Europa League: Man United advances to last 16, Arsenal knocked out

Odion Ighalo of Manchester United celebrates after scoring a goal to make it 2-0 during the UEFA Europa League round of 32 second leg match between Manchester United and Club Brugge at Old Trafford on February 27, 2020 in Manchester, United Kingdom. 

Manchester United, Wolverhampton Wanderers, A.S. Roma, and Inter Milan cruised into the Europa League last 16, while Arsenal were knocked out in extra time on Thursday.

United breezed to a 6-1 aggregate win over 10-man Bruges after a 5-0 return-leg rout of the Belgians at Old Trafford, while Wolves advanced with a 6-3 overall victory against Espanyol despite a 3-2 second-leg defeat in Spain.

Odion Ighalo celebrated his first start for Man United with his maiden goal for the club after Bruno Fernandes had fired the home side ahead with a 27th-minute penalty which also produced a red card for Bruges defender Simon Deli.

The centre back was dismissed after he dived in goalkeeping fashion to handle a Daniel James shot before Fernandes sent Simon Mignolet the wrong way with the spot-kick.

Scot McTominay made it 3-0 on the night with a fine first-time shot from 18 meters just before the break and Brazilian midfielder Fred put the icing on the cake with a late brace for United, who won Europe's second-tier competition in 2016.

Wolves took a 4-0 first-leg lead to Espanyol and never looked in danger as Adama Traore scrambled in a close-range effort and Matt Doherty also scored as they twice cancelled out goals from Jonathan Calleri who scored a hat-trick.

Roma, 1-0 winners against Gent in the first leg, looked to have a struggle on their hands when Jonathan David levelled the tie on aggregate after 25 minutes but Justin Kluivert eased the Serie A side's nerves with a quick equaliser as they progressed.

Inter Milan booked their ticket to the Europa League last 16 with a 2-1 win and 4-1 on aggregate over Bulgarian club Ludogorets to deafening silence and a surreal atmosphere behind closed doors of their San Siro Stadium.

The Italian government ordered the game be played in an empty stadium over coronavirus fears, the northern Lombardy region of which Milan is the capital being one of the worst-affected areas in the country.

The game was closed to the public and journalists with only broadcasters allowed into the 80,000-seater San Siro.
"It's certainly a surreal situation," said Inter director Giuseppe Marotta before the match which had just a few hundred people present.

"The public is a fundamental component of football, without the audience emotions are diminished.

"But the protection of citizens must be safeguarded. We accept, albeit reluctantly, these decisions."

Cristiano Biraghi pulled Inter level six minutes later finishing off a Cristian Eriksen through ball with Romelu Lukaku adding a second just before the break.

Youssef El-Arabi scored in the last minute of extra time as Olympiakos knocked Arsenal out of the Europa League on a night when four former European champions were eliminated, namely Ajax, Celtic, Benfica and Porto.

Arsenal had won the first leg of the round of 32 tie 1-0 in Greece.
Defender Pape Abou Cisse cancelled out that advantage when he headed in a corner after 53 minutes.

Arsenal could not break through and were forced to extra time.

Giorgos Masouras hit the bar for Olympiakos in the 112th minute and a minute later Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang struck for Arsenal, putting them back in front with a spectacular flying kick.

However, in the final minute of extra time, Arsenal cleared an Olympiakos corner but were still disorganised when the ball was swung back into the area.

The cross found El Arabi free in front of goal for an unchallenged shot.

"Very hard, very tough," said Aubameyang. "Their last-minute goal was unlucky for us."

Last year Arsenal reached the final.

"It hurts a lot," said Mikel Arteta, the Arsenal manager. "Attack against defence in 25 metres is difficult, but we created enough chances to win the game comfortably."

Olympiakos coach Pedro Martins was delighted.

"We were determined, we believed we could qualify and we made it," said he said. "Tactical intelligence, effectiveness, inner strength, courage...they all weighed in this success."
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