Top Winners and Losers After Europa League 2019 Matchday 4 Results

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist IINovember 7, 2019

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 07: Anthony Martial of Manchester United celebrates after scoring a goal to make it 2-0 during the UEFA Europa League group L match between Manchester United and Partizan at Old Trafford on November 7, 2019 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)
Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Manchester United booked their place in the knockout stages of the UEFA Europa League on Thursday with two games to spare by cruising past Partizan Belgrade 3-0 at Old Trafford on Thursday.

First-half goals from Mason Greenwood and Anthony Martial put the Red Devils in charge, while Marcus Rashford thumped home their third after the break.

Premier League rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers are also on the brink of qualification after a 1-0 win over Slovan Bratislava at Molineux. On Wednesday, Arsenal were denied by a stoppage-time equaliser against Vitoria Guimaraes in a 1-1 draw.

Elsewhere, Celtic have also progressed to the knockout stages. Olivier Ntcham scored a stoppage-time winner to secure a 2-1 victory over Lazio at the Stadio Olimpico.

Here is a look at Thursday's results:

Winners: Man Utd Attack

Manchester United's attack finally clicked into gear on Thursday night, with forwards Martial, Greenwood and Rashford all on target in an entertaining, improved performance from the Red Devils.

Greenwood sent Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side on their way to an impressive win by sweeping home the opening goal on 21 minutes that drew plenty of praise:

Martial showed off some some fantastic footwork to double the hosts' lead just after the half-hour mark for his fifth goal of the season and his second in two Europa League games.

Manchester United could have had more goals too. Rashford was guilty of some misses early in the game but made up for it by smashing home United's third to complete the win.

Squawka Football noted the England international's goalscoring record this season:

It was exactly the type of performance United needed after Saturday's demoralising 1-0 defeat at Bournemouth in the Premier League. 

      

Loser: Unai Emery's Tactics

Arsenal manager Unai Emery opted to change formation for Wednesday's trip to Portugal, reverting to a three-man defence of Rob Holding, Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Shkodran Mustafi.

However, the change did not produce an improved performance from his team as Arsenal struggled again and threw away a lead for the fourth match in a row.

Goal's Charles Watts explained why Emery's lineup did not work:

Arsenal also found it tough going at the other end of the pitch despite Emery selecting plenty of attacking talent. Gabriel Martinelli and Nicolas Pepe both started the game, while Alexandre Lacazette came on after 65 minutes.

Yet they only managed one shot on target in the 90 minutes, while the hosts had four despite only enjoying 35 per cent of possession, per Lorraine McKenna at BBC Sport.

Arsenal reporter Dan Mountney said the Gunners are worse off under Emery:

The draw leaves the Gunners top of Group F and in great shape to qualify, but it will have done little to relieve the mounting pressure on Emery after a series of unconvincing displays.

     

Winner: Munir

Munir bagged a hat-trick for Sevilla on Thursday in a 5-2 win over F91 Dudelange in Luxembourg that sees the Spanish side safely into the knockout round.

The former Barcelona man scored two goals in six minutes on either side of the half-hour mark before completing his hat-trick.

Opta noted how it is the first by a Sevilla player in the Europa League:

His three goals also mean he is now the competition's top goalscorer after four games played:

Sevilla are the only team left in the competition with a 100 per cent record as they aim for a tournament-best sixth win this campaign.

     

Loser: Ruben Neves' penalty record

Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves is usually deadly from the penalty spot but was denied on Thursday by Slovan Bratislava goalkeeper Dominik Greif.

The hosts were awarded a spot-kick on 48 minutes after Vasil Bozhikov clipped the heels of forward Pedro Neto, although replays suggested the incident may have occurred just outside the penalty area.

Neves stepped up to take the kick with the scores still at 0-0 but saw his low effort parried clear by a diving Greif.

Opta noted just how rare it was to see the midfielder miss:

It looked as though it was going to be a costly miss too. Wolves dominated the match but could not make the breakthrough until Raul Jimenez headed the winner in stoppage time.

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