Europa League wrap: Man United, Arsenal cruise into semifinals (video)
Manchester United and Arsenal booked their places in the Europa League semifinals, keeping alive the possibility of an all-Premier League final, by taking care of business in the second leg of the quarterfinals on Thursday.
Manchester United 2-0 (4-0) Granada
Edinson Cavani erased any and all uneasiness that might (or might not) have been present around Old Trafford on Thursday, bagging the opening goal from a difficult volley attempt in the 6th minute. The Uruguayan’s 9th goal of the season (all competitions; 7 in the Premier League) made it 3-0 to Manchester United on aggregate and, for all intents and purposes, put them through to the final four.
The Red Devils appeared comfortable with their three-goal advantage, dominating possession while taking virtually zero risks the rest of the way. Jesus Vallejo added an own goal for Manchester United’s benefit in the 90th minute, making the final score 4-0 on aggregate.
Up next for Manchester United? A semifinal date with Roma.
Slavia Prague 0-4 (1-5) Arsenal
Arsenal, on the other hand, wasted very little time as they buried Slavia Prague with three goals inside the opening half-hour. Nicolas Pepe, Alexandre Lacazette (penalty kick) and Bukayo Saka got the goals to cap off the rampart six-minute run.
After conceding an away goal in the final minutes of the first leg last week, there were fears that Arsenal had left themselves exposed to a second-leg surprise, but Mikel Arteta’s side was raring to go, even without captain and star striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (malaria - FULL DETAILS).
The Gunners are set for something of an awkward reuning in the semifinals, as Arteta and Co., are set to take on the former boss, Unai Emery, now the manager of La Liga side Villarreal.
The Slavia Prague players once again elected to stand with their arms around each other’s shoulder, while the Arsenal players kneeled in a display representing the ongoing fight against racism and discrimination in the world. Slavia Prague defender Ondrej Kudela having recently been the subject of accusations that he racially abused Rangers midfielder Glen Kamara. Kudela was handed eventually handed a 10-match ban for “racist behavior.” Kamara was given three games for “assaulting” Kudela.
Europa League results
Manchester United 2-0 (4-0 agg.) Granada
Slavia Prague 0-4 (1-5 agg.) Arsenal
Roma 1-1 (3-2 agg.) Ajax
Villarreal 2-1 (3-1 agg.) Dinamo Zagreb
Europa League semifinal draw, schedule
Manchester United v Roma
Villarreal v Arsenal
Dates: April 29, May 6