Europa League: Man United overcome early deficit to beat Omonia Nicosia

Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo, right, attempts a shot at goal in front of Omonia's Nemanja Miletic during the Europa League group E soccer match between Omonia and Manchester United at GSP stadium in Nicosia, Cyprus, Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

Manchester United overcame an early deficit to beat Omonia Nicosia 3-2 in the Europa League on Thursday and begin the healing process after a humiliating derby loss in the Premier League. 

Seeking some respite in Cyprus following a 6-3 loss at Manchester City on Sunday, United fell behind to a goal on the counterattack by Iran striker Karim Ansarifard in the 34th minute. 

Second-half substitutes made the difference for United. Marcus Rashford equalized in the 53rd with a curling shot from just inside the area before he produced a deft flick to fellow replacement Anthony Martial, who cut inside and shot low inside the near post in the 63rd. 

Cristiano Ronaldo had a rare start for United and struck the post from close range before driving in a cross that Rashford converted for his second goal in the 84th. 

Nikolas Panagiotou replied a minute later for Omonia to ensure a tense finish.  

It was a second victory in three Group E games for United, which is three points behind Real Sociedad — a 2-0 winner at 10-man Sheriff Tiraspol. Sociedad has a maximum nine points. 

Ansarifard delivered a muted celebration for his goal. That appeared to be in line with silent protests by Iranian players at a recent World Cup warmup game in Austria, amid weeks of demonstrations and a violent crackdown by state authorities back home in Iran following the death of a 22-year-old woman, Mahsa Amini, in the custody of the morality police. She had been detained for allegedly wearing a mandatory headscarf too loosely. 

In other results, PSV Eindhoven won 5-1 at Zurich in a Group A also containing Arsenal and Norwegian team Bodø/Glimt, who were playing later in London. 

Lazio was held 0-0 by Sturm Graz of Austria in Group F, while Monaco and Red Star Belgrade won games in Group H. 

EUROPA CONFERENCE LEAGUE 

West Ham secured a third straight win in its group as the English team beat Anderlecht 1-0 in a match between teams who met in the 1976 final of the now-defunct Cup Winners’ Cup.  

Italy striker Gianluca Scamacca scored the winner in the 79th. 

FC Basel, AZ Alkmaar, Villarreal and Istanbul Basaksehir are the other teams to have won their opening two games in the third-tier competition and are all in action later. 

 

 

By Associated Press 38 minutes ago
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