Europa League: Manchester United held to goalless draw, Arsenal cruise

first_imgManchester United’s scoring woes were on display again as the English powerhouse labored to a 0-0 draw at AZ Alkmaar in another poor display in the Europa League on Thursday. Arsenal had no such problems, with teenage forward Gabriel Martinelli scoring twice in a 4-0 win over Standard Liege.United has not scored more than one goal in any of its last eight matches in all competitions and the latest setback will only increase the pressure on manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to get the team’s attack firing again.Arsenal manager Unai Emery may have unearthed a real gem in Martinelli, though, as the Brazilian has now scored four goals in two starts for the club. Against Liege, he netted twice within two minutes early in the first half and set up another goal for Dani Ceballos in the second.In Luxembourg, the Group A game between Dudelange and Azerbaijani club Qarabag had to be suspended in the first half for after a drone flew over the pitch carrying what looked an Armenian flag. The drone incensed Qarabag players, who tried to hit it with the ball.Azerbaijan and Armenia are in a territorial dispute over the Nagorno-Karabakh region. Play was suspended for about 15 minutes with Qarabag leading 2-0, but play later resumed, with Qarabag winning 4-1.Another Premier League club, Wolverhampton Wanderers, secured its first win of the campaign as Willy Boly scored deep in stoppage time for a 1-0 win at Besiktas.Sevilla, Celtic, Lazio, Feyenoord, Eindhoven and Espanyol also all won.advertisementHere’s a look at Thursday’s early action.GABIGOAL ON TARGETMartinelli is making quite an early impact at Arsenal.The Brazilian headed home Kieran Tierney’s cross 14 minutes into the game before hitting the net from inside the area two minutes later after collecting a pass from another teenager, Reiss Nelson.Martinelli also netted twice in his first start for the club in the English League Cup last week.Joe Willock scored six minutes later to put the result beyond doubt, sending home a deflected shot by Nelson.Martinelli was a constant threat throughout and came close to a hat trick several times in the second half. In the 57th, he chipped the ball for Ceballos to score his first goal for the clubIn the other Group F game, Frankfurt recovered its 3-0 home defeat to Arsenal by earning a 1-0 win in Vitoria.NO GOAL UNITEDOle Gunnar Solskjaer went with a youthful lineup again, with 19-year-old full-back Brandon Williams making his first start for the club and fellow teenager Mason Greenwood _ who became United’s youngest ever scorer in European competition in the last round _ playing up front.Greenwood couldn’t come to Manchester’s rescue this time, though, nor could anyone else.Greenwood had United’s best chance but saw his close-range shot blocked by a defender in the first half. Alkmaar did have the ball in the net after 11 minutes, but Myron Boadu’s effort was ruled out for offside.The match was played on an artificial surface at the ADO Den Haag Stadium in The Hague as Alkmaar’s ground is not available.With United languishing in 10th place in the Premier League on just nine points from seven games, winning the Europa League might be the only chance to return to the prestigious Champions League.United won the second-tier European competition in 2017.Partizan won at Astana 2-1 at the other Group L game.Also Read | Champions League: Real Madrid, Club Brugge charged by UEFAAlso Read | Liverpool win seven-goal thriller after stunning Salzburg fightbackAlso See:last_img

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