Barcelona, 20 September 2019 (dpa/MIA) – Arsenal and Sevilla racked up big away wins as the Europe League got under way on Thursday night.
Manchester United beat Astana 1-0, Roma thrashed Istanbul Basaksehir 4-0 while Borussia Monchengladbach fell to a shocking 4-0 home defeat by Austrian side Wolfsberg.
Unai Emery’s Arsenal emerged 3-0 winners at Eintracht Frankfurt in Group F, thanks to goals from Joe Willock, Bukayo Saka and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Dominik Kohr was sent off after 79 minutes for the hosts, who had battled well against the London side but caved after his dismissal.
Arsenal picked several youth players for the clash in Germany, including handing Saka his first start of the season.
The winger was the liveliest player on the pitch and created the opener for Willock before placing his fine strike into the bottom corner from distance to double the lead.
“It’s a bitter defeat for us, because the performance does not reflect that result,” said Eintracht coach Adi Hutter.
“When it was still 1-0 for Arsenal, we tried to score the equaliser but then conceded another one.”
Standard Liege earned a 2-0 win over Vitoria Guimaraes in the other group game.
Record five-time winners Sevilla thrashed Qarabag 3-0 in Baku to top Group A.
Sevilla dominated possession but failed to find a first half breakthrough.
However a flurry of goals after the interval earned Julen Lopetegui’s side a comfortable victory.
Javier Hernandez opened the scoring with a fine free-kick, before goals from Munir El Haddadi and Oliver Torres rounded out the win in Baku.
The group’s other match was a seven-goal thriller that F91 Dudelange edged, winning 4-3 at Apoel Nicosia.
PSV Eindhoven beat Sporting Lisbon 3-2 in their Group D opener, with livewire forward Donyell Malen and Sebastian Coates’s own goal handing the Dutch side a two goal lead inside 25 minutes.
Bruno Fernandes pulled one back from the penalty spot but Timo Baumgartl restored PSV’s lead, with Pedro Mendes netting another late on for the visitors in Eindhoven.
The win saw one-time winners PSV move to 16 consecutive home matches unbeaten, netting a total of 48 goals in those games. LASK edged Rosenborg 1-0.
Young striker Mason Greenwood, 17, was Manchester United’s hero as his fine second half strike earned them victory over Astana in Group L.
The Red Devils dominated the game but failed to find a breakthrough until Greenwood drilled home in the 73rd minute.
“It’s good for (young players) to have the opportunity to play in these games, they have to use that to work hard and play more games,” said Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic.
“They want to prove they deserve to wear the shirt, they are the future of the club.”
Partizan Belgrade drew 2-2 with AZ Alkmaar in the other match.
In Rome Junior Caicara’s own goal sent Roma ahead against Istanbul Basaksehir, with second-half strikes from Edin Dzeko, Nicolo Zaniolo and Justin Kluivert helping the Italians ease to victory in Group J.
However the story lay in the clash between Wolfsberg and Monchengladbach, with the Austrian side dealing the hosts their worst ever European defeat.
The visitors hit three first half goals, with Mario Leitgeb completing his brace in the second half.
Cluj stunned Lazio with a 2-1 win in Group E, with Celtic coming from behind to draw 1-1 at Rennes in the other match.
Rangers beat Feyenoord 1-0 in Group G, while Porto earned a 2-1 win over Young Boys.
In Group B Dynamo Kiev and FC Copenhagen earned 1-0 wins over Malmo and Lugano respectively.
Basel thrashed Krasnodar 5-0 in Group C, with Getafe scraping a 1-0 win over Trabzonspor.
In Group H Ludogorets thrashed CSKA Moscow 5-1, while Espanyol drew 1-1 with Ferencvaros.
Gent beat Saint-Etienne 3-2 in Group I, with Wolfsburg earning a 3-1 home win over Olexandria.
Wolves lost 1-0 at home against Braga in Group K, while Slovan Bratislava stunned Besiktas with a 4-2 win.