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Sports Briefing: Fizzling Offense Hurts Manchester United’s Europa Hopes

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Tom O’Brien riding Sandy Beach, foreground, won a steeplechase event in Newbury, England.

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Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images Europe

Manchester United’s attacking problems continued Thursday in the club’s 2-1 loss to host Fenerbahce in the Europa League, leaving it at risk of a group-stage exit.

Although United had beaten Fenerbahce, 4-1, last month, it arrived in Turkey after drawing with Burnley, 0-0, in a match it dominated. United again failed to convert a glut of possession time into goals, but this time it also struggled to create opportunities.

Its attacking efforts increased briefly after Zlatan Ibrahimovic replaced the injured Paul Pogba. But United’s struggles in front of the goal are reflected by Ibrahimovic, who has managed to score just once in the last 11 matches.

Wayne Rooney scored the lone goal for United, smashing the ball in from 30 yards away in the 89th minute.

“They deserved to win,” United Coach José Mourinho said. “Football is not just about quality, it’s about effort, commitment, playing the limits, and giving everything. A team that…

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