Manchester United‘s troubles continued with a 2-1 defeat at Fenerbahce which leaves qualification for the Europa League knockout stage in the balance, but Southampton enjoyed an evening to remember by beating Inter Milan at St Mary’s Stadium.
United manager Jose Mourinho has been handed a touchline ban for Sunday’s Premier League game at Swansea after accepting two Football Association misconduct charges, and was left less than impressed by the manner of his team’s defeat in Istanbul.
The Turkish side took the lead inside two minutes with a brilliant overhead kick from Moussa Sow, before United saw world record signing Paul Pogba hobble off injured.Price Boost
Jeremain Lens, on loan from Sunderland, made it 2-0 on the hour with a fine free-kick.
Although captain Wayne Rooney superbly pulled one back late on, a frantic final few minutes was unable to salvage a positive result.
Following Feyenoord’s 1-1 draw at Zarya Lugansk, where they finished with 10 men, United are now third in the table, a point behind leaders Fenerbahce and the Dutch side.
United next host Feyenoord on November 24 and will end their Group A campaign away to Ukrainian side Zarya.
There was, though, success for Southampton, who secured a memorable 2-1 win over Italian giants Inter Milan to stay on course to reach the last 32 out of Group K.
Inter, who sacked head coach Frank de Boer in the run-up to the tie following a poor start to the season, went ahead on 33 minutes through captain Mauro Icardi.
Saints missed the chance to go into half-time on level terms when Dusan Tadic’s penalty, given for a controversial handball by Ivan Perisic, was saved by Samir Handanovic.
Virgil van Dijk equalised on 64 minutes before Saints completed the turnaround when a low cross from Tadic deflected off Yuto Nagatomo and into the roof of the Inter net.
Southampton now have seven points from four games, and will secure a place in the knockout stage if they can secure victory in their next European tie at leaders Sparta Prague, who beat Hapoel Be’er Sheva 2-0.
Elsewhere in Thursday’s early evening kick-offs, League of Ireland champions Dundalk were beaten 2-1 away at Group D leaders Zenit St Petersburg.
Giuliano had put the Russians in front on 41 minutes, but Daryl Horgan’s goal – following a swift counter-attack – levelled matters on 52 minutes.
Zenit, though, maintained their 100 per cent record when Brazilian Giuliano netted again with 22 minutes left.
The game between Maccabi Tel-Aviv and AZ Alkmaar ended goalless, meaning Dundalk retain second place in the table.
Athletic Bilbao striker Aritz Aduriz netted a hat-trick of penalties, the last in stoppage-time, to complete a remarkable five-goal haul which saw off Genk 5-3 to open up the qualification race in Group F.
Sassuolo remain top after they drew 2-2 at home against Rapid Vienna, who scored a late equaliser – but now all four teams are separated by just one point.
Anderlecht thumped Mainz 6-1 in Group C, where French team St Etienne, continued their qualification push with a 2-1 win at pointless Qabala.
Roma won 4-2 at Austria Vienna with a brace from Edin Dzeko to climb to the top of Group E, with the other tie ending 1-1 between Astra Giurgiu and Viktoria Plzen.
Shakhtar Donetsk ran out 5-3 winners at Gent to secure a place in the next stage as Group H winners.
Sporting Braga beat Konyaspor 3-1 in a match which saw both sides have a player sent off.
Ajax also made sure of qualification from Group G with a 3-2 win over Celta Vigo in Amsterdam, holding off a late resurgence from the Spaniards, who are now level with Standard Liege after their 3-0 win at Panathinaikos.
Apoel Nicosia lead Group B after the Cypriots beat Swiss side Young Boys 1-0 and Olympiakos drew 1-1 away to FC Astana.
Schalke are through to the knockout stages after a 2-0 win over Krasnodar left the Germans six points clear at the top of Group I, while Red Bull Salzburg kept their hopes alive after winning 2-0 at Nice.
Fiorentina beat Slovan Liberec 3-0 to top Group J, and Qarabag secured a 1-0 win at PAOK Salonika.
In Group L, Turkish side Osmanlispor moved ahead of Villarreal at the top with a 2-1 win at El Madrigal, while Zurich and Steaua Bucurest playing out a goalless draw.