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Europa: M​ata fires United to quarter-finals; Roma, Gent knocked out

Europa: M​ata fires United to quarter-finals; Roma, Gent knocked out

​​Juan Mata’s second-half strike at Old Trafford​ on Thursday​ secured victory​ for ​​Manchester United ​against FC Rostov, as the Red Devils ​now advance to the Europa League quarter-finals​.​

Having had a 1-1 draw from the first leg in Russia, Jose Mourinho’s side dominated from the ​start to end of the game, but the visitors frustrated every of their efforts.​

But after Paul Pogba was taken out over an apparent hamstring injury, United hit the​ Russian side​ ​in the 70th minute​, ​when ​Ibrahimovic flick​ed​ the ball into Mata’s path for the midfielder to fire home from close range.

A goal for Rostov would have sent the game to extra time but Romero again made a crucial save right at the end from Christian Noboa’s free-kick.

“It was a matter of finishing our chances again. We created some good chances but we could not score. It is important we kept a clean sheet so we are happy today​,” goalscorer Mata said after the game.​

“They are a team that push until the end. They play with a difficult system but we adapted well. We are playing at Old Trafford and need to do well.”

Read Also: UCL: ​​Man City ​knocked out​,​​ Monaco​, Atletico​ go through to ​Q​/finals

​Elsewhere, Olympique ​Lyon ​beat Roma 5-4 on aggregate to reach the quarter-finals. ​Lyon were leading 4-2 from the first leg, while ​Roma won ​the second leg of the tie​ 2-1 and pushed for a late equaliser, which never came.

Schalke​04​ beat Borussia Monchengladbach on away goals after coming from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 ​to finish 3-3 ​on ​aggregate​.

Ajax beat FC Copenhagen 2-0 to progress 3-2 on aggregate, with Anderlecht beating Apoel Nicosia 1-0, as they did in the first leg.

Spanish side Celta Vigo defeated FK Krasnodar 2-0; KRC Genk drew 1-1 with Gent, but went through by a 6-3 aggregate; and Olympiacos lost 4-1 and crashed out.

The last-8 teams of the UEFA Europa League are:​

Manchester United
Schalke 04
Genk
Ajax Amsterdam
Anderlecht
Olympique Lyon
Celta Vigo
Besiktas

​The quarter final draw will take place on Friday.​

 

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Ebere Ndukwu

Ebere is a lover of investigative journalism, always seeking to unearth the hidden.

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