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Man Utd cruise to victory in Europa League

Soccer

Former European champions Manchester United and Inter Milan came back to life in the Europa League overnight, Australian time, with defeats of Fenerbahce and Southampton.

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United cruised to the top of Group A with a 4-1 slaughter of Fenerbahce with a brace from record signing Paul Pogba – one of which was a penalty – plus a second penalty converted by Anthony Martial and a fourth goal from Jesse Lingard.

Former United striker Robin Van Persie scored a consolation goal for Fenerbahce, ad was warmly applauded by Old Trafford.

United have six points from three games and are above Feyenoord on goal difference. Feyenoord edged Zorya 1-0, on a goal from Nicolai Joergensen.

Fenerbahce have four points and Zorya just one.

Earlier, Inter earned their first points by edging Southampton 1-0 – despite having Marcelo Brozovic sent off – on a goal against the run of play from Antonio Candreva.

Inter are still bottom of Group K, though now with three points.

Sparta Prague, who won 1-0 at Hapoel Beer Sheva, are top with six points, followed by Southampton and Beer Sheva with four apiece.

Southampton captain Virgil Van Dijk was annoyed at the defeat, saying: “There was only one team who deserved to win but in the end that is football.”

“I am a winner,” he said.

“I want to win and when you see things not go well it was frustrating. I had a big chance and was unlucky and as well with the header but we should have finished the game in the first half.”

Schalke 04, Shakhtar Donetsk and Zenit continued their perfect starts by defeating Krasnodar, Gent and Dundalk respectively to make it to three wins in three matches.

Schalke won 1-0 in Krasnodar, Shakhtar thumped Gent 5-0, Zenit won 2-1 at Dundalk.

Fiorentina won 3-1 at Slovan Liberec, Nice triumphed 1-0 in Salzburg, Celta Vigo forced a late 2-2 draw with Ajax.

“We showed a lot of character and personality tonight to come back twice when losing. This is not a bad result for us,” Celta coach Eduardo Berizzo said.

Later, Roma were held 3-3 by Austria Vienna, Mainz were held 1-1 by Anderlecht and Athletic Bilbao crashed 2-0 at Genk.

-DPA

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