Man Utd bounce back in Europa, Arsenal draw in thriller

Manchester United have scored an emphatic 4-1 win over Real Betis in the first leg of their Europa League last-16 tie, four days after their humbling loss to Liverpool.

Erik ten Hag's team, who capitulated 7-0 to their arch-rivals on Sunday, were desperate to bounce back quickly and Casemiro's fifth-minute effort was ruled out for offside.

Marcus Rashford soon scored his 25th goal of the season in all competitions, however, controlling a cross from Bruno Fernandes and smashing it into the top corner to the delight of Old Trafford fans who braved the chilly temperatures and blowing snow.

Ayoze Perez, on loan from Leicester City, netted his first goal for Betis in the 32nd minute. There were questions about a handball in the buildup but VAR officials ruled otherwise.

The home team dominated the second half, and Brazilian winger Antony put United ahead in the 52nd minute, launching a blistering left-foot shot from just outside the box into the top corner.

Six minutes later, Fernandes shrugged off the scathing criticism he received as captain after Sunday's poor performance with a goal to head in a corner off the fingertips of Betis keeper Claudio Bravo.

Wout Weghorst finally got his goal in the 82nd minute after missing numerous chances, steering the ball into the net after a cutback from substitute Facundo Pellistri.

Rashford was pleased with how United won after Sunday's debacle at Liverpool.

"It's always important to win the next fixture, and it's the only way for us to bounce back and continue the momentum we had before that game," the forward told BT Sport.

"So I'm pleased that we managed to win the game and were so positive in attack."

Earlier, Arsenal kept their hopes of winning a famous double on track with a fiery 2-2 draw at Sporting CP.

The Gunners took the lead, went behind and fought back to ensure it ended all square at Estadio Jose Alvalade in a four-goal encounter high on drama.

First-half headers from William Saliba and Goncalo Inacio left the sides on level terms at the break, before Paulinho's tap-in had pushed Ruben Amorim's men in front.

But a Hidemasa Morita own goal just beyond the hour mark ensured Mikel Arteta's Premier League leaders will head into next week's second leg in London level with the Portuguese side.

But Arteta bemoaned the goals conceded.

"When you concede two poor goals like we did away from home in Europe, it's very difficult to get a positive result," Arteta said.

"Some positives because we showed a lot of resilience to get back in the game, but we need to defend our box much better and be better on Sunday."

In other results, Jose Mourinho's Roma beat Real Sociedad 2-0 at home to gain the early advantage in their tie.

Belgian side Royale Union almost shocked Union Berlin, who are third in the Bundesliga and had to fight back to earn a 3-3 draw after going behind three times.

Bayer Leverkusen beat Hungary's Ferencvaros 2-0 while Juventus beat Freiburg 1-0 with Angle Di Maria scoring.

Shakhtar Donetsk and Feyenoord played out a 1-1 draw, but Sevilla (Joan Jordan 56th, Erik Lamela, 85th) scored a convincing 2-0 win over Fenerbahce.

with Reuters