Arsenal, Manchester United wins Europa matches
Two stunning late free-kicks from Nicolas Pepe sealed a dramatic 3-2 win for Arsenal over Vitoria in the Europa League.
Unai Emery’s side struggled for long periods of the game and fell behind early when former Tottenham youth player Marcus Edwards scored inside eight minutes.
Gabriel Martinelli (31) equalised with his third Europa League goal of the campaign but Arsenal were behind again four minutes later as Bruno Duarte (35) fired home for the visitors.
With Arsenal on the verge of a second defeat in four days, Emery used his last change to bring on Pepe and it turned out to be a masterstroke as the Ivorian scored two sensational free-kicks in the 80th and 91st minute to snatch a victory.
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The win maintains Arsenal’s perfect start to the Europa League campaign as they remain three points clear at the top of Group F and while Vitoria came agonisingly close to registering their first point, they go back to Portugal empty-handed.
In another match, Manchester United took a significant step towards the Europa League knockout stages as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer picked up his first away win as the club’s permanent manager with a 1-0 victory at Partizan Belgrade.
Scott McTominay headed wide and Jesse Lingard hit the post for United, who broke the deadlock three minutes before half-time through Anthony Martial’s penalty after Brandon Williams was brought down in the penalty area by Nemanja Miletic.
Partizan posed more of a threat to United in the second half as they went in search of an equaliser but referee Javier Estrada waved away two penalty appeals, while Umar Sadiq, who hit the post in the first half, shot wide of the target.
Late on, United needed Sergio Romero to keep out former Arsenal forward Takuma Asano’s header, while Bibras Natkho’s shot flashed inches over the crossbar as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side held on to take what could prove to be a crucial three points.
Victory sees United move three points clear of Partizan at the top of Group L ahead of the return meeting between the two sides at Old Trafford on November 7, where a win would see Solskjaer’s side qualify for the knockout stages.