Both Premier League clubs in the Europa League won on Thursday, 1-0. However, despite the three points, both sides needed an increased effort than expected.
Manchester United needed a goal in the 93rd minute to beat visiting Omonoia Nicosia at Old Trafford. Scott McTominay, a second half substitute, slotted home from close range to relieve the crowd on the night.
The slim victory keeps the club’s hopes alive of finishing top of Group E in the Europa League. Still, United remains three points behind Real Sociedad with two group games remaining. The two teams meet on the final matchday of the stage.
Although United won the game, Omonoia goalkeeper Francis Uzoho was undoubtedly the player of the game. The Nigeria international faced an astounding 32 total shots from United players. He made 12 saves on the night, including some brilliant stops throughout the 90 minutes. A massive double save inside the first two minutes of the second half was certainly a highlight.
Premier League clubs in the Europa League on Thursday
Arsenal also struggled to find their normal form in Norway. The unusually slick artificial turf surely seemed to cause the Gunners some issues. Arsenal did, however, manage to squeak out a victory away to Bodo/Glimt. Bukayo Saka scored the only goal of the match about midway through the first half.
The reigning Norwegian champions put up a good fight on the night, particularly in the second half. While Arsenal certainly entered the match as favorites, Bodo/Glimt has proven to be a tough place to visit. In fact, the Eliteserien team entered Thursday’s game with the longest running home win streak on the continent. Glimt had collected 14 consecutive victories at home during European play.
USMNT goalkeeper Matt Turner had a positive performance against the Norwegian club. Not only did Turner keep a clean sheet, but he also made a fine diving save in the second half to keep Glimt off of the scoresheet. According to player ratings website FotMob, Turner actually had the highest rating of any player on the pitch.
Arsenal can clinch qualification to the Europa League knockout phase with a win next Thursday against PSV.
PHOTO: IMAGO / PA Images
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