Manchester United bounced back well after their rout against Liverpool (7-0) on Sunday by winning 4-1 at home against Betis Sevilla, unlike Arsenal, hooked in Lisbon by Sporting (2-2), Thursday in Round of 16 first leg of the Europa League.
On the Italian side, AS Roma took a good option on their ground by dominating Real Sociedad 2-0, and Juventus had more difficulty in Turin against Friborg (1-0).
Arsenal, Premier League leader, had to settle for a draw (2-2) on the lawn of Sporting Portugal, current 4th in their championship.
A goal from French international William Saliba (1-0, 22nd) preceded that of Gonçalo Inacio (1-1, 35th). Returning from the locker room, Paulinho gave Sporting a short-lived advantage (2-1, 55th) as Hidemasa Morita scored an own goal a few minutes later (2-2, 62nd).
In Manchester, under squalls of rain and snow, Marcus Rashford opened the scoring in the 10th minute with a powerful shot under the bar against Betis Sevilla, deprived of Nabil Fekir, injured in a knee and forfeited for the rest of the season.
Betis equalized through Ayoze Perez with a superb low cross shot from the right corner of the penalty area (32nd).
– Di Maria’s goal –
Then the Red Devils took the lead and scored three new goals by the Brazilian Antony, with a magnificent shot curled in the top corner (52nd), a header from bruno Fernandez from a corner (58th) and finally by Wout Weghorst (82nd) .
In Turin, Juventus settled for the bare minimum against Freiburg, fifth in the Bundesliga. Argentinian world champion Angel Di Maria unblocked the situation in the 53rd minute, closely taking over a cross from Filip Kostic.
The Germans thought they equalized in the 62nd by Lucas Holer, but the goal was disallowed for a handball after viewing the VAR.
Juventus played without Paul Pogba, not retained in the group for disciplinary reasons.
On their own ground, Union Berlin equalized in the 89th minute through Sven Michel (3-3) against the surprising Belgian team of Union St-Gilloise. The Nigerian Victor Boniface scored twice for the St-Gilloise, vice-champion of Belgium and currently second in his championship behind Genk.
The two teams had already faced each other in the group stage and had each won a match 1-0 at the opponent’s.
The return matches will be played next Thursday.