Thursday’s Europa League round-up

The group stage of the Europa League came to a conclusion on Thursday, with various exciting matches drawing a close to the competition's preliminary stage.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan came back to haunt Zorya Luhansk as he helped Manchester United to a 2-0 victory at the Chornomorets Stadium.

The former Shakhtar Donetsk ace scored a fine solo goal early in the second half to open his account for Jose Mourinho's side, who controlled the majority of the match.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic then made sure that United would march on to the round of 32 as he doubled their lead at the death.

With both teams already secured of their place in the knock-outs, Astra and AS Roma played out a dull 0-0 draw in the final match of Group E.

Fiorentina were confirmed as winners in Group J after claiming a 2-1 win away to  Azerbaijani side Qarabag. Matias Vecino gave the Italians the lead on the hour mark with a deflected goal which gave Qarabag goalkeeper Ibrahim Sehic no chance to make the save.

The scores were level once more 13 minutes later thanks to Reynaldo's deft finish, but it was Viola who had the last say as Federico Chiesa struck a 76th-minute winner.

Villareal claimed the runners-up spot in Group L after beating Steaua Bucuresti 2-1.  Nicola Sansone gave the Yellow Submarine the lead after 15 minutes, but Vlad Achim brought Steaua back in the game with a leveller just after the half-time break. With just two minutes left on the clock, Manuel Trigueros's goal handed Villarreal all three points and a place in the last 32.

Athletic Bilbao secured their place in the knock-outs as winners of the group thanks to a 1-1 draw away to Rapid Vienna. Joelinton gave the Austrian side the lead midway through the second half, but Enric Saborit earned Bilboa a share of the points.

Bundesliga club FSV Mainz put in an impressive performance to beat Qabala 2-0 in their final match of the Europa League. Alexander Hack opened the scoring in the 30th minute before Pablo De Blasis made it 2-0 just 10 minutes later and, if anything, Mainz will be disappointed they were unable to score more as they ran out comfortable winners on the night.

Salzburg ended their Europa campaign with a 2-1 win over Group I winners Schalke

Xaver Schlager opened the scoring for the Austrians in the 22nd minute, before Josip Radosevic added a second with virtually the final kick of the match.

A brace from Eder gave Inter Milan a 2-1 win over Sparta Prague in what was their last match of the tournament.

Inter took the lead in the 23rd minute when Eder was the quickest to react to a loose ball in the Sparta box. The Italians would retain the lead into the second half, but 10 minutes after the break, Sparta were level through after some good work by Borek Dockal and Lukas Marecek. 

Eder then got his second goal of the night in the final minute of regulation time.

Lastly, Southampton and Hapoel Beer Sheva played out a 1-1 draw at St Mary's. After the first half finished goalless, Maor Buzaglo gave the visitors an unlikely lead with 10 minutes to play, but Virgil van Dijk's late equiliser wasn't enough to ensure Saints a spot in the last 32.

Results in full

Braga 2 – 4 Shakhtar Donetsk
Konyaspor 0 – 1    Gent
Osmanlispor 2 – 0 Zurich
PAOK 2 – 0 Liberec
Qarabag 1 – 2 Fiorentina 
Villarreal 2 – 1 FC Steaua Bucuresti 
1. FSV Mainz 05 2 – 0 Gabala
Anderlecht 2 – 3 St Etienne
APOEL 2 – 0 Olympiakos Piraeus
Astra 0 – 0 AS Roma
AZ Alkmaar 3 – 2 Zenit Petersburg
Feyenoord 0 – 1    Fenerbahce
FK Zorya Luhansk 0 – 2 Manchester United
Maccabi Tel Aviv 2 – 1    Dundalk
Plzen 3 – 2 Austria Vienna
Rapid Vienna 1 – 1 Athletic Bilbao
Young Boys 3 – 0 FC Astana
Inter 2 – 1 Sparta Prague
Nice 2 – 1 Krasnodar 
Panathinaikos 0 – 2 Celta Vigo
Salzburg 2 – 0 Schalke
Southampton 1 – 1 H. Beer Sheva
St. Liege 1 – 1    Ajax

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