Manchester United of England striker, Odion Jude Ighalo was benched for all 90 minutes of his side’s hectic 1-0 victory over FC Copenhagen of Denmark in their one-leg UEFA Europa League quarter-finals clash decided in Cologne, Germany on Monday, but Victor Moses got off the bench for Inter Milan of Italy in the day’s first game.
Megasportsarena.com reports that, while Ighalo failed to get a single minute of action in his side’s game that dragged into extra time, Moses played as a 59th minute substitute for Danilo D’Ambrosio in Inters equally dramatic 2-1 victory over Bayer Leverkusen of Germany.
Moses got the chance to play another match in this season’s second-tier European clubs’ competition, as The Nerazzurri booked their place in the semi- finals with goals from Nicolo Barella in the 15th minute and Romelu Lukaku in the 21st, while Kai Havertz pulled one back for the Germans in the 25th, but it was not enough to save them from defeat on home soil.
The second half entry by Moses at Merkur Spiel-Arena was the third appearance of the season for the lad on loan from Chelsea of England in the Europa League, and he now 13 appearances overall in the competition that he won in his debut season with The Blues in 2013, but this is the first time Inter will be playing in a European semi-final since beating Barcelona in the 2010 UCL.
In the second game of the night Ighalo’s side eventually found their breakthrough five minutes into extra time after fellow-January arrival, Bruno Fernandes hit home a penalty and take The Red Devils into this weekend’s last-four fixture at same venue.
After 90 minutes where the two teams could not be separated in hot and humid conditions, Anthony Martial won United’s 21st penalty across all competitions this season and Fernandes fired it into the net of their gallant opponents from Copenhagen.
It broke a brave resistance from the Danish champions, who had defended brilliantly but did ride their luck slightly as Mason Greenwood, who had a 45th minute effort ruled out by VAR for offside, and Fernandes both had struck the post in normal time, before netting the only goal in the 95th.
Copenhagen also had their goalkeeper Karl-Johan Johnsson to thank as he made 13 saves, the joint-most by a goalkeeper in a single Europa League game since the competition’s rebranding in 2009-10.
In Serbia, Sadiq Umar opened his goals account of the new season for Partizan Belgrade and his team won 4-0 against Javor Ivanjica; to marc a turnaround for the lanky lad, after he was unable to find the net in his first two matches of the new season against Napredak and Novi Pazar.
Umar opened the scoring in the 13th minute and made it 2-0 with the pick of the goals five minutes later after a goalkeeping error from Dorde Lazović, who failed to deal with a high ball into the box, allowing the Nigerian lad to backheel the ball into the net.
In China, former Super Eagles’ striker, Obafemi Akinwunmi Martins was on from the start for Shanghai Shenhua but played for 58 minutes and was replaced by Xinli Peng, as the team he joined in June as a replacement for Ighalo were forced to a 2-2 draw at home by Dalian Yifang.
In Saudi Arabia, Al-Nassr attacker, Ahmed Musa got a goal for the first time this season and helped his side get a 2-0 away win against Abha FC, marking a huge revival for the team that fell 4-1 away to Al-Hilal last time out, before the league was suspended in March because of COVID-19.
It was a goalless first-half at the Prince Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz Stadium on Monday evening but the game changed in the 55th minute after Musa was brought down as the last man by Karam Barnawi in an attacking move and a penalty that was awarded after consultation with VAR was converted by Abderrazak Hamdallah.
It did not take long for the visitors to make it 2-0 which came from Musa seven minutes later after he latched on to a sublime pass by Khalid Al Ghannam from almost 40 yards before going past two challenges and also Abha goalie Abdelali M’Hamdi, then placed the ball into an empty net with consummate ease.
The 27-year-old Musa, who was taken off in the 82nd minute and replaced by Abdullaziz Al Dawsari, was Al-Nassr’s best player of the evening with three key passes, 29 accurate passes, 74.4% accuracy, 60 touches, 100% success from his dribble attempts, won nine of 11 total duels, eight of them coming from nine ground duels and he was fouled four times by the opposition.