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Ibrahimovic hat-trick for United in Europa

Press Association logoPress Association 16/02/2017

Zlatan Ibrahimovic plundered a maiden hat-trick for Manchester United as the English soccer club secured a 3-0 advantage over St Etienne from the first leg of their Europa League last-32 tie at Old Trafford on Thursday (Friday AEDT).

Ibrahimovic put the Red Devils in front after 15 minutes when his free-kick was deflected off the wall and found its way into the far corner.

United saw a header from the Swede ruled out for offside early in the second half before Paul Pogba hit the crossbar from close range.

After the French side went close on the counter through Nolan Roux, Ibrahimovic added a second after 75 minutes when he knocked in a cross from Marcus Rashford.

The veteran striker completed his first United hat-trick from the penalty spot after he went down in the box with two minutes left to put Jose Mourinho's men firmly on course for the last 16.

Fellow Premier League side Tottenham, though, left themselves with work to do in the second leg at Wembley following a 1-0 defeat at Gent.

England forward Harry Kane had seen an effort come back off the woodwork before the hosts, who are eighth in Belgium's top flight, scored the only goal of the night in the 59th minute when Jeremy Perbet netted from close range.

A treble from Edin Dzeko helped Serie A side Roma run out 4-0 winners away to Villarreal.

It was a better night for Villarreal's LaLiga rivals Athletic Bilbao, who beat Apoel Nicosia 3-2 at home.

Besiktas won 3-1 at Hapoel Be'er Sheva and Bundesliga side Schalke came away from a trip to PAOK Salonika in Greece with an impressive 3-0 victory.

Legia Warsaw played out a goalless draw at home to Ajax while Anderlecht beat Zenit St Petersburg 2-0 at the Constant Vanden Stock Stadium.

In Thursday's other earlier kick-offs, Alexandre Lacazette scored twice as Lyon won 4-1 at AZ Alkmaar.

Sparta Prague saw Ivory Coast forward Tiemoko Konate sent off for collecting two yellow cards in the first half as they went down 4-0 away to Rostov.

There was also a red card for FC Copenhagen substitute Jan Gregus during the closing moments of his side's 2-1 win at Ludogorets.

A late header from Takayuki Seto earned Astra Giurgiu a 2-2 draw against Genk.

Viktor Claesson's goal after five minutes was enough to give Krasnodar a 1-0 home win over Fenerbahce.

Fiorentina left Borussia Monchengladbach with a 1-0 victory, while Shakhtar Donetsk won at Celta Vigo by the same scoreline.

Olympiacos had Brazilian defender Bruno Viana sent off during the closing stages of their goalless draw against Osmanlispor.

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