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Mourinho hails 'important' Man United win

dpa logodpa 20/10/2016

European giants Manchester United and Inter Milan are back on track in their Europa League campaigns with Group wins.

Former champions Manchester United and Inter Milan came back to life in the Europa League on Thursday, with defeats of Fenerbahce and Southampton.

United cruised to the top of Group A with a 4-1 slaughter of Fenerbahce with a brace from record signing Paul Pogba - one of which was a penalty - plus a second penalty converted by Anthony Martial and a fourth goal from Jesse Lingard.

Former United striker Robin Van Persie scored a consolation goal for Fenerbahce, and was warmly applauded by Old Trafford.

"It is three points and that is what we needed. We knew after the first defeat (1-0 at Feyenoord) it was important to get nine points at home and a few more away so it was a very important victory for us," United manager Jose Mourinho said.

"It was good. They came with a good defensive plan and stopped us for the first period but then after the first two goals, both clear penalties it opened the door for quality.

"With the fourth goal we stopped and they tried to have a reaction which they did. I am never happy to concede a goal. We lacked a bit of concentration but that is the nature of the players and lots of changes, it is acceptable."

United have six points from three games and are above Feyenoord on goal difference. Feyenoord edged Zorya 1-0, on a goal from Nicolai Joergensen.

Fenerbahce have four points and Zorya just one.

Earlier Thursday, Inter earned their first points by edging Southampton 1-0 - despite having Marcelo Brozovic sent off - on a goal against the run of play from Antonio Candreva.

"We really needed this win, in order to get started in the competition," Inter's embattled coach Frank de Boer said.

"We were not very dominant tonight, but what really matters is that we have our first points and are still alive."

Inter are still bottom of Group K, though now with three points.

Sparta Prague, who won 1-0 at Hapoel Beer Sheva, are top with six points, followed by Southampton and Beer Sheva with four apiece.

Southampton captain Virgil Van Dijk was annoyed at the defeat, saying: "There was only one team who deserved to win but in the end that is football.

Schalke 04, Shakhtar Donetsk and Zenit continued their perfect starts by defeating Krasnodar, Gent and Dundalk respectively to make it to three wins in three matches.

Schalke won 1-0 in Krasnodar, Shakhtar thumped Gent 5-0, Zenit came from behind to score a late 2-1 win at Dundalk.

Fiorentina won 3-1 at Slovan Liberec, Nice triumphed 1-0 in Salzburg, Celta Vigo forced a late 2-2 draw with Ajax.

Roma were held 3-3 by Austria Vienna, Mainz were held 1-1 by Anderlecht and Athletic Bilbao crashed 2-0 at Genk.

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