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Europa League: Midtjylland upset Manchester United 2-1, Dortmund beat Porto 2-0, Tottenham held

Rohith Nair
2.20K   //    18 Feb 2016, 23:25 IST
Paul Onuachu Midtjylland 2-1 Manchester United goals highlights
Midtjylland managed to beat Manchester United 2-1 at home in the first leg

Midtjylland 2-1 Manchester United

Midtjylland: Andersen, Romer, Kian, Bodurov, Novak, Kadlec, Sparv, Olsson, Hassan, Sisto, Pusic

Manchester United: De Gea, Love, Smalling, McNair, Blind, Herrera, Carrick, Lingard, Mata, Memphis, Martial

United’s night started on a bad note as David De Gea injured himself during the warm-ups and had to be replaced by Sergio Romero in the lineup. The Spanish goalkeeper was making a save when he felt something catch in his leg and limped off. 

Midtjylland and United had chances to go ahead in the first 10 minutes of the game. Pusic was through on goal in the second minute before McNair snuffed out the attack. At the other end, Memphis tried to counter before he was dealt with by the defence.

The Danish side drew first blood, although it was from Ander Herrera who collided into Sisto in the centre of the pitch and had to go off the field to get some treatment after he started bleeding from his lip.

Anthony Martial then fed Memphis who was through on goal but was blocked at the last possible moment by the defence as they conceded a corner. At the other end, Sergio Romero was forced into a brilliant save to deny a Hansen header on goal. The Argentine goalkeeper dived to his left to stop the ball from crossing the line before it was cleared.

Lingard had a great chance to go through on goal after Memphis sent a long ball forward. The English winger initially managed to move it past the last defender before the bounce caught him out and Midtjylland heaved a sigh of relief as they managed to get the ball back. 

Anthony Martial was then denied a penalty when he burst into the box before going to ground under pressure from two defenders. Replays showed the contact came only after Martial started going to ground.

Romero came to United’s rescue again when Kadlec was one-on-one on a counter-attack. The Czech striker only had the goalkeeper to beat but his shot was straight at Romero's foot.

Memphis Depay goal Europa League
Memphis Depay scored the first goal of the match

United finally took the lead a minute later when Memphis Depay managed to control a ball in front of goal in spite of falling backwards and then manager to put the ball in the back of the net to score his first goal of the year.

However, the hosts soon equalised at the stroke of half-time when Pione Sisto pounced on a loose pass from Michael Carrick and raced towards goal. He managed to side-step a defender before lashing a shot that beat a diving Romero to make it 1-1.

United had a clear opportunity to take the lead at the start of the second half when Martial made a run down the left flank and evaded Romer’s tackle. But a moment of hesitation then saw him line up a shot for Lingard who ended up taking a shot from outside the box that went over the bar.

Pione Sisto goal
Pione Sisto scored the equaliser for Midtjylland

Midtjylland were pressurising the away side and forcing them into mistakes. One such move saw Herrera lose the ball and the hosts countered through Sisto whose shot was saved by Romero. At the other end, United came close to a second when Herrera’s cross to the far post was picked up by Lingard but this time his volley on goal hit the crossbar.

Romero was doing a great job of keeping United in the game and made yet another save when Onuacho met a cross from the right with his head. The ball seemed destined to hit the back of the net but the United goalkeeper’s outstretched arm came in the way and he managed to keep it out.

The home side were growing in confidence while United were in complete disarray. Morgan Schneiderlin came on for Herrera to restore some semblance of order in midfield but Midtjylland soon took the lead in the 77th minute through Paul Onuacho. The 21-year-old striker plucked the ball away from Mata’s feet outside the box and took a side-footed shot that beat Romero to make it 2-1 to the Danish club.

Midtjylland were then toying with United by keeping the ball and treating the 10,000 strong home crowd, leading to rash challenges and even bookings for Lingard and Chris Smalling. Although the referee added four minutes to the clock, Van Gaal’s side were unable to find a second goal in spite of committing as many players they could in attack. As the full time whistle blew, the Danish side celebrated while United trudged off with all to do in the second leg at Old Trafford next week.

Borussia Dortmund 2-0 Porto

Borussia Dortmund Porto goals highlights
Borussia Dortmund beat Porto in the first leg at Signal Iduna Park

After 161 games in the Champions League, Iker Casillas’ Europa League debut did not get off to a great start as Dortmund scored as early as the sixth minute. To be fair, he made the first save but had no help on the rebound and Lukasz Piszczek scored to make it 1-0.

Dortmund had a few chances to double the lead but didn’t score the second until the 71st minute. Henrikh Mkhitaryan received the ball on the right and cut it back for Marco Reus who took the shot and beat the former Real Madrid goalkeeper to make it 2-0.

Fiorentina 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur

Mauricio Pochettino’s high-flying Tottenham Hotspur took the lead in the first half when Ben Davies won a penalty when he was tripped in the box just after the half-hour mark. Nacer Chadli stepped up and took a flawless penalty into the left corner as Ciprian Tatarusanu went the wrong way. But La Viola managed to get one back 15 minutes into the second half when Federico Bernardeschi managed to score, albeit with a deflected shot, to beat Michel Vorm. 

Other Europa League scores

Villarreal 1-0 Napoli

ASSE 3-2 FC Basel

Sevilla 3-0 Molde

Anderlecht 1-0 Olympiacos

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