The English youngsters stole the show with their performances, getting matchday one of the UEFA Europa League 2019-20 off to a flyer.
Arsenal’s 18-year-old Bukayo Saka scored a goal and registered two assists as last years’ finalists beat German side Eintracht Frankfurt 3-0. Another Arsenal youngster opened the scoring after Joe Willock’s shot deflected in, but it was Saka who shone on his debut for the club. He doubled the lead for his side after finding the bottom left corner from outside the box. The 18-year-old ended his perfect day with a beautiful assist to Arsenal’s premier striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Meanwhile, Manchester United broke a determined Astana’s defence, with 17-year-old Mason Greenwood registering himself as United's youngest ever scorer in European competitions. He netted the lone goal in a 1-0 victory.
Sevilla, who have won the Europa League a record five times, also opened the tournament with a 3-0 victory at Qarabag, while Kevin Bua struck twice to lead Basel to a 5-0 win over Krasnodar in Group C. Meanwhile, Wolverhampton Wanderers, who returned to European football after almost 20 years, extended their winless streak by losing 1-0 to Braga at Molineux.
Austrian club Wolfsberg (different from the German club Wolfsburg) caused the biggest upset of this matchday after they thrashed German side Borussia Monchengladbach 4-0. This defeat toughens Group J for the German team, with games against Italian powerhouse AS Roma remaining. Roma beat Turkish side Basaksehir 3-0 but still find themselves second in the group following Wolfsberg’s stunning defeat.
Another major upset was seen in Group E where Romanian side CFR Cluj beat Italian team SS Lazio. Defender Bastos gave Lazio the lead, but Cluj came from behind after Ciprian Deac equalised from the spot. Then, it was Billel Omrani who scored the winner.
Meanwhile, Scottish side Celtic rescued a 1-1 draw at Stade Rennes after Ryan Christie equalised from the spot in the 59th minute. M'Baye Niang had initially given Rennes the lead after winning a penalty for his side.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Daniel Roland