Manchester United overcame an early deficit to beat Omonia Nicosia 3-2 in the UEFA Europa League 2022-23 on Thursday and begin the healing process after a humiliating derby loss in the Premier League. (More Football News)
Seeking some respite in Cyprus following a 6-3 loss at Manchester City on Sunday, Manchester United fell behind to a goal on the counterattack by Iran striker Karim Ansarifard in the 34th minute.
Second-half substitutes made the difference for United. Marcus Rashford equalized in the 53rd with a curling shot from just inside the area before he produced a deft flick to fellow replacement Anthony Martial, who cut inside and shot low inside the near post in the 63rd.
“I think the subs really had an impact today and that is really good,” United manager Erik ten Hag said. “That makes the team stronger.” Cristiano Ronaldo had a rare start for United and struck the post from close range before driving in a cross that Rashford converted for his second goal in the 84th.
Nikolas Panagiotou replied a minute later for Omonia to ensure a tense finish. It was a second victory in three Group E games for United, which is three points behind Real Sociedad — a 2-0 winner at 10-man Sheriff Tiraspol. Sociedad has a maximum nine points.
Ansarifard delivered a muted celebration for his goal. That appeared to be in line with silent protests by Iranian players at a recent World Cup warmup game in Austria, amid weeks of demonstrations and a violent crackdown by state authorities back home in Iran following the death of a 22-year-old woman, Mahsa Amini, in the custody of the morality police. She had been detained for allegedly wearing a mandatory headscarf too loosely.
Arsenal earned a second a straight win by beating Norwegian team Bodo/Glimt 3-0 at home after a dominant start that saw Eddie Nketiah and Rob Holding score in the opening half hour. Substitute Gabriel Jesus then set up the third by dancing his way through defenders along the byline before feeding Fabio Vieira for a simple finish in the 85th.
Arsenal’s previous game against PSV Eindhoven was postponed in the wake of the death of Queen Elizabeth II but the London team still tops Group A with six points. Eindhoven is second after winning 5-1 at Zurich.
FIREWORKS IN BERLIN
The game between Union Berlin and Swedish team Malmo was halted for about 30 minutes in the second half after Berlin fans set off multiple fireworks that landed on the field. Berlin won 1-0 despite having a player sent off just before the halftime break, with Sheraldo Becker scoring the winner in the 68th.
Roma’s inconsistent performances continued after Jose Mourinho’s team let a lead slip and lost 2-1 at home against Real Betis. Luiz Henrique scored the winner in the 85th minute for the Spanish team and Roma had forward Nicolo Zaniolo sent off in injury time. It was Roma’s second loss of the campaign, with the team sitting in sixth place in Serie A.
Lazio was held 0-0 by Sturm Graz of Austria in Group F, while Monaco and Red Star Belgrade won games in Group H.
EUROPA CONFERENCE LEAGUE
West Ham secured a third straight win in its group as the English team beat Anderlecht 1-0 in a match between teams who met in the 1976 final of the now-defunct Cup Winners’ Cup. Italy striker Gianluca Scamacca scored the winner in the 79th.
AZ Alkmaar and Villarreal are the only other teams to maintain a perfect record. Villarreal routed Austria Vienna 5-0 after a hat trick by substitute Jose Luis Morales while Alkmaar needed a late winner from Jesper Karlsson to beat Apollon Limasol 3-2.