Cristiano Ronaldo scored upon his return to the starting lineup for Manchester United as the Red Devils defeated Sheriff Tiraspol 3-0 at Old Trafford to secure a spot in the Europa League knockout rounds.
After Diogo Dalot and Marcus Rashford had given the home team a comfortable lead, Ronaldo scored United’s third goal this morning. He had been excluded from the squad for the weekend’s Premier League trip to Chelsea due to disciplinary issues.
With 12 points from five games, United is in second place in Group E going into their visit to Real Sociedad the following week. If they win, they might take first place and advance directly to the round of 16.
Robert Navarro and Brais Mendez scored for Sociedad as they overcame Omonia 2-0, and Tammy Abraham scored for Jose Mourinho’s AS Roma as they upset HJK Helsinki 2-1 to maintain their playoff hopes.
Earlier, PSV Eindhoven defeated Arsenal 2-0 at home to secure a spot in the round of 16 of the Europa League, handing the English team just their second loss of the season.
Arsenal, who have already qualified for the next round, will have to wait to clinch first place in their group, although Lazio increased their prospects of moving on with a 2-1 victory over Danish team Midtjylland this morning.
While Union Berlin, the league’s top team, defeated Braga 1-0 to move above them into second place, two points clear of the Portuguese team, Royale Union Saint-Gilloise of Belgium advanced as group D’s victors.
Following Bodo/2-1 Glimt’s loss to FC Zurich in the other game, PSV clinched their passage to the knockout phase, ending Arsenal’s flawless start in group A. To take first place,Arsenal only needed one point.
PSV had two first-half goals disallowed for offside, but in the 55th minute Joey Veerman gave them a well-deserved lead with a left-footed shot that went past Aaron Ramsdale. Substitute Luuk De Jong then doubled their advantage with a header.