Cristiano Ronaldo scored on his return to the Manchester United lineup to seal a 3-0 victory over Sheriff Tiraspol in the Europa League on Thursday that secured a spot in the knockout round.
Ronaldo was brought back into the fold by United manager Erik Ten Hag after he was left out of the squad against Chelsea in the Premier League for refusing to come on as a substitute in a 2-0 win over Tottenham last week. The Portugal star started against Sheriff and netted the last goal nine minutes from time on a rebound after Sheriff goalkeeper Maxym Koval saved his initial header.
Earlier, defender Diogo Dalot met a corner kick by Christian Eriksen to head in the opening goal a minute before halftime as United dominated possession.
Substitute forward Marcus Rashford headed home the second in the second half following a cross from another substitute, Luke Shaw.
The victory against the Moldovan club set up a Nov. 3 decider against Real Sociedad for first place in Group E.
Sociedad recorded its fifth straight victory in the competition, 2-0 at Omonoia, to stay three points ahead of United.
PSV Eindhoven became the first team to hold Arsenal scoreless this season, beating the Gunners 2-0 to keep alive the fight for first place in Group A.
Joey Veerman and substitute Luuk de Jong scored in the second half for PSV to hand Premier League leader Arsenal only its second loss of the season in all competitions and first in the Europa League.
De Jong set up Veerman to shoot past Aaron Ramsdale from inside the area in the 56th minute before heading in the second seven minutes later.
PSV forwards Cody Gakpo and Xavi Simons had a goal each disallowed due to offside in the first half.
Arsenal still leads Group A with 12 points, with Eindhoven second on 10 with one round remaining. Both teams have qualified for the next stage, but the group winners advance directly to the last 16, while teams qualifying second go through an extra playoff round.
Those in third place drop into the third-tier Europa Conference League.
Germany’s Freiburg topped Group G despite being held 1-1 at home by Olympiakos, while Ferencvaros drew with Monaco 1-1 to clinch first place in Group H.
Real Betis secured first place in Group C after a 1-0 victory at Ludogorets, with Nabil Fekir scoring the winner. The Spanish club has 13 points while Ludogorets is six points behind, tied with Roma.
Mohamed Camara scored the winning goal to reignite Roma’s Europa League campaign as Jose Mourinho’s team earned a 2-1 victory over HJK Helsinki in Finland.
Tammy Abraham scored his first goal in Europe this season to put Roma 1-0 ahead before Perparim Hetemaj equalized for HJK.
Fenerbahce staged a late come back to salvage a 3-3 home draw against Rennes with both sides already qualified from Group B.
Amine Gouiri netted twice and Martin Terrier added one in the opening 30 minutes to put the visitors on course to win the group. The Turkish side replied with a goal from Enner Valencia still in the first half before substitutes Miha Zajc and Emre Mor scored in the 82nd and 88th, respectively. Both teams are on 11 points ahead of the final round of games.
Teddy Teuma and Lazare Amani scored in the first half to lead Belgian club Union SG to the round of 16 from Group D after a 2-0 victory at Malmo.
Union SG tops the group with 13 points with Bundesliga leader Union Berlin moving to second with nine points after a 1-0 home win over Braga, which is third on six.
Lazio came from a goal down to beat Midtjylland 2-1 to be tied for a a three-point lead in the tightly contested Group F. Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Pedro Rodriguez replied after an opening goal by Gustav Isaksen for the Danish side. All four teams in the group were on five points before the fifth round of matches. Sturm beat Feyenoord 1-0 in the group’s other game.
PSV was punished earlier Thursday for fan disorder inside Arsenal’s stadium in their previous meeting, which Arsenal won 1-0.
UEFA banned PSV from selling tickets to its fans for the team’s game in Norway next week against Bodo/Glimt.
The Dutch club must also pay a fine of 40,000 euros ($40,000) and compensate Arsenal for damage to seats in the stadium last week.
EUROPA CONFERENCE LEAGUE
Manuel Lanzini converted from the penalty spot in the first half for West Ham to defeat Silkeborg 1-0. West Ham made it five wins from five to qualify directly for the last 16 as Group B winner.
Sweden’s Djurgarden clinched the top spot in Group F with a 3-2 away win at Norway’s Molde.
Fiorentina came from a goal down to beat Istanbul Basaksehir 2-1 and draw level with their Turkish opponent atop Group A with 10 points. Both teams mede it to the next round.
Villarreal’s perfect record came to an end after it was held 2-2 at home by Hapoel Beer-Sheva. But the Spanish club was already assured of qualifying in first place from Group C and avoiding the extra playoff round.
AZ Alkmaar had a five-point lead atop Group E after a 2-0 away win at Vaduz.
The kickoff of the Group D match between Czech side Slovacko and Cologne was initially delayed by 75 minutes due to heavy fog. But six minutes after the game started the fog again made it impossible to play. The match is scheduled to resume on Friday at 1 p.m. (1100 GMT).
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