Man United, Spurs win big in relocated Europa League games

Man United, Spurs win big in relocated Europa League games

NEW DELHI [Maha Media]: Bruno Fernandes scored twice as Manchester United took a big step toward the last 16 of the Europa League with a 4-0 "away" win over Spanish team Real Sociedad in Italy.

The first leg was played on Thursday in Turin, one of a number of games relocated away from their original venues due to coronavirus-related travel restrictions from certain countries affecting teams from Britain.

Portugal's Benfica had to host Arsenal in Rome, where Bukayo Saka's away goal put the Premier League side in a good position with a 1-1 draw.

Tottenham defeated Austrian team Wolfsberg 4-1 in Budapest, Hungary.

Germany's Hoffenheim was also affected by pandemic-related travel restrictions.

Hoffenheim's game with Norwegian side Molde was played at Villarreal's stadium in Spain, while Villarreal beat Salzburg 2-0 in Austria.

Hoffenheim forward Munas Dabbur scored two goals, set up another, and then missed a penalty before Molde came back from two goals down to draw 3-3.

Fernandes had Sociedad's defense to thank for his first goal in the 27th, when two defenders collided with their own goalkeeper, leaving him free to score into an empty net. He then finished off a quick counterattack to make it 2-0 in the 57th. Fernandes let Marcus Rashford's pass go behind him to Daniel James, then received the ball back and fired inside the right post.

Rashford added the third in the 64th and James completed the scoring in the last minute.

United is playing in the Europa League for the third time in five seasons, a drop for a club once regarded as a continental heavyweight.

Gareth Bale reminded his detractors of his qualities as he scored one goal and set up another for Tottenham.

The Wales forward, back at Tottenham on loan from Real Madrid to the end of the season, cut the ball back for Son Heung-min to open the scoring in the 13th, before he illustrated why Madrid paid Tottenham a record transfer fee for his services in 2013.

Bale showed Matt Doherty exactly where he wanted the ball, outpaced Jonathan Scherzer to reach it, then stopped to leave the Wolfsberg defender sprawling, before curling a powerful shot past goalkeeper Alexander Kofler with his left boot.

Bale has been struggling in his second spell at Tottenham, making just seven Premier League appearances. He recently irked Jos Mourinho for posting "Good session today" on Instagram with the Tottenham coach saying there was "a contradiction between the post and the reality."

Lucas Moura eluded a number of defenders to make it 3-0 in the 34th.

A penalty from Michael Liendl gave the Austrians some hope in the second half, but Vinicius, who had come on during the break for Son, scored from close range in the 88th.

Wolfsberg is playing for the first time in the knockout stages of a European competition.

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