Mkhitaryan's away goal gives Manchester United Europa League edge after Rostov draw

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Thursday March 9th, 2017

BERLIN (AP) — Manchester United preserved its unbeaten record in Russia but had to settle for 1-1 at Rostov in the first leg of their Europa League last-16 tie on Thursday.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan's away goal gave United, which has never won the Europa League, the advantage ahead of the second leg, particularly with Rostov captain Aleksandr Gatskan and fullback Timofei Kalachev ruled out of the game next week due to bookings.

Rostov coach Ivan Daniliants said defender Vladimir Granat was also out after breaking his collarbone.

United coach Jose Mourinho complained about the quality of the pitch before the game, but his side had the benefit of a strong wind for the first half.

The visitors largely frustrated Rostov, playing for the first time at this stage of European competition, albeit without creating many opportunities as both sides slugged it out in midfield.

Mkhitaryan made the breakthrough with the first real chance 10 minutes before the interval, when Zlatan Ibrahimovic did well to cut the ball back from the byline to set him up.

Rostov improved drastically in the second half, and Aleksandr Bukharov equalized minutes after the restart, taking Kalachev's long pass on his chest with his first touch and dispatching it past Sergio Romero with his next.

Here's a look at other results:

LYON 4, ROMA 2

Despite leading, Roma fell to its first away defeat in European fixtures this season as Lyon responded to a poor first half by making a statement in the second.

Mouctar Diakhaby gave Lyon an early lead, but his stumble allowed Mohamed Salah to race clear and equalize. Federico Fazio headed the visitors' ahead again.

Corentin Tolisso equalized after the break when he linked up brilliantly with Alexandre Lacazette to confound the Roma defense, and Lyon substitute Nabil Fekir eluded three defenders to score with a quarter-hour remaining.

Lacazette wrapped it up to the fans' delight in injury time with a brilliant strike to the top left corner.

OLYMPIAKOS 1, BESIKTAS 1

A mistake from Olympiakos 'keeper Nicola Leali, when he kicked the ball straight to Vincent Aboubakar, cost his side dearly as the Besiktas forward scored to cancel out Esteban Cambiasso's first-half goal.

GENT 2, GENK 5

Genk raced into a 4-1 halftime lead at Belgian rival Gent, before Kalifa Coulibaly pulled one back to give the home side hope of a comeback.

It would have been on had Jeremy Perbet converted a subsequent penalty but his effort was weak and Genk goalkeeper Mathew Ryan saved. Perbet had already hit the crossbar from two meters in the third minute.

Mbwana Samatta's second of the night wrapped it up for Genk.

The home side's miserable evening was compounded when Anderson Esiti was sent off late with his second yellow card.

SCHALKE 1, BORUSSIA MONCHENGLADBACH 1

'Gladbach captain Lars Stindl picked out Jonas Hofmann with a brilliant pass for the visitors to take an early lead at Schalke, only for the home side to equalize through Guido Burgstaller.

The goal spurred the home side - beaten 4-2 by 'Gladbach in the Bundesliga on Saturday - but the visitors did enough to hold on.

CELTA VIGO 2, KRASNODAR 1

Daniel Wass' free kick finally rewarded Celta Vigo for its endeavor early in the second half, only for winter signing Viktor Claesson to equalize minutes later with his fourth goal in five games for Krasnodar.

Substitute Claudio Beauvue headed the winner in the final minute for Celta, the only Spanish representative remaining.

OTHER RESULTS

Andreas Cornelius earned FC Copenhagen a 2-1 win over Ajax, and Nicolae Stanciu's first-half goal was enough for Belgian side Anderlecht to beat APOEL 1-0 in Nicosia, Cyprus.

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