United’s run of four semi-final losses under manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer should be ended after next week’s second leg in the Italian capital after Fernandes and Cavani gave a display of class, providing two assists each to go with their goals.
* Villarreal claimed a narrow advantage in their Europa League semi-final against Arsenal with a 2-1 home victory in the first leg on Thursday, although they will feel frustrated at letting the London club off the hook. Villarreal, coached by former Arsenal manager and Europe League specialist Unai Emery, maintained their 100% home record in the competition this season.
* Two-time finalists Persepolis of Iran secured top spot in Group E of the Asian Champions League in Goa as they claimed a 4-2 win over Qatar’s Al Rayyan on Thursday to confirm their place in the last 16. Santi Cazorla scored from the penalty spot for Xavi Hernandez’s Al Sadd in Riyadh against Al Nassr in Group D but it was not enough to stop the Saudi Arabian club notching up a crucial 2-1 win.
* Formula One expects the Mexican and US Grands Prix to go ahead this year despite the cancellation of Canada’s race due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Jun 13 race in Montreal has been called off for the second year in a row due to quarantine requirements for visitors.
* The Coppa Italia final between Juventus and Atalanta on May 19 will have fans present, with 20% of the stadium capacity open to the public, the Italian undersecretary for health said on Thursday. The Italian Cup final will take place at the Mapei Stadium in Reggio Emilia, home to Serie A side Sassuolo, and will host fans after the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) made a request to the government for supporters to be allowed in amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
* The Champions League final will definitely take place in Istanbul on May 29 despite Turkey going into a COVID-19 lockdown, UEFA said on Thursday. A resurgence of COVID-19 infections has prompted the Turkish government to impose a 17-day lockdown which will end on May 17.
* RB Leipzig have named Jesse Marsch as coach from next season, replacing Julian Nagelsmann who is joining Bayern Munich, after the American agreed a two-year deal, the club said on Thursday. The 47-year-old Marsch, who was an assistant coach at Leipzig in 2018/19, will join from sister club RB Salzburg, where he won the Austrian league and Cup double last season.