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Manchester United thrash Real Sociedad 4-0 in Europa League

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Madrid, Feb 19 (IANS) Real Sociedad’s UEFA Europa League adventure came to an end when they were beaten 4-0 by the Manchester United in the first leg of their round of 32 tie on.

The Basque side’s home tie was played in Turin due to travel restrictions in the UK, and after a bright start they were totally outplayed by Manchester United, who were once again inspired by Portuguese midfielder Bruno Fernandes on Thursday night.

Fernandes took advantage of a mix-up between goalkeeper Alex Remiro and defender Robin Le Normand to put the ball into an empty net in the 27th minute, and then doubled his side’s lead in the 57th minute after receiving a pass from Marcus Rashford.

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Rashford made it 3-0 soon afterwards after a rapid counter-attack, and winger Daniel James added a fourth in the closing minutes to leave Real Sociedad needing to score at least four at Old Trafford in order to go through.

Two goals in two minutes from Yangel Herrera and Kenedy gave Granada a 2-0 win at home to Napoli in a game which saw the Spanish side produce a solid defensive display while always threatening on the break.

Herrera opened the scoring with a far-post header in the 19th minute, and Kenedy doubled Granada’s lead after a counter-attack led by Darwin Machis.

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Paco Alcacer saw a penalty saved in the 27th minute, but opened the scoring with a close-range header following a free-kick in the 42nd minute as Villarreal won 2-0 away to Red Bull Salzburg.

Fernando Nino doubled Villarreal’s lead with 20 minutes left to play after a cross from Gerard Moreno to put the Spanish side in control of the tie.

–IANS

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