Top Winners and Losers After Europa League 2019 Matchday 1 Results

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist IISeptember 19, 2019

FRANKFURT AM MAIN, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 19: Bukayo Saka of FC Arsenal celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during the UEFA Europa League group F match between Eintracht Frankfurt and Arsenal FC on September 19, 2019 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)
TF-Images/Getty Images

Arsenal beat Eintracht Frankfurt 3-0 on Thursday to enjoy a perfect start to their UEFA Europa League campaign. Teenager Bukayo Saka was the star of the show for the Gunners, picking up two assists and a goal in Germany.

Manchester United were also winners on Thursday. Mason Greenwood was on target for the Red Devils in a 1-0 win over FC Astana at Old Trafford.

However, Wolverhampton Wanderers' disappointing start to the season continued against Portuguese side Sporting Braga at Molineux. Ricardo Horta's second-half goal gave the visitors a 1-0 win.


Matchday 1 Results

Apoel Nicosia 3-4 F91 Dudelange

FK Qarabag 0-3 Sevilla

Borussia Monchengladbach 0-4 RZ Pellets WAC

Roma 4-0 Istanbul Basaksehir

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Slovan Bratislava 4-2 Besiktas

Wolves 0-1 Sporting Braga

Manchester United 1-0 FC Astana

Partizan Belgrade 2-2 AZ Alkmaar

Dynamo Kyiv 1-0 Malmo FF

FC Copenhagen 1-0 Lugano

FC Basel 5-0 FK Krasnodar

Getafe 1-0 Trabzonspor

LASK 1-0 Rosenborg

PSV Eindhoven 3-2 Sporting Lisbon

CFR Cluj 2-1 Lazio

Rennes 1-1 Celtic

Eintracht Frankfurt 0-3 Arsenal

Standard Liege 2-0 Vitoria Guimaraes

FC Porto 2-1 Young Boys

Rangers 1-0 Feyenoord

Espanyol 1-1 Ferencvarosi TC

Ludogorets Razgrad 5-1 CSKA Moscow

KAA Gent 3-2 Saint-Etienne

VfL Wolfsburg 3-1 Oleksandria


Winner: Arsenal's Youngsters

Unai Emery handed youngsters Joe Willock, Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka starts against Eintracht Frankfurt and was rewarded with impressive displays from all three.

Willock opened the scoring for the Gunners with a deflected shot, his fourth goal in 11 senior matches, and brought energy to the Arsenal attack.

Twitter account Football Talent Scout offered a summary of his performance:

However, the day really belonged to 18-year-old Saka, who scored and produced two assists in his first start of the season for the Gunners.

Squawka Football highlighted his threat:

Smith Rowe could have got his name on the scoresheet, too, but fired a good chance straight at goalkeeper Kevin Trapp. Yet the 19-year-old still did enough to impress football writer Amy Lawrence:

Emery is likely to afford his youngsters more opportunities in the competition this season, and on this evidence, they look ready to make an impact for Arsenal.


Loser: Nicolas Pepe

Nicolas Pepe joined Arsenal in the summer from Lille in a club-record £72 million deal but has had a tough start to the season and was completely upstaged by Saka on Thursday.

The 18-year-old started ahead of Pepe and put in the sort of performance that suggested he will see plenty more game time this season, as shown by BT Sport (UK only):

Saka looked full of confidence, linked brilliantly with his team-mates and also showed his class in front of goal to net Arsenal's second.

It was the sort of performance that left some football writers questioning why Arsenal had bothered splashing out on Pepe:

Meanwhile, former Arsenal captain Martin Keown told BT Sport (h/t Matt Porter for MailOnline) that he thought Saka "looks better" than Pepe. 

There is no doubt that Saka put in a statement performance against Frankfurt and that could spell bad news for Pepe.


Winner: Mason Greenwood

Mason Greenwood was Manchester United's match-winner against FC Astana, scoring his first senior goal for the Red Devils to give the hosts victory.

The 17-year-old also made history with his strike:

Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been happy to talk up Greenwood this season. The Norwegian told reporters ahead of Thursday's match that the teenager is "one of the best finishers I've seen."

The teenager struck on 73 minutes, beating his defender and firing past the goalkeeper at his near post with a low strike.

His goal brought comparisons with former Manchester United striker Robin van Persie:

Manchester United will be hoping Greenwood's goal is the first of many for the club. He has already provided glimpses of his talent this season but is sure to be given more opportunities to impress as the campaign develops.


Loser: Marcus Rashford

While Greenwood will have impressed with his finishing ability, his team-mate Marcus Rashford did not shine in front of goal.

The England international wasted several good opportunities to break the deadlock as the Red Devils struggled to break down the visitors.

Samuel Luckhurst at the Manchester Evening News offered his thoughts on Rashford:

There is added pressure on Rashford to score this season following the departures of Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez, and he may face increased competition from his place from young Greenwood.

Rashford has three goals and an assist in five Premier League games this season, a strong record, but Solskjaer will still expect him to be more clinical in front of goal.


Loser: Patrick Cutrone

Wolves suffered disappointment at Molineux on their return to the main stage of a European competition, but it might have been a different story had Patrick Cutrone taken his chances.

The striker arrived from AC Milan in July and opened his account for his new club in their 5-2 defeat by Chelsea in the Premier League.

He was in from the start against Sporting Braga and had chances in the first half. The best opening he could only drill wide from Matt Doherty's pass.

Journalist Tim Spiers felt Cutrone would rue his misses:

Wolves were made to pay in the second half when the visitors scored the only goal of the match to condemn Nuno Espirito Santos' side to a third straight defeat.

It has been a poor start to the season for Wolves. They have looked defensively fragile in their opening games but will also need to convert their chances if they are to progress in Europe.