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United and Tottenham set foot in Europa League round of 16

Soccer - Europa League - Round of 16 First Leg - Wolfsberger AC vs Tottenham Hotspur - Puskas Arena, Budapest, Hungary - February 18, 2021. Son Heung-min of Tottenham Hotspur celebrates the first goal with Gareth Bale.  REUTERS / Bernadett Szabo Soccer – Europa League – Round of 16 First Leg – Wolfsberger AC vs Tottenham Hotspur – Puskas Arena, Budapest, Hungary – February 18, 2021. Son Heung-min of Tottenham Hotspur celebrates the first goal with Gareth Bale. REUTERS / Bernadett Szabo

Feb 18 (.) – Two goals from Bruno Fernandes led to Manchester United’s resounding 4-0 win over Real Sociedad on Thursday in the first leg of the Europa League round of 32, on a matchday in which Tottenham Hotspur won 4-1 to the Austrian Wolfberg with a good performance from Gareth Bale.

United started the game much better in Turin due to COVID-19 travel restrictions between Spain and the UK, but were thwarted several times by Real goalkeeper Alex Remiro.

Fernandes opened the scoring in the 27th minute, scoring his 20th goal of the season. The Portuguese himself extended the advantage of the “Red Devils” at 57 minutes, a goal initially ruled out for offside but corrected by VAR.

Marcus Rashford added the third eight minutes later before Daniel James sealed the knockdown win.

Meanwhile, Bale scored a goal and created another in Tottenham Hotspur’s win. The Welshman, whose tenure has been confined mainly to the Europa League since returning to Spurs on loan from Real Madrid in October, assisted Son Heung-min in his team’s first goal.

Bale scored his team’s second goal in the 28th minute, shortly before Lucas Moura made it 3-0.

Wolfsberg, who was local despite having to play at the Puskas Arena in Budapest due to the COVID-19 restrictions in force in Austria, discounted after the break with a penalty from Michael Liendl.

The victory of those led by José Mourinho was closed at 88 by Carlos Vinicius, who had replaced Son at halftime.

This was Tottenham’s first away win in knockout rounds of the Europa League since 2008 and shows that Mourinho is taking a tournament he won with Manchester United very seriously.

“Winning matches builds confidence and hopefully now this can be the start of a hot streak,” Bale said, referring to the team’s bad time in the Premier League.

In other highlights of the day, Olympiacos beat PSV 4-2, Red Star and AC Milan drew 2-2 and Roma beat Braga 2-0.

(Reporting by Martyn Herman, Zoran Milosavljevic and Joseph Walker. Edited in Spanish by Rodrigo Charme)