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Thursday, Mar 21st

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A second-half free kick from Manchester United striker Marcos Rashford was enough to give the English football club a 1-0 win away over Celta Vigo in the first leg of their Europa League semi-final in Spain.

It was a relatively dull game in a full Balaidos Stadium on Thursday night, but the English side probably deserved the win after creating more chances against a rival they were able to stifle for long parts of the game.

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French football sensation Kylian Mbappe has reportedly agreed to join record European champions Real Madrid from Monaco this summer in a transfer fee that could exceed 100 million euros (around $110 million).

According to Spanish newspaper Marca, Mbappe agreed to the transfer and the reason was Madrid's French head coach Zinedine Zidane, something the 18-year-old forward appreciates.

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Ajax took a big step in their quest for a first European title in 21 years, thrashing Olympique Lyon 4-1 in the first leg of their Europa League football semi-final. Bertrand Traore was the dominant figure for the Dutch side, scoring two goals and assisting on a third on Wednesday night.

Lyon looked more comfortable in the first 20 minutes of the contest in front of nearly 50,000 spectators at a packed Amsterdam Arena.

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Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat-trick as Real Madrid took a huge stride towards qualifying for their second Champions League final in two years as they defeated city rivals Atletico Madrid 3-0 in the first leg of their semi-final at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.

Although the second leg still has to be played in Atletico's Vicente Calderon Stadium next week, it is hard to imagine them coming back from this defeat, much less after seeing how they only created one significant chance in 90 difficult minutes during Tuesday night's match.

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Manchester United head coach Jose Mourinho confirmed on Tuesday that midfielders Paul Pogba and Marouane Fellaini are available for the first leg of the Europa League semi-finals against Celta Vigo in Spain on Thursday.

Pogba missed United's last two commitments due to injury, while Fellaini, who was sent off during the goalless Manchester derby, will return for Thursday's clash.

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Celta Vigo face one of the biggest nights in their history when they entertain Manchester United in the first leg of their Europa League football semifinal on Thursday.

The Spanish side have been preparing for the game since defeating Genk in the quarter-finals with coach Eduardo Berizzo carrying out a series of squad rotations to ensure his strongest starting XI is available for this encounter.

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Third-placed Nice won 3-1 at home to move within three points of defending champions Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) in a possibly decisive result in the battle for the French football league title.

PSG are currently in second place in the Ligue 1 standings with 80 points from 35 matches, three behind league leaders Monaco who have a game in hand. Nice were trailing PSG by six points before the clash at the Allianz Riviera Stadium on Sunday night. After Sunday's victory, Nice are in the running for a spot in the group phase of the UEFA Champions League next season.

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