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Manchester United draws at Rostov in UEL first leg

Chris Smalling, Aleksandr Bukharov

Manchester United’s Chris Smalling, left, and Rostov’s Aleksandr Bukharov fight for the ball during the Europa League round of 16 first leg soccer match between Rostov and Manchester United in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, Thursday, March 9, 2017. (AP Photo/Denis Tyrin)


Manchester United picked up a valuable away goal at Rostov in Thursday’s UEFA Europa League clash, doing so with a big of class.

The match, which would finish 1-1, was still scoreless when Phil Jones sent a diagonal ball in the direction of Marouane Fellaini.

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The Belgian controlled and then distributed to Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who worked toward the end line. Rostov sucked toward the big Swede, who found returning Henrikh Mkhitaryan for the goal.

Jose Mourinho was surprised to see his side concede, but was happy overall. From the BBC:

“It was a very good performance in relation to the conditions. It was impossible to play better, impossible to play a passing game.

“We played what the game demanded and we played well. We made one defensive mistake.”

Mkhitaryan was bitter at United conceding an equalizer, and tempered his reply when asked about the pitch. From the BBC:
“I do not want to speak about the pitch because it was awful for both. For those watching, it was not a very interesting game.”

Follow @NicholasMendola