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Man United, Celtic, Sevilla, Basel progress in Europa League

November 7, 2019
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Celtic's Olivier Ntcham, center, celebrates with teammate after scoring his side's winning goal during an Europa League group E soccer match between Lazio and Celtic, in Rome's Olympic Stadium, Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019. Celtics won 2-1. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
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Celtic's Olivier Ntcham, center, celebrates with teammate after scoring his side's winning goal during an Europa League group E soccer match between Lazio and Celtic, in Rome's Olympic Stadium, Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019. Celtics won 2-1. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

BERLIN (AP) — Manchester United, Celtic, and Sevilla all reached the knockout stages of the Europa League on Thursday, with Espanyol joining them thanks to a 6-0 rout of nine-man Ludogorets.

Man United defeated Partizan Belgrade 3-0 while Celtic scored a last-gasp winner to beat Lazio 2-1 away.

Ludogorets had Rafael Forster sent off in the 12th minute and Jacek Góralski followed in the 35th, giving Espanyol a clear path to qualify from Group H.

Basel also advanced by beating Getafe 2-1 at home, and Sevilla won 5-2 at Luxembourg champion Dudelange.

MANCHESTER SMILING

United had struggled to score in the Europa League with just two goals from its first three games, but eased into the next round with its win over a hapless Partizan Belgrade side.

Marcus Rashford eluded five Partizan defenders to set up the 18-year-old Mason Greenwood in the 21st minute, Anthony Martial profited from more sloppy defending in the 33rd, and Rashford rifled in the third goal in the 49th.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side maintained its grip on the game but couldn’t take advantage of a number of additional chances it created.

United tops Group L with 10 points, two ahead of AZ Alkmaar, which routed Astana 5-0, with Partizan on four points and Astana bottom with none.

CELTIC WINS IN ITALY

Olivier Ntcham scored deep in injury time for Celtic to complete its come-from-behind win at Lazio.

The French midfielder, who previously played for Lazio’s Italian rival Genoa, lifted the ball over goalkeeper Thomas Strakosha after Odsonne Edouard capitalized on a mistake from Valon Berisha to set him up in the 95th minute.

The goal set off wild celebrations among an estimated 9,000 Celtic fans attending the game at Rome’s Stadio Olimpico.

Police said two traveling fans had been stabbed by Lazio supporters before the game, following a brawl outside a pub, and that five Lazio fans were stopped for possession of dangerous materials such as baseball bats and knives.

With just three points from its opening three games, Lazio needed a win to have any realistic hopes of progressing. The home side took a seventh-minute lead through Ciro Immobile before pushing for more.

But James Forrest equalized with Celtic’s first attempt in the 38th and Ntcham’s late lob all but ended Lazio’s prospects of advancing from Group E.

With two games remaining, Celtic leads with 10 points, one ahead of Romanian side Cluj, which beat Rennes 1-0, and seven ahead of Lazio. Rennes has one point.

SEVILLA SAILING

Five-time champion Sevilla raced into a four-goal lead in the first 36 minutes, with Munir El Haddadi completing a hat trick in the second half at Dudelange.

APOEL Nicosia defeated Qarabag 2-1 in the other Group A game.

LATE GOALS

Marcus Thuram scored in the fifth minute of injury time for Borussia Mönchengladbach to beat Roma 2-1 in Group J, and Raul Jimenez’s injury-time goal was enough for Wolverhampton Wanderers to beat Slovan Bratislava 1-0 in Group K.

FRANKFURT FRUSTRATED

In Group F, Maxime Lestienne scored in injury time for Belgian side Standard Liège to beat Eintracht Frankfurt 2-1.

Filip Kostic could have put the German side into the knockout stages when he only had the goalkeeper to beat in injury time. But Kostic missed the chance, seconds before Lestienne claimed the winner at the other end.

Arsenal, which conceded an injury-time equalizer to draw 1-1 with Vitória in Portugal, tops the group on 10 points, followed by Liège and Frankfurt both with six, then Vitória on one.

There were wins too for Rangers, Gent, Krasnodar, Istanbul Basaksehir, Sporting Lisbon and Austrian side LASK Linz.

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Ciarán Fahey on Twitter: https://twitter.com/cfaheyAP