Contrasts for Arsenal, United in Europa

April 09, 2021
Slavia Prague’s Tomáš Holeš (bottom right) scores his side’s goal during their Europa League quarter-final match against hosts Arsenal at Emirates Stadium in London on Thursday.
Slavia Prague’s Tomáš Holeš (bottom right) scores his side’s goal during their Europa League quarter-final match against hosts Arsenal at Emirates Stadium in London on Thursday.

Arsenal conceded in injury time to draw 1-1 with Slavia Prague in the first leg of their Europa League quarterfinal on Thursday, while Manchester United won 2-0 in Granada.

Bruno Fernandes' last-minute penalty put United in a commanding position to reach the semifinals after Marcus Rashford had given the visitors the lead in Spain.

Arsenal paid the price for a lack of concentration after failing to defend Nicolas Pepe's 86th-minute opener.

Goalkeeper Bernd Leno made a fine save to deny Lukas Provod in injury time, but couldn't stop Tomas Holes from grabbing Prague's equaliser from the resultant corner.

Roma also came from behind to win 2-1 at Ajax, and Villarreal won 1-0 at Dinamo Zagreb, thanks to Gerard Moreno's penalty before the break.

ARSENAL FRUSTRATED

Arsenal had worked hard for Pepe's opener. Brazilian winger Willian struck the post with a free kick early in the second half, and Alexandre Lacazette should have scored later when he only had the goalkeeper to beat. The French striker opted to lift the ball only to see it crash back off the crossbar.

The visitors missed chances of their own before Pepe finally broke the deadlock with a chip over the outrushing Ondrej Kolar in the Slavia goal.

Holes headed in Prague's equaliser in the fourth minute of injury time.

UNITED IN CONTROL

United emerged with commanding advantage despite a tough game in Andalusia.

Rashford scored with a cool finish past Granada goalkeeper Rui Silva in the 31st. The build-up was simple. United goalkeeper David de Gea passed to defender Victor Lindelof, who sent a long ball over the home side's defence for Rashford to latch on to with a brilliant first touch before he fired past Silva. It was the England striker's 20th goal of the season in all competitions.

Granada responded before the break with Yangel Herrera striking the post, Roberto Soldado going close and then Kenedy testing De Gea after a corner. The home side maintained its pressure after the interval, when again Kenedy forced De Gea into action.

Harry Maguire became the third United player to be ruled out of the second leg through suspension when he was booked for a foul on Soldado in the 72nd. Luke Shaw and Scott McTominay were booked earlier, as was Granada defender Domingos Duarte, who will also miss next week's game.

Yan Brice was booked after conceding the penalty on Fernandes, who'd had a quiet game. Rui Silva almost saved the spot kick but Fernandes's effort squirmed through.

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