Leander Dendoncker delivers Manchester United sucker-punch as Lyon vs Besiktas marred by trouble

George Flood
International Business Times
  • Manchester United held to yet another draw in Europa League quarter-final first-leg tie at Constant Vanden Stock Stadium in Brussels

  • Henrikh Mkhitaryan squeezes home from a tight angle 10 minutes before the interval after Marcus Rashford is denied by a close-range save from Ruben Martinez

  • Leander Dendoncker connects with Ivan Obradovic's excellent left-wing cross to power a late header past Sergio Romero

  • Return leg takes place at Old Trafford on 20 April

  • Lyon vs Besiktas delayed by 46 minutes due to crowd trouble at the Parc Olympique Lyonnais that followed earlier fighting in the city

Europa League quarter-final first-leg ties

Anderlecht 1-1 Manchester United

Ajax 2-0 Schalke

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Celta Vigo 3-2 Genk

Lyon 0-1 Besiktas (L)

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That is all for this particular live blog, thanks for following along. Post-match reaction from Mourinho to come.

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Goodbye for now.

Dendoncker's emphatic late sucker-punch gives Anderlecht hope and ensures that draw specialists United, who largely dominated proceedings, are held to yet another tie.

That persistent profligacy continues to be a real issue for Mourinho ahead of Sunday's meeting with Premier League leaders Chelsea at Old Trafford.

Full-time scores

Anderlecht 1-1 Manchester United

Ajax 2-0 Schalke

Celta Vigo 3-2 Genk

Fosu-Mensah's first involvement is to pick up a yellow card for a studs-up challenge on Hanni.

Pogba with another dreadful effort. Timothy Fosu-Mensah replaces Mkhitaryan as the fourth official signals three minutes of added time.

Not for the first time under Mourinho, United are made to pay for their lack of scoring nous.

21-year-old Belgian midfielder Dendoncker slips beyond Fellaini and rises above Darmian to emphatically head home Obradovic's pinpoint left-wing cross.

Deafening noise at Constant Vanden Stock Stadium. Anderlecht are level.

Leander Dendoncker
Leander Dendoncker

Goal: Anderlecht 1-1 Manchester United (Leander Dendoncker)

Fellaini drives an effort on target before Ibrahimovic tees up Pogba with an excellent chipped pass. The world's most expensive footballer, without a goal to his name since January, shoots straight at Ruben under pressure from Obradovic.

That should have been 2-0.

Hanni has provided a spark for Anderlecht since coming on. The Algerian receives possession from Acheampong and beats Fellaini before seeing a shot deflected wide by Bailly.

A subsequent corner is flicked on at the near post before being hacked clear by Mkhitaryan.

Anderlecht top scorer Teodorczyk takes the field for the final 15+ minutes of this first leg. Thelin jogs off.

Anderlecht's hopeful penalty appeals are waved away after Carrick makes an important intervention on the edge of the penalty box.

Former Standard Liege man Fellaini is treated to a hostile reception as he comes on for Rashford.

Another Trossard cross is nodded in by Buffel at the back post. Genk notch a second away goal.

Goal: Celta Vigo 3-2 Genk (Thomas Buffel)

A promising Anderlecht attack breaks down when Hanni turns straight into Marcos Rojo. 20 minutes plus stoppage time remaining in Brussels.

Hanni's first attempt cannons back off Bailly. Rashford leads a swift United counter-attack and is scythed down by a poor challenge from Obradovic.

Yellow card.

Hanni for Stanciu is Weiler's penultimate change.

With just over an hour gone, Mourinho looks to his bench for the first time tonight. Martial replaces Lingard.

Obradovic slices a shot well wide after Acheampong's cross is deflected into his path by Bailly.

The Ghanaian was released by a perfectly weighted pass from Tielemans.

Anderlecht's first substitution of the evening sees Chipciu replace Bruno.

Justin Kluivert tees up Ajax top scorer Klaassen for his second goal of the night.

Goal: Ajax 2-0 Schalke (Davy Klaassen)

Rashford lets fly from a central position, but his shot is straight at Ruben. No problems for the goalkeeper on loan from Deportivo La Coruna.

Steadily growing in confidence, Anderlecht win another corner which is taken by Stanciu and eventually claimed by Romero.

At the other end, Paul Pogba sprays a fine ball out to Darmian. The Italian's pinpoint left-wing cross is steered narrowly wide on the volley by Mkhitaryan.

Babel puts Besiktas in front at the Parc Olympique Lyonnais after finishing a through ball from former Wolves target Anderson Talisca.

Not a bad night for ex-Liverpool outcasts in Europe...

Goal: Lyon 0-1 Besiktas (Ryan Babel)

Valencia does well again to steal possession from Acheampong. He had to get that challenge right, otherwise it would have been a penalty.

Crucial defending from Valencia to hook clear Bruno's initial effort and then bravely block a follow-up shot from Acheampong.

Stanciu curls a free-kick over the crossbar after Carrick is cautioned for flattening Acheampong.

Back underway at Constant Vanden Stock Stadium. No changes from either manager just yet.

Finally underway in Lyon after crowd trouble caused a 46-minute delay.

More to come on that over the next few days, for sure. Extremely ugly scenes.

Lyon vs Besiktas
Lyon vs Besiktas

So far, so good for the visitors. Anderlecht made a bright start to the game, but have been comfortably second best for the most part. United are dominant and will be confident of extending their lead after the interval.

Tielemans has been kept quiet thus far. How long until Weiler sends on Teodorczyk?


Anderlecht 0-1 Manchester United

No added time in Brussels as the first half draws to a close.

Great tracking back by Rashford to dispossess Appiah. He's put in a real shift during this opening 45 minutes.

Genk's early optimism has quickly given way to despair. Swedish striker Guidetti extends Celta's lead.

Goal: Celta Vigo 3-1 Genk (John Guidetti)

United have been the better team during this opening 36 minutes and now grab an important away goal.

Valencia's searching cross from the right flank is turned towards goal by Rashford. Ruben makes the initial save but is powerless to prevent Mkhitaryan from squeezing in the rebound from an extremely tight angle.

The Armenian playmaker has now scored in four consecutive away European matches.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan
Henrikh Mkhitaryan

Goal: Anderlecht 0-1 Manchester United (Henrikh Mkhitaryan)

Dennis Appiah fouls Lingard and concedes a cheap free-kick. Ibrahimovic's subsequent effort finds a way past the wall but not Mbodji, who looks rock solid at the moment.

What a superb last-ditch effort from Kara Mbodji to deny Lingard. Carrick also releases Rashford with a superb through pass and Mkhitaryan sees a hopeful shot blocked.

First blood to Ajax in the Klaas-Jan Huntelaar derby. Klaassen nets from the penalty spot after Alessandro Schopf brings down Amin Younes.

Goal: Ajax 1-0 Schalke (Davy Klaassen)

Ibrahimovic seems to be hobbling somewhat here. That will be a major concern for Mourinho.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan fouls Tielemans and promptly collects the first yellow card of the evening.

It's raining goals in Galicia. Former Liverpool flop Aspas picks off a rogue pass from Omar Colley and drills a low effort past Ryan.

Goal: Celta Vigo 2-1 Genk (Iago Aspas)

United begin to turn the screw as Rashford tries his luck from distance. Not far wide...


Jesse Lingard hits the post from close range after Ruben denies Ibrahimovic. That was a fine cross from Rashford.

Thelin slots home into an empty net after a lofted pass from Stanciu. However, the offside flag had long since been raised.

Pione Sisto collects a backheel from John Guidetti and curls an effort past Mathew Ryan. Genk's lead wiped out very quickly indeed.

Goal: Celta Vigo 1-1 Genk (Sisto)

Lovely build-up play from RB Leipzig loanee Bruno and Leander Dendoncker almost leads to a chance for Thelin, but the Swede is flagged offside.

Dutch winger Boetius heads home Leandro Trossard's cross to give Genk an early away goal at the Estadio Balaidos.

Goal: Celta Vigo 0-1 Genk (Jean-Paul Boetius)

Acheampong has made a lively start to this game and drags a low effort well wide with Thelin lurking at the back post.

Positive stuff from Anderlecht early on.

Rashford almost gets in behind the Anderlecht defence before Ivan Obradovic skies a shot at the other end.

The latest on that Lyon vs Besiktas crowd trouble from Uefa's official spokesman and chief of communications. There was fighting in the city earlier today also.

Stanciu looks to release Acheampong with an inviting through ball. Romero races off his line to thwart the danger and slices his clearance in somewhat nervy fashion.

An early sniff of goal for Anderlecht, but Bruno completely fluffs his lines.

German referee Felix Brych blows his whistle and Anderlecht vs Manchester United is underway.

Can United secure a comfortable advantage to take back to Old Trafford for next week's second leg, or do the Mauves have a surprise in store?

It sounds as if Lyon vs Besiktas is set to be delayed due to crowd trouble. This is the scene at the Parc Olympique Lyonnais:

As you might expect given Tuesday's harrowing events in Dortmund and Brussels' recent problems with terrorism, security is very tight this evening...


Anderlecht have won two of their previous six meetings against Manchester United and their last 32 games against English opposition in general has yielded seven victories, five draws and 20 defeats. They beat Tottenham 2-1 in last season's Europa League group stage before losing by the same scoreline at White Hart Lane.

Here are a couple more pertinent stats courtesy of Uefa.com...

Anderlecht's past meetings with English teams include two finals: a 4-2 success against West Ham in the 1976 European Cup Winners' Cup decider, played in Brussels, and the two-legged 1984 UEFA Cup final against Tottenham, which they lost 4-3 on penalties after two 1-1 draws.

Aside from their six matches versus Anderlecht, United's only other experience of Belgian opponents is a 7-1 aggregate victory over Club Brugge in the 2015/16 UEFA Champions League play-offs. They triumphed 4-0 in the second leg on what is their most recent visit to Belgium.

The old Uefa Cup trophy is on display at Constant Vanden Stock Stadium tonight. Will it provide the hosts with a bit of inspiration?

Europa League trophy
Europa League trophy

So how did both sides progress through to the quarter-finals of the 2016-17 Europa League?

United were pipped to top spot in Group A by Fenerbahce and easily dispatched of Saint-Etienne before labouring to an unconvincing 2-1 aggregate victory over resilient Russians FC Rostov.

As for Anderlecht, Uefa Cup winners in 1983 and Uefa Cup Winners' Cup champions in both 1976 and 1978, they scored 16 times en route to finishing second in Group C and edged past Zenit Saint Petersburg on away goals in the round of 32 before ousting Cypriot champions APOEL thanks to an effort in each leg from Stanciu and Acheampong.

They thumped Slavia Prague to secure qualification after their Champions League hopes were ended by Rostov.

The PFA Player of the Year nominee is showing no signs of fatigue after returning from a three-match domestic suspension to score and feature for the full 90 minutes in back-to-back outings...

Currently fifth in the Premier League and four points behind local rivals Manchester City with a game in hand amid a slightly misleading 21-game unbeaten run, victory in the Europa League may well represent United's best chance of securing qualification for next season's Champions League following a one-year absence.

However, Mourinho insists he will not field a weakened side against Chelsea on Sunday despite a truly hectic April fixture list...

When it is still mathematically possible to finish in the top four I think if we play against Chelsea with our second team you would kill me. The football country would kill me.

There is no reason not to try while it's mathematically possible. If on a certain moment of the season we have no chances to get top four and we are still in the Europa League then nobody can criticise.

Plenty of United supporters are disappointed to see Martial left on the bench once again...

As expected for Anderlecht, Isaac Kiese Thelin starts up front with Teodorczyk named as a substitute.

Speaking on Thelin at his pre-match press conference, Weiler challenged the Bordeaux loanee to score more goals.

"Isaac is a very good player, but he still needs to become more effective in front of goal," he said.

Youri Tielemans
Youri Tielemans

Ruben Martinez replaces Frank Boeckx between the posts, while Uros Spajic, Alexandru Chipciu and Sofiane Hanni are replaced by Bram Nuytinck, Frank Acheampong and Massimo Bruno.

The star of the show as far as the Purple and Whites are concerned is 19-year-old captain and academy graduate Youri Tielemans, who has been linked with a host of top European clubs - including Manchester United - over recent months following a number of impressive midfield displays.

Keep your eye on him.

Mourinho makes three changes from that easy victory on Wearside, with Luke Shaw, makeshift captain Marouane Fellaini and Ander Herrera swapped out in favour of the returning Valencia, Michael Carrick and Marcus Rashford.

De Gea is fit enough for a place on the bench, which is good news ahead of Sunday's Premier League clash with leaders Chelsea at Old Trafford.

Matteo Darmian gets the nod ahead of the oft-maligned Shaw at left-back, while Anthony Martial remains a substitute.

Anderlecht boss Rene Weiler's main injury concerns involves Lukasz Teodorczyk. The 28-goal Polish striker is not expected to start this evening after hurting his shoulder in Sunday's goalless draw with Gent.

Lukasz Teodorczyk
Lukasz Teodorczyk

"Lukasz Teodorczyk didn't train today, he's still in pain and is uncertain," Weiler said on Wednesday. "He certainly won't be in the starting 11."

Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Ashley Young, Juan Mata and James Wilson all remain sidelined. However, Antonio Valencia could return from injury.

David De Gea has made the trip after missing Sunday's 3-0 victory at the Stadium of Light due to a hip problem, although will once again be replaced by deputy Sergio Romero for Europa League duty.

Speaking on his goalkeepers, Mourinho said: "De Gea's injury is not serious and Romero, every time he plays, he plays so well. The fans are used to having Romero in goal in the competition– that becomes the most important competition for us after winning the League Cup.

Sergio Romero and David De Gea
Sergio Romero and David De Gea

"The Europa League is the competition we can still win, so when Sergio plays in the Europa League and when we are giving him this confidence to play, it's because we know that his answer is positive and today he looked like he was really comfortable."

On reports suggesting that his highly-rated number one is being distracted by renewed transfer links to Real Madrid, he added: "I'm not interested in the speculation. If the player is, he shouldn't [be].

"Every match for us is crucial. In the Premier League we lose a match and the top four gets almost impossible. In the Europa League, we lose a match and we are in trouble. Every match demands total focus. I don't see David with any problem related to this. The end of the season is the time when players can be thinking about what is going to happen with their careers."

United will remain without Wayne Rooney tonight. The captain took part in training at Carrington on Wednesday after missing Premier League matches against Everton and Sunderland, but was omitted from the travelling squad for Belgium due to lingering ankle problems.

"He is not happy with his condition," Mourinho said. "He's trying to work, which he does, but he's not confident, he's not happy.

"He has bad feelings with his ankle and he's not ready to play. Let's see for the weekend, let's see for next week. We don't have many players and need everyone to try to be available. For tomorrow, no."

Good evening and welcome to IBTimes UK's latest live coverage of European football. After two nights of Champions League action overshadowed by the shocking bomb attack on Borussia Dortmund's team bus, this evening we turn our attentions to the quarter-finals of the continent's secondary club competition.

Goal updates from all four first-leg ties to follow, but the bulk of our attention is on events at Constant Vanden Stock Stadium in Brussels, where Manchester United hope to further embellish their status as overwhelming tournament favourites by securing a healthy lead against Anderlecht.

Constant Vanden Stock Stadium
Constant Vanden Stock Stadium

Tonight's clash represents the first meeting between these two sides since 2000, when the 33-time Belgian champions recovered from a Champions League group stage shellacking at Old Trafford - a match that featured an Andy Cole hat-trick - to triumph 2-1 on their own patch thanks to a first-half brace from future Everton and Fulham striker Tomasz Radzinski.

Anderlecht will certainly be hoping to avoid a repeat of the events of 61 years ago, when they were eviscerated 10-0 by Matt Busby's side in a European Cup preliminary round second-leg clash that, due to a lack of floodlights, had to be played at Maine Road. That result remains the Red Devils' most emphatic of all-time. They were the first English team ever to enter the competition.

Stay tuned for all the latest injury news, confirmed lineups and manager quotes. We will have minute-by-minute updates for you after kick-off at 20.05 BST. Settle in.

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