Manchester United recovered from their Liverpool thumping in style against Real Betis in the Europa League while Arsenal earned a hard-fought draw in their fixture against Sporting Lisbon.
United vs Real Betis:
Marcus Rashford, Atony, Bruno Fernandes and Wout Weghorst all got on the scoresheet as United put their painful defeat to archrivals in the rearview mirror at home with a 4-1 win which ostensibly seals their progress into the next stage of the competition after just the first leg.
Rashford, who was instrumental in their win over Barcelona last time around, took just 6 minutes to put his side ahead after being set up by Fernandes inside the penalty area.
The home side failed to make their dominance count with a second goal with Weghorst going close twice to doubling his side’s lead.
United’s wastefulness was punished by Ayoze Perez in the 32nd minute when he managed to beat David De Gea with a low shot from distance.
United clicked into gear in the second half and Anotony restored his side’s lead in the 52nd minute with a trademark curling shot with his left foot.
Fernandes then put the game out of Betis’ reach with a goal of his own, powering a header past Claudio Bravo.
Things then went from bad to worse for Manuel Pellegrini’s side when Bravo’s saved ball fell to Weghorst for an easy finish.
The two will meet again for the second leg on March 16th in Spain which seems like a formality at this point.
Arsenal vs Sporting:
The Premier League leaders needed a Hidemasa Morita own goal to earn a 2-2 draw against Sporting in Portugal.
William Saliba put his side ahead before the hosts responded with goals from Gonçalo Inácio and Paulinho before the Japanese star diverted the ball into his own net.
The two will square off once again on March 17th in London to determine the winner of the tie.
In other results, Bayer Leverkusen, AS Roma, Juventus and Sevilla also won their first-leg fixtures.