Rashford drives Man United past Betis in the Europa League


Marcus Rashford’s long-range flick gave Manchester United a 1-0 win at Real Betis on Thursday and a place in the Europa League quarter-finals with a 5-1 aggregate win.

The Red Devils and their Andalusian counterparts put on an entertaining game at a busy Benito Villamarin Stadium, with home fans hoping for a comeback despite being three goals down.

Joaquin hit the post for Betis and Juanmi missed two clear chances for the hosts who started well.

However, Rashford’s brilliant goal early in the second half dashed that idea and United saw the game finish comfortably as Betis’ energy levels plummeted.

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag handed 21-year-old winger Facundo Pellistri his first cap for the club in sun-drenched Seville after making some brilliant guest appearances off the bench.

Antony was unavailable due to illness and Argentina striker Alejandro Garnacho is out for weeks with an ankle injury.

The Uruguayan youngster was immediately involved as he overcooked a cross from the right as United tried to immediately put the game out of Betis’ reach.

Wout Weghorst hurled himself to a corner, flicked by Casemiro but it was too far for him to reach.

The hosts hit back and sent Juanmi on target, but the former Southampton striker looped his shot wide of David de Gea’s far post.

Betis came even closer through the 41-year-old veteran Joaquin, who crashed into the post with a drive from distance.

Juanmi had another golden chance to pull Betis back into a tie but was thwarted by De Gea who quickly got off his line.

Pellistri was inches from putting United ahead just before the break and his shot hit the post and Weghorst was unable to turn it in goal as he tumbled down.

United failed to score in the first half but took an early lead in the second half through Rashford’s lightning strike.

The striker, in remarkable form this season, missed two good chances after the break but quickly made up for it with a vicious shot from outside the box that flew past Rui Silva into the bottom corner.

It was Rashford’s sixth goal in the tournament and his 27th in all competitions this season in 43 appearances.

The England striker also scored against La Liga leaders Barcelona at the Camp Nou in the first leg and play-offs.

Erik ten Hag sent him and Fred off immediately after the goal for Jadon Sancho and Marcel Sabitzer, while Pellegrini threw in Borja Iglesias, Sergio Canales and Willian Jose, but it was far too late to change the course of the tie.

The United manager had taken a gamble by lining up with Bruno Fernandes and Casemiro, each one caution away from suspension, but they survived unscathed.

United’s future is a hot topic. The owners, the Glazer family, are in talks with competing bidders at Old Trafford this week to sell the club, but one certainty is they will be present for Friday’s Europa League quarter-finals draw.

rbs/dmc



Source : sports.yahoo.com

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