Fernando Llorente’s brace helped reigning Europa League champions Sevilla romp to an impressive 3-0 win against Molde in the first leg of this last-32 tie.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men arrived in Spain as underdogs and Unai Emery’s men took a deserved lead after 35 minutes, when Spain striker Llorente scored.
The 30-year-old doubled the hosts’ advantage four minutes into the second half, rifling home after collecting a lovely dinked pass from Coke. Victory - and most likely a place in the last-16 - was wrapped up in the 72nd minute as Kevin Gameiro drove home from a Vitolo pass.
Fellow Spaniards Villarreal will also defend a first-leg leg after beating Napoli 1-0 at El Madrigal.
Denis Suarez - who helped Sevilla win the Europa League last season - came up with the decisive moment when his dipping free-kick beat goalkeeper Jose Rein.
Goals from Lukasz Piszczek and Marco Reus handed Borussia Dortmund a 2-0 win over Porto. Piszczek put the hosts on the way after six minutes at Signal Iduna Park, before Reus made the result certain 19 minutes from time. The Bundesliga side fully deserved their win but they may yet rue wasting a number of chances.
St Etienne beat Basle 3-2 in an entertaining contest at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, with sub Jean-Christophe Bahebeck the hero. Moustapha Sall and Kevin Monnet-Paquet scored to put Les Verts in cruise control, but Basle were level by the hour mark through Walter Samuel and a Marc Janko penalty. But Bahebeck had the final word after 77 minutes to give St Etienne a narrow lead.
Anderlecht beat Olympiacos 1-0 at home with Kara Mbodji’s controversial 67th-minute effort proving the difference
. The goal was only allowed after a lengthy discussion between referee and linesman, much to the Greeks’ displeasure who had complained of a foul on goalkeeper Roberto.
Anderlecht 1 Olympiacos 0, Borussia Dortmund 2 FC Porto 0, Midtjylland 2 Manchester United 1, Fiorentina 1 Tottenham Hotspur 1, Saint-Etienne 3 Basel 2, Sevilla 3 Molde 0, Villarreal 1 SSC Napoli 0, Augsburg 0 Liverpool 0, Galatasaray 1 Lazio 1, Marseille Athletic 0 Bilbao 1, Shakhtar Donetsk 0 Schalke 04 0, Sion 1 Braga 2, Sparta Prague 1 FC Krasnodar 0, Sporting CP 0 Bayer Leverkusen 1, Valencia 6 Rapid Wien 0.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved