Sancho, Ronaldo score goal each in United’s Europa League victory
LONDON: Jadon Sancho and Cristiano Ronaldo gave timely reminders of their value with a goal each as Manchester United got its Europa League campaign back on track with a 2-0 victory at Moldovan side Sheriff Tiraspol on Thursday.
Dutch club Feyenoord also registered its first points in emphatic fashion, crushing Sturm Graz 6-0 in Group F, where Lazio was hammered 1-5 away to Danish side Midtjylland.
AS Roma scored three times in the second half to beat 10-man HJK Helsinki 3-0 in Group C. Olympiacos’s hopes of progressing from Group G look slim, however, as it went down 0-3 at Bundesliga side Freiburg, for which Michael Gregoritsch netted a brace.
United’s Premier League resurgence was interrupted by a lacklustre home defeat against Real Sociedad last week, but the Manchester giant responded with a business-like win in Chisinau, where the match was played because of security concerns.
Sancho, surprisingly left out of England’s squad earlier on Thursday, slotted in United’s opener in the 17th minute after receiving a pass from Christian Eriksen. Veteran Ronaldo, given a start by manager Erik ten Hag after being consigned to the bench in the opening weeks of the Premier League season, tucked away a 39th-minute penalty.
Sheriff, which downed Real Madrid in the Bernabeu in last season’s Champions League, offered an occasional threat, but three-time European champion United was unruffled on its first ever trip to Moldova.
United joined Sheriff on three points in Group E with Real Sociedad topping the standings on six points after beating Omonia Nicosia 2-1.
RESULTS: Sheriff Tiraspol 0 lost to Manchester United 2 (J Sancho 17, C Ronaldo 39(P)); Feyenoord 6 (A Jahanbakhsh 9 & 41, D Hancko 31, Danilo 34, S Gimenez 66, O Idrissi 78) bt Sturm Graz 0; Midtjylland 5 (Paulinho 26, S Kaba 30, Evander 52(P), G Isaksen 67, E Sviatchenko 72) bt Lazio 1 (S Milinkovic-Savic 57); AS Roma 3 (P Dybala 47, L Pellegrini 49, A Belotti 68) bt HJK Helsinki 0; Olympiacos 0 lost to Freiburg 3 (N Hofler 5, M Gregoritsch 25 & 52); Real Sociedad 2 (A Guevara 30, A Sorloth 80) bt Omonia Nicosia 1 (B Felipe 72)