Martial saves Unitedfrom Brugge loss … but Lacazette steers Arsenal to away win

Anthony Martial’s third goal in four games ensured Manchester United secured a draw in their Europa League last-32, first leg at Club Brugge.

Brugge began the game much the better side and were value for their 15th minute lead when Emmanuel Dennis raced onto Simon Mignolet’s quick goal kick brushing aside Brandon Williams and lobbing over Sergio Romero who was outside of his penalty area.

United showed little sign of getting back into the game until Brandon Mechele allowed a throw-in from debutant Maxim De Cuyper to run past him and Martial barged onto the ball then raced goalwards and slid it past Mignolet after 36 minutes.

Martial had another great effort before the break when he shot with his left foot from outside the box but Mignolet pushed onto the post.

Dennis twice had two more efforts from narrow angles to score for Brugge but Romero protected his near post well on both occasions.

Man-of-the-match Dennis, a thorn in the United side throughout and surely will cause many more problems in the second leg. A fine dribbler when defenders are in close proximity and no United defender can deal with him for pace. Whenever Brugge looked dangerous it was through him.

Meanwhile, Arsenal will take a lead and an away goal back to the Emirates for the second leg of this Round of 32 Europa League tie, after a tight 1-0 victory over Olympiacos in the Karaiskakis Stadium.

The visitors were under immediate pressure as Olympiacos missed two good chances in the first five minutes. They eventually settled though and missed a great chance of their own in the 20th minute when Alexandre Lacazette drilled a low shot wide with the goal gaping.

A cagey second half in wet conditions burst into life in the last ten minutes. Lacazette tapped home the winning goal after some excellent work by Bukayo Saka on the left. Arsenal could have doubled their lead a few minutes later, when Sokratis Papastathopoulos headed onto the crossbar from a corner.

Mikel Arteta’s team will now be favourites to advance into the last 32. Olympiakos did force a number of saves out of Bernd Leno in the first half but will need to find much more incisive finishing in London to have any chance of retrieving the tie.

In one of the games of the night, Diogo Jota scored a hat-trick as Wolves thrashed Espanyol 4-0 in the first leg of their Europa League last-32 tie at Molineux.Ruben Neves also scored a trademark wonder goal, volleying home from distance, to ensure the Premier League side have one foot in the last 16 with the second leg still to play.- Eurosport

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