Arsenal lost in injury to draw 1-1 with Slavia Prague in the first match of the Europa League quarter-finals on Thursday, while Manchester United won 2-0 in Granada.
Bruno Fernandez’s penalty in the last minute put United in a command position to reach the semi-finals after Marcus Rashford gave the visitors the lead in Spain.
Arsenal paid the price for lack of concentration after failing to defend the opening of the 86th minute of Nicolas Pepe.
Goalkeeper Bernd Leno made a great save to deny Lukasz Provod an injury, but could not stop Tomas Holes from grabbing Prague’s equalizer from the scoring corner.
Roma also came from behind to win 2-1 at Ajax, and Villarreal won 1-0 at Dinamo Zagreb thanks to a penalty from Gerard Moreno before the break.
Arsenal had worked hard to open Pepe. Brazilian winger Willian hit the crossbar with a free kick early in the second half, and Alexander Lacazette had to score later when he had only the goalkeeper to win. The French striker chose to pick up the ball just to see it return from the crossbar.
The guests missed their own chances before Pepe finally overcame the dead end with a chip over striker Ondrej Kolar at Slavia’s goal.
Holesh equalizes Prague with a header in the fourth minute of injury.
COMBINED IN CONTROL
United appeared with a team advantage despite the difficult game in Andalusia.
Rashford scored a cool final past Granada goalkeeper Rui Silva in the 31st. The accumulation was simple. United goalkeeper David de Gea passed to defender Victor Lindelef, who sent a long ball over the home side’s defense to catch Rashford with a brilliant first touch before shooting past Silva. This was the England striker’s 20th goal of the season in all competitions.
Granada responded before the break with Angel Herrera, who applied the crossbar, Roberto Soldado approached and then Kennedy tested De Gea after a corner. The hosts kept up the pressure after the interval, when Kennedy again forced De Gea to act.
Harry Maguire became the third United player to be suspended from the rematch when he was penalized for a foul by Soldado in the 72nd. Luke Shaw and Scott McTominay were booked earlier, as was Granada defender Domingos Duarte, who will also miss the match next week.
Ian Brice was penalized after a penalty for Fernandez, who had a quiet game. Rui Silva almost saved the shot on the spot, but Fernandez’s efforts twisted.
ROMA IS BACK
Ajax, like Arsenal, had to take advantage of the missed opportunity.
Davey Klaassen took advantage of the hesitant defense to mark the opening instrument of the hosts in the 39th. The Dutch midfielder cut off Amadou Diawar’s weak pass and exchanged passes with Dusan Tadic before noting when Roma defenders Roger Ibanies and Gianluca Mancini stepped down.
Tadic was supposed to make it 2-0 at the beginning of the second half, but Roma goalkeeper Pau Lopez saved his penalty.
Lorenzo Pellegrini then equalized with a free kick, which the young goalkeeper Kjell Sherpen rubbed on the line in the 57th, and Ibanies redeemed himself for his gloomy defensive broadcast with the winner in the 87th. Ibanies took the attempt to clear Klaassen from a corner of his chest before firing volley under the crossbar.
The second match is to be played next Thursday.