Cyprus Mail
Football

United beaten by Feyenoord, Zenit stage stunning comeback

Manchester United's Zlatan Ibrahimovic looks dejected after the game

Manchester United’s first appearance in the Europa League group stage ended in disappointment after Feyenoord’s Tonny Trindade applied a slide-rule finish late in the second half to secure a 1-0 win on Thursday.

Europe’s second-tier contest began in earnest with three times continental champions United topping the bill in Group A, but Jose Mourinho’s side were undone after a poor display in which clearcut chances were at a premium.

It was a different story in Israel where there were goals galore in Maccabi Tel Aviv’s game against Zenit St Petersburg with the Russian club fighting back from 3-0 down to win 4-3 with all their goals coming from the 77th minute onwards.

AS Roma were held to a 1-1 draw at Viktoria Plzen despite taking the lead after four minutes, while fellow Italians Sassuolo, who are making their European debut this season, enjoyed a superb 3-0 win over Athletic Bilbao.

For United it was a second defeat in six days after they lost to rivals Manchester City in the Premier League, and it ended Mourinho’s honeymoon period after he began the season with four straight wins including a Community Shield victory.

United never really looked like scoring even after striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic was introduced in the second half as part of a triple substitution and they were picked off on the counter in the 79th minute.

Nicolai Jorgensen looked offside when he burst clear on the right flank but he crossed low for Trindade to slide the ball past David De Gea with a precise sidefooted finish.

ZENIT RALLY

Zenit looked beaten when they fell 3-0 behind in the 70th minute against Maccabi but Aleksandr Kokorin headed home to begin the comeback before Eli Dasa was sent off for the Israelis in the 81st.

Further Zenit goals soon after from Brazilians Mauricio and Giuliano drew the Russians level and Luka Djordjevic remarkably grabbed the winner two minutes into stoppage time.

Roma, who have made a bright start in Serie A with seven points from their opening three games, took the lead against Plzen in Group E from the penalty spot when Diego Perotti calmly stroked home after Stephan El Shaarawy was felled.

The lead lasted just seven minutes, however, as Martin Zeman’s whipped cross found Marek Bakos to head the hosts level.

Along with Konyaspor, Sassuolo are one of two sides in the group stage making their European bow and they produced a stunning result to get off to the best possible start.

After a goalless first half, the Italians took the lead on the hour mark when Pol Lirola skipped past one challenge and bent the ball home. They doubled their advantage 15 minutes later when Gregoire Defrel raced clear to finish calmly.

Sassuolo rounded off a stunning performance with Matteo Politano’s clinical finish in the 82nd minute.

Results from the other games in the Europa League on Thursday:

Zorya Luhansk 1 – Fenerbahce 1

Young Boys 0 – Olympiacos 1

Mainz 1 – St Etienne 1

Anderlecht 3 – Dundalk 1

Maccabi Tel-Aviv 3 – Zenit 4

Astra Giurgiu 2 – Austria Vienna 3

Viktoria Plzen 1 – Roma 1

Sassuolo 3 – Athletic Bilbao 0

Rapid Vienna 3 – KRC Genk 2

Panathinaikos 1 – Ajax 2

Standard Liege 1 – Celta Vigo 1

Konyaspor 0 – Shakhtar Donetsk 1

Sporting Braga 1 – KAA Gent 1

Red Bull Salzburg 0 – FK Krasnodar 1

Nice 0 – Schalke 1

FK Qarabag 2 – Slovan Liberec 2

PAOK Salonika 0 – Fiorentina 0

Inter Milan 0 – Hap. Be’er Sheva 2

Southampton 3 – Sparta Prague 0

Osmanlispor 2 – Steaua Bucharest 0

Villarreal 2 – FC Zurich 1

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