European round-up: Mixed fortunes for La Liga sides after challenging first legs

Thursday saw four La Liga clubs compete in the first legs of their respective last 16 ties in Europe. Real Betis, Real Sociedad and Sevilla competed in the Europa League, while Villarreal played in the Europa Conference League.

Manchester United 4-1 Real Betis

Barcelona’s conquerors from the previous round proved too much for Real Betis at Old Trafford. Manuel Pellegrini’s side fell behind early on to a Marcus Rashford strike, although Ayoze Perez did score his first goal for the club to equalise.

However, Man Utd stretched their legs in the second half. Goals from Antony, Bruno Fernandes and Wout Weghorst ensure a three-goal margin ahead of next week’s second leg in Seville. Los Verdiblancos have a different – but not impossible – task ahead of them.

Roma 2-0 Real Sociedad

Real Sociedad also succumbed to defeat in their first leg clash. Goals in either half from Stephan El Shaarawy and Marash Kumbulla ensures that Roma, managed by former Real Madrid head coach Jose Mourinho, have a solid lead over Txuri-Urdinak ahead of next week’s second leg at the Estadio de Anoeta.

La Real had a glorious chance to equalise at 1-0, but Mikel Merino spurned the opportunity with the goal at his mercy. As such, they have it all to do in the home leg.

Sevilla 2-0 Fenerbahce

Sevilla were the only Spanish side to be victorious on Thursday, as two second half goals ensured that they travel to Istanbul next week in a good position to reach the quarter-finals.

Joan Jordan opened the scoring for Jorge Sampaoli’s after 56 minutes, and Erik Lamela doubled their advantage against the Turkish giants late on. Los Nervionenses are the most successful side in the competition’s history, having won it six times, and they will hope to make it seven this season.

Anderlecht 1-1 Villarreal

Villarreal head into next week’s second leg at the Estadio de la Ceramica in a good position to progress to the quarter-finals of the Europa Conference League, although things could have been better.

Manu Trigueros gave Quique Setien’s side the lead just before the half hour mark, but Anders Dreyer equalised for the Belgian side just after half to ensure that it would be honours equal ahead of the second leg in Villarreal.

Image via Jose Breton/LaPresse

Tags Europa Conference League Europa League La Liga Real Betis Real Sociedad Sevilla Villarreal
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