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Leagues: EPL

Pogba at the double, Saints lose to Inter

Paris (AFP) – Paul Pogba scored twice as Manchester United crushed Fenerbahce in the Europa League on Thursday, while their Premier League rivals Southampton went down to Inter Milan. 

AFP Sports picks out the best of the action on matchday three:

Pogba stars, United romp

Paul Pogba scored twice in the first half as Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United thumped Fenerbahce 4-1 at Old Trafford. Pogba’s opener came from the penalty spot just after the half-hour mark, and his fellow Frenchman Anthony Martial also scored from the spot shortly after. The world’s most expensive player netted his second and the hosts’ third in first-half stoppage time with a stunner, before a sweet Jesse Lingard strike made it four just after the break. Robin van Persie pulled one back against his old club late on, his close-range effort being met with applause from all around his old stomping ground. It was a second straight win for United in Group A, and they are level at the top of the group with Feyenoord, who beat Zorhya Luhansk 1-0 with Nicolai Jorgensen netting the only goal.

Inter ease pressure on De Boer

Under-pressure Frank de Boer saw his Inter side hold on with 10 men to beat Southampton 1-0 in at San Siro. Antonio Candreva got the only goal of the game midway through the second half for the Serie A club, coming across Virgil van Dijk to meet a Davide Santon ball and finish emphatically past Fraser Forster. Inter held on after Croatian midfielder Marcelo Brozovic was sent off for a second yellow 13 minutes from time. It was a cruel result for Southampton, who had been the better side and saw Jay Rodriguez have a goal disallowed early in the second half. The result sees Saints remain on four points in Group K, two points behind Sparta Prague, who beat Hapoel Beer-Sheva 1-0 in Israel. “We should have had the game dead and buried in the first half but that is what happens if you don’t take your chances,” said Van Dijk. Inter are off the mark after losing their first two games and De Boer needed a positive result with his side also struggling domestically.

Dundalk come undone

It has been a fairytale run in Europe this season for Ireland’s champions-elect Dundalk, but they suffered a first defeat in Group D as they went down 2-1 at home to former UEFA Cup winners Zenit St Petersburg in Dublin. At the Tallaght Stadium home of Shamrock Rovers, Robbie Benson fired Dundalk in front early in the second half. However, Zenit drew level when a spooned kick out by goalkeeper Gabriel Sava put the home defence in trouble. Domenico Criscito then teed up Robert Mak to score. And the Russians went ahead on 77 minutes, a lovely move ending with Axel Witsel setting up Brazilian Giuliano. Zenit might have added another at the death, but Mauricio’s penalty was saved after he had been fouled by Brian Gartland in the area. Zenit have won three out of three, but Dundalk remain second on four points.

Roma blow it

On the night Francesco Totti made his 100th European appearance, Roma seemed to be heading for a routine three points at home to Austria Vienna only to blow a two-goal lead and end up drawing 3-3 at the Stadio Olimpico. Stephan El Shaarawy’s brace turned the game around for Roma after Raphael Holzhauser had given the visitors the lead early on. Alessandro Florenzi then made it 3-1 midway through the second half, but goals in the last eight minutes from Dominik Prokop and Nigerian Olarenwaju Kayode allowed the Austrians to escape with a draw in the Group E clash.

Villarreal battle back

Enjoying a fine start to the season in La Liga, where they sit fifth, level on points with Barcelona and two points behind leaders Atletico Madrid, Villarreal remain unbeaten in Group L but only after battling back from two goals down to draw 2-2 with Osmanlispor in Turkey. Two goals in as many minutes from Raul Rusescu had the hosts in control in Ankara, but Alfred N’Diaye pulled one back before Alexandre Pato levelled on 74 minutes.

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