arsenal conceded in injury time to draw 1-1 with Slavia Prague in the first leg of their Europa League quarter final, while Manchester United won 2-0 in Granada.
Bruno Fernandes’ last-minute penalty on Thursday put United in a commanding position to reach the semi-finals after Marcus Rashford had given the visitors the lead in Spain.
Arsenal paid the price for a lapse of concentration after failing to defend Nicolas Pepe’s 86th-minute opener. Goalkeeper Bernd Leno made a fine save to deny Lukas Provod in injury time, but couldn’t stop Tomas Holes from grabbing Prague’s equaliser from the resultant corner.
Roma also came from behind to win 2-1 at Ajax, and Villarreal won 1-0 at Dinamo Zagreb thanks to Gerard Moreno’s penalty before the break.
Arsenal had worked hard for Pepe’s opener. Brazilian winger Willian struck the post with a free kick early in the second half, and Alexandre Lacazette should have scored later when he only had the goalkeeper to beat. The French striker opted to lift the ball only to see it crash back off the crossbar.
The visitors missed chances of their own before Pepe finally broke the deadlock with a chip over the outrushing Ondrej Kolar in the Slavia goal. Holes headed in Prague’s equaliser in the fourth minute of injury time.
United emerged with commanding advantage despite a tough game in Andalusia. Rashford scored with a cool finish past Granada goalkeeper Rui Silva.