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Fresh off a productive Premier League campaign, Manchester United returned to Europa League play at Old Trafford with a 2-1 win to advance 7-1 on aggregate. After allowing a beautiful second-half goal from LASK fullback Philipp Wiesinger, the English side quickly replied with a goal of their own scored by Jesse Lingard -- ironically it was Wiesinger playing Lingard onside that allowed the goal to happen. They later doubled their goal tally on the evening when super sub Anthony Martial came in for some quick action and scored just moments later.
Meanwhile, in Germany, Inter Milan and Getafe squared off in the only one-legged affair of the day. The two sides were unable to play their first leg in March when the sports leagues around the world paused. The Italian squad was able to secure a 2-0 win with fellow Premier League outcasts Romelu Lukaku and Christian Eriksen each getting on the score sheet.
As for the earlier games, Shakhtar Donetsk earned a spot in the quarterfinals when a late surge of three goals further cemented their aggregate lead over opponents Wolfsburg. Copenhagen made club history with their win over Istanbul, earning the club's first-ever quarterfinal appearance in the Europa League.
Manchester United-LASK: Daniel James was, at one point, a prominent starter at just 22 years old for one of the biggest clubs in Europe. Today, he found himself only in the starting lineup of a team playing in the second leg of a Europa League tie where his squad was already up 5-0. Ideally this dip in opposing competition would have given him a chance to shine, but he remained rather anonymous in a game that offered plenty of opportunities. While other players at least found themselves with chances to score, James would often squander even the near opportunities -- case in point, missing a cross that should have been a tap-in goal for him. This begs the question of what the club does with him from here on out, especially with a talented front three that has pushed him out of the starting XI.
Inter Milan-Getafe: Getafe certainly lost the match more than Inter won it. Beyond the fact that the Spanish club had more shots, there was the missed penalty from Jorge Molina that should have tied things up, and the gift from Djene to Eriksen that led to Inter doubling its lead over its opponents. The competition gets fiercer from here on out, so the Italian side can't afford to make such mistakes going forward.
Shakhtar-Wolfsburg: Shakhtar should be considered a legitimate dark horse for this tournament. Even when in an advantageous position for their second leg match against Wolfsburg, they swarmed for the ball and were able to put together counters that put players in the box within the blink of an eye. Alan Patrick was incredibly clinical with his passes to the speedy receivers like Taison, Moraes and Marlos, and if he can keep up the form he had on Wednesday, it could be enough to even topple a big-name club in the next round.
Wednesday's Europa League scores
|ROUND OF 16 MATCHUPS, SCORES||TIME (ET)||TV||VENUE|
NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium
Shakhtar Donetsk advances 5-1 on aggregate
Copenhagen advances 3-1 on aggregate
Manchester United advances 7-1 on aggregate
Single elimination due to COVID-19 shutdown