Man Utd held by Sevilla as Juventus and Feyenoord seize Europa League leads

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Manchester United’s Europa League quarter-final tie against Sevilla is finely poised after two late own goals allowed the Spanish side to leave Old Trafford with a 2-2 draw in Thursday’s first leg.

Elsewhere there were narrow home wins for Juventus and Feyenoord while Xabi Alonso’s Bayer Leverkusen were held to a 1-1 draw by Belgian visitors Union Saint-Gilloise.

Erik ten Hag’s United are the favourites to win this season’s competition and they looked to be cruising towards the semi-finals as they seized a two-goal first-half lead at Old Trafford thanks to a brace by Marcel Sabitzer.

They could have been out of sight after the break but Antony hit the post at the end of a counterattack and United also saw central defensive duo Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez both come off injured.

Sevilla produced a remarkable late comeback, reducing the deficit in the 84th minute when Tyrell Malacia let a ball go past him in the box and then deflected a Jesus Navas cross into his own net.

They then equalised in the second minute of added time when a Youssef En-Nesyri header went in via a big touch off Harry Maguire, who had come on for Varane.

A Sevilla side who have won the Europa League or its predecessor the UEFA Cup a record six times may now fancy their chances of winning the tie in next week’s return in Spain.

“We conceded two own goals, bad luck, and we have to deal with it,”

“We have to learn to kill the game, but still everything is open.”

Said Ten Hag.

Scare for Szczesny

The winners of that tie will face either Juventus or Sporting of Portugal in the last four and the Turin giants claimed a 1-0 victory in the first leg of their quarter-final.

Federico Gatti scored the only goal of the game in the 73rd minute after Juve suffered a scare when goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny came off just before half-time when he complained of chest pains.

The Poland international was replaced by Mattia Perin who then made a brilliant double save in stoppage time at the end of the game to secure Juve’s win.

“It was fear, it was something that had never happened to me before. I was struggling to breathe so I was worried and scared,”

Said Szczesny after the game.

The Italian club said early tests showed no serious health problems for the former Arsenal goalkeeper.

Mats Wieffer scored the only goal of the game early in the second half as Dutch league leaders Feyenoord beat Jose Mourinho’s Roma 1-0 in the first leg of a tie that is a repeat of last season’s Europa Conference League final, won by the Italian side.

West Ham draw at Gent

Union Saint-Gilloise took the lead away to Leverkusen through a strike by Nigerian striker Victor Boniface early in the second half, only for Florian Wirtz to score a late equaliser.

In the Conference League quarter-finals, Premier League strugglers West Ham United had to settle for a 1-1 draw away to Gent in Belgium despite taking the lead in first-half stoppage time when Danny Ings tapped in a Jarrod Bowen centre.

Hugo Cuypers equalised just before the hour mark for Gent, before Nigerian starlet Gift Orban hit the bar from an overhead kick for the side who are fourth in the Belgian top flight.

Fiorentina won 4-1 away to Lech Poznan in Poland to make it 10 victories in their last 11 games in all competitions.

Nigeria’s Terem Moffi scored twice, including from a stunning overhead kick, for Nice in their 2-2 draw away to Basel in Switzerland.

Michael Murillo and Majeed Ashimeru were on target as Anderlecht defeated AZ Alkmaar 2-0.

Source: AFP

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