Date: 19th February 2016 at 9:53am
Written by:

Tottenham and Liverpool put themselves in strong positions to qualify for the last-16 of the UEFA Europa League with two away draws, but Manchester United will have it all to do at Old Trafford in a week’s time after losing in Denmark to FC Midtjylland.

Memphis Depay gave Louis Van Gaal’s side the lead after 37 minutes, when his shot beat goalkeeper Mikkel Andersen after Jesse Lingard’s cross.

26 August 2015 - UEFA Champions League - Qualifying Play-Off (2nd Leg) - Club Brugge v Manchester United - Memphis Depay of Manchester United - Photo: Marc Atkins / Offside.

Memphis Depay fired Manchester United ahead in Denmark with his sixth goal for the club.

However their lead lasted only seven minutes as attacking midfielder Pione Sisto beat stand-in goalkeeper Sergio Romero with a low strike that was aided by a slight deflection off defender Chris Smalling.

United started the second-half on the front foot, but Juan Mata was wasteful when presented with a free header after Depay’s cross in the 53rd minute.

Three minutes later the lively Lingard then rattled the crossbar with a volley after good work in the build-up from Ander Herrera.

Jess Thorup’s side also had their chances, but substitute striker Paul Onuachu saw his powerful header well saved by Romero to his left-hand side just past the hour mark.

Onuachu was not to be denied however, and in the 77th minute he was able to beat Mata on the edge of the box and lash a powerful strike into the bottom left-hand corner, meaning the Danish side go to Manchester holding a slender one-goal advantage.

Tottenham managed to secure a crucial away goal in Italy against Fiorentina as the game ended 1-1.

Spurs took the lead in the first- half after left-back Ben Davies was fouled in the penalty area, and Nacer Chadli converted the resulting spot kick.

Paolo Sousa’s men should have been level at the break, but Jakub Blaszcykowski’s cross was fired over by Mauro Zarate on the stroke of the interval.

The equaliser came for the home side after 59 minutes when Federico Bernardeschi’s shot deflected over Michel Vorm and into the back of the net.

v Tottenham Hotspur FC : Nacer Chadli celebratesPhoto: Kieran Clarke

Winger Nacer Chadli gave Tottenham a 1-0 lead over Fiorentina inside 37 minutes from the penalty spot.

Spurs had a penalty appeal turned down after Dele Alli went over in the box after a clumsy challenge by captain Gonzalo Rodriguez, but the referee instead pointed for a goal kick.

Zarate could have won it late on for the hosts, but after creating space for a shot, he was unable to beat Vorm, meaning Mauricio Pochettino’s side have an away goal advantage to take back to White Hart Lane.

Liverpool’s game against FC Augsburg turned out to be a fairly tepid affair, with neither side able to produce a goal to give them the advantage after the first-leg in Germany.

The Reds marginally came out on top in the first-half, although striker Daniel Sturridge was unable to convert James Milner’s cross after 13 minutes.

Midfielder Alexander Esswein had probably the best chance for the hosts in the first period, but his side-footed effort on the stroke of half-time was not enough to beat Simon Mignolet in the Liverpool goal.

Philippe Coutinho then threatened an opener in the 52nd minute, but he was unable to convert Alberto Moreno’s cross.

Sturridge then fluffed his lines two minutes later after another good cross from the energetic Milner.

However the best chance came as late as the 86th minute, when former Premier League striker Ji Dong-Won struck the outside of the post with a powerful effort. The result leaves Jürgen Klopp’s side in the driving seat come next week’s return leg at Anfield.

Elsewhere in Europe; one of the favourites to win the competition, Borussia Dortmund, beat FC Porto 2-0 at home, after an early strike from defender Lukasz Piszczek and a 71st minute effort from Marco Reus.

Gary Neville’s Valencia side put six past Austrian side Rapid Vienna at the Mestalla, with two of the goals coming from young forward Santi Mina.

Saint Etienne won a thriller in France against Swiss side FC Basel 3-2, with the winner coming from winger Jean-Christophe Bahebeck in the 77th minute.

Napoli have it all to do in Naples next week after they slumped to a 1-0 defeat against Villarreal, with attacking midfielder Denis Suarez bagging the only goal of the game for the hosts.

Sevilla were also big winners on the night after recording a 3-0 home win against Norwegian side Molde who progressed from Celtic’s group. Fernando Llorente helped himself to a brace in the victory.

The goal of the night certainly belonged to Athletic Bilbao’s striker Aritz Aduriz, whose 35-yard volley helped his side to a 1-0 away win against Marseille.

Player of the Night: Fernando Llorente (Sevilla)
Team of the Night: Valencia
Goal of the Night: Aritz Aduriz (Athletic Bilbao)

 
Brought to you by Shoot!