Game about to end
Overshadowed by a near demolition after fan riots, Bundesliga leaders 1. FC Union Berlin have ended their Europa League curse. With the first goal in the competition, the Köpenickers celebrated their first EL victory at the pointless Swedish record champions Malmö FF on Thursday. Sheraldo Becker scored the goal to make it 1-0 (0-0) outnumbered in the 68th minute.
In Malmö, however, it was initially unclear by whom the pyros and firecrackers had been ignited and thrown. “Both camps threw pyrotechnics onto the field,” said the Unioner, whose head of communications, after the international announcements before the game continued, also talked to the Köpenick supporters again. Television pictures also showed that security forces brought fans from the ranks who were not in the block of over 1000 Union supporters.
It was clear that referee Halil Umut Meler from Turkey only started again on probation after the interruption in the 57th minute. If objects were thrown from the ranks into the interior again, the game would be stopped immediately, it said. Becker gestured accordingly when a flare burned again in the stands after his celebrated goal.
Schäfer sees red at Union – Man United averts embarrassment on Cyprus
Not many had suspected that the Unioners would score in the situation. The Bundesliga side suffered a heavy blow just before the break when Andras Schäfer saw the red card. The entire Union team had gathered in half of the Swedes, then Schäfer stumbled the ball and involuntarily played it with his heel in the direction of his own goal. Malmo’s captain Anders Christiansen sprinted in between, Schäfer held his jersey and Christiansen fell. The referee showed the red card: Schäfer was the last man to clearly thwart a goal chance.
Manchester United got their next win in the Europa League despite an extremely unlucky Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese missed some of the best opportunities in the tough 3-2 (0-1) win at Omonia Nicosia on Thursday. The 78th minute was symbolic of this when the 37-year-old shot the post from a free-standing distance of almost six metres. In stoppage time, he flicked the ball just wide of the goal from the best position and roared his frustration into the evening sky.
Aside from converting his chances, Ronaldo played well. With a fine pass to Marcus Rashford (84th minute), the Portuguese had at least put the goal on his fellow striker to make it 3-1. The other goals were also scored by Rashford (53′) and Anthony Martial (63′, after a Rashford assist). Karim Ansarifard (34′) and Nikolas Panagiotou (85′) scored for the hosts.
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