Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Edin Dzeko—two of Europe’s most deadly strikers—scored hat tricks to drive Manchester United and AS Roma to the verge of the Europa League last 16 on Thursday.
The pre-match focus had been on the family reunion between the Pogba brothers, Paul (United) and Florentin (Saint-Etienne), but Ibrahimovic hogged all the limelight, scoring a hat trick—with the help of a deflected free-kick, a tap-in and a spot-kick—to help United win 3-0 at Old Trafford.
Meanwhile, Dzeko became the leading scorer in this season's competition — on eight goals — with his second-half hat trick for Roma in a 4-0 thrashing of Villarreal. The Bosnian striker grabbed his 28th goal in all competitions, scoring in the 65th, 79th and 86th minutes.
Tottenham Hotspur went down 1-0 against hosts Gent, while Lyon humiliated AZ 4-1. Shakhtar Donetsk scored a precious away goal against Celta Vigo, thanks to debutant Blanco Leschuk’s 27th minute strike.
Birthday became a tad more special for Federico Bernardeschi, who scored the winner for Serie A club Fiorentina against hosts Borussia Monchengladbach.
Elsewhere, Ludogorets went down 1-0 against Kobenhav, while Olympiacos settled for a sterile draw with Osmanlıspor.
Other results were as follows:
Athletic 3-2 Apoel Nicosia
Rostov 4-0 Sparta Praha
POAK 0-2 Schalke
Villareal 0-4 Roma
Anderletch 2 -0 Zenit
Legia 0-0 Ajax
Celta Vigo 0-1 Shaktar Donesk
H Beer-Sheva 1-2 Besiktas
Astra 2-2 Genk