Arsenal started their latest sojourn in the Europa League with a 3-0 win over ten-men Eintracht Frankfurt in Germany thanks to Bukayo Saka, the man of the match who scored one and assisted the other two goals.
The 18-year-old youngster, Saka, born to Nigerian parents in London, prowled the left-side for the entire 90 minutes in the Gunners’ second straight season in Europe’s second-tier competition.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang finished scoring for the North London club who were beaten finalists last season.
Saka, who has pledged allegiance to England and currently plays on their under-19 team.
He was the main threat for Unai Emery’s side in the first half, dribbling past a Frankfurt player on the counter before setting up fellow youngster, Joe Willock for the opener.
Although the winger was wasteful, he finally doubled Arsenal’s lead in the 85th minute, six minutes after Frankfurt had Dominik Kohr sent off for a second booking.
Saka emphatically blasted in a left-foot shot into the bottom corner from just outside the area to become Arsenal’s youngest goalscorer in Europe since Aaron Ramsey in 2008.
Aubameyang added more gloss to the scoreline two minutes later, benefitting from the academy product’s steal and through pass to nail a combative but unlucky Frankfurt side, who had 24 shots on goal, to their heaviest home loss in European competitions.
Another youngster bails out poor Manchester United
Mason Greenwood, scored a delightful winner but Manchester United failed to impress in their 1-0 over minnows, Astana, at Old Trafford.
The 17-year-old, who is relied upon by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the manager, to fill the void of both departed Alexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku when called upon, produced the winning goal in the 72nd minute, rescuing the 2018 Europa League winners from an embarrassing draw against their little-known opponent from Kazakhstan.
It was Greenwood’s first senior goal in only his second game.
Marcus Rashford had spurn two excellent opportunities to hand a lacklustre United side the lead in a goalless first period.
- Eintracht Frankfurt 0-3 Arsenal
- Manchester United 1-0 Astana
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- Qarabag 0-3 Sevilla
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- Roma 4-0 Istanbul Baseksehir
- Ludogorets 5-1 CSKA Moscow
- Borrusia Monchengladbach 0-4 Wolfsberger AC