Manchester United, Sevilla and Celtic booked the first places in this season’s Europa League knockout stage as they all won to reach the last-32.
All the qualified teams are through with two games to spare. Manchester United teenager Mason Greenwood put the three-time European champion ahead versus Partizan Belgrade at Old Trafford. And, a superb individual goal from Anthony Martial doubled the lead before half-time.
Marcus Rashford also scored with a fine strike in the 49th minute to complete a 3-0 victory in Group L. United is the only team in this season’s Europa League not to have conceded a goal, even if it gave first-choice goalkeeper David de Gea a day off on his 29th birthday. A hat-trick for Sevilla’s Munir El Haddadi was supplemented by two goals from Munas Dabbur in a 5-2 away drubbing of Luxembourg’s Dudelange.
With the thumping victory, the Spaniards kept up their 100% record in Group A after racing into a 4-0 half-time lead. Celtic, European champion over a half century ago, advanced from Group E as it fought back to clinch its first victory in Italy. Frenchman Ntcham chipped oncoming goalkeeper Thomas Strakosha deep in stoppage time for the winner.
Basel’s Fabian Frei scored the winning goal on the hour mark for the Swiss outfit as it beat visiting Getafe 2-1. It is now four points clear in Group C and guaranteed a top-two finish.