PSV VS Arsenal
Arsenal boarded a plane to the Netherlands on Thursday night, needing just a point to secure top place in Europa League Group A with a game to spare.
The Gunners lead their Dutch rivals by five points, and if a suitable result is not achieved, they may be forced to settle for second place.
PSV never really got going against Arsenal at their North London headquarters, and Ruud van Nistelrooy would have been relieved by the Gunners’ 1-0 triumph.
Granit Xhaka’s first right-footed goal for the club separated the two sides in the 70th minute, meaning PSV can only top Group A in exceptional circumstances – winning each of their final two games against Arsenal and Bodo/Glimt while also hoping Mikel Arteta’s side slips up at home to FC Zurich on the final matchday.
Van Nistelrooy’s team can ensure second place with a point if Bodo/Glimt beats Zurich, although they did not warm up well for this game.
PSV’s away day woes spilt over into the Eredivisie when they fell 4-2 to Groningen, although they’ve won five of their past six in front of their home supporters in all competitions.
The Boeren have scored in each of their previous 10 Europa League home matches, but they’ll need to improve on their pitiful four shots against the Emirates, their lowest in a European game since 2016.
Manchester United vs Sheriff
Manchester United will try to get at least one point against Sheriff Tiraspol in Group E on Thursday night in order to advance to the Europa League knockout stages.
The Red Devils are three points behind Real Sociedad in second place, while the Moldovan visitors to Old Trafford are third in the group with just one victory.
Casemiro, Man United’s midfield general against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, rescued a last-gasp point following Jorginho’s penalty.
Scott McTominay recklessly took down Armando Broja in the area to give Jorginho the opportunity to break the stalemate, but Casemiro’s header hit Kepa Arrizabalaga’s fingertips and the inside of the post before dribbling over the line and triggering joyful celebrations from the away end.
Erik ten Hag’s side are still playing catchup in the fight for a top-four berth, and in the Europa League, Real Sociedad leads Group E with 12 points, while Man United is in second.
McTominay’s late victory on matchday four left stand-in Omonia goalkeeper Francis Uzoho unrewarded, leaving Man United needing only a point from their last two games to qualify.
The Red Devils haven’t lost in six games in all competitions, despite losing to Real Sociedad at Old Trafford on September 8.
Europa League Tables