Thursday, January 23, 2020 | ePaper

Greenwood, Saka star as United and Arsenal youth shine in Europa League

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Manchester United's Mason Greenwood scores his side's second goal during the Europa League soccer match between Manchester United and AZ Alkmaar on Thursday.

AFP, Paris :
Teenager Mason Greenwood again grabbed his chances for Manchester United, scoring twice in a 4-0 thrashing of AZ Alkmaar in the Europa League on Thursday.
Earlier Arsenal came back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 at Standard Liege and also make sure of a place in the last 32 as Group F winners.
With Wolves, who crushed Besiktas 4-0, also advancing, English clubs ended with a full house in Europe with the three Europa League entries following the Premier League's four Champions League teams into the knockout rounds.
Spanish clubs also completed a full set when Getafe joined already-qualified Sevilla and Espanyol by scoring three times in the last 14 minutes to beat Krasnodar 3-0 in a showdown for second place in Group C.
However, Bundesliga leaders Borussia Moenchengladbach and Italian power Lazio made surprising exits.
At Old Trafford, in a battle for top spot in Group L, Alkmaar matched a youthful United side until the 53rd minute when veteran Ashley Young smashed the home team ahead.
Greenwood pounced on a loose ball to snap the second into the corner of the net. After Greenwood was fouled, Juan Mata converted a penalty.
Then the Spaniard set up Greenwood for another crisp low left-footer inside the post.
"Mason's a different class as a finisher," said United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
"If there's anything around the box you expect him to get a shot off and on target, he's good at creating space for himself and right-foot, left-foot it doesn't matter."
Alexandre Lacazette and Bukayo Saka were on target in the space of three second-half minutes as Arsenal survived a scare to win their group.
They lived on their nerves as Eintracht Frankfurt were poised to knock them off top spot when the Germans led Guimaraes 2-1.
However, the Portuguese side, already eliminated, scored twice in the last five minutes to claim a 3-2 win.
"Saka was amazing, he's a tremendous talent," said Arsenal caretaker coach Freddie Ljungberg.
Liege took the lead just after half-time when a speculative Samuel Bastien shot took a huge deflection.
The goal meant Arsenal had failed to keep a clean sheet in their last 13 matches in all competitions.
It got worse after 69 minutes when Selim Amallah made it 2-0 off another deflection as Liege looked for the unlikely scoreline of 5-0 which would put them through and Arsenal out.

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