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Marcus Rashford sends Manchester United into Europa League semi-finals (As it Happened)

Manchester United have booked their spot in the semi-finals of the Europa League after recording a 2-1 victory over Anderlecht in the second leg of their quarter-final at Old Trafford on Thursday night.

Extra-time was needed to separate the two teams after Sofiane Hanni had cancelled out a Henrikh Mkhitaryan effort to leave the pair level at the end of 180 minutes of the last-eight tie.

Man United were the stronger team in the additional 30 minutes, however, and Marcus Rashford scored the vital goal in the second half of extra-time as the 20-time English champions booked their spot in the final four of the competition.

Rashford should have netted for the home side in the 65rd minute after finding all sorts of space inside the Anderlecht box, but the England international missed the post with his low strike as the Belgians survived a dangerous moment.

Rashford had an even better chance 20 minutes from time after rounding Ruben in the Anderlecht goal following a mistake from Appiah, but the England international was forced too wide, and the visitors managed to clear their lines. Moments later, Ibrahimovic had a wonderful chance from barely six yards out, only to be denied by the away side’s stopper.

Pogba was next to come close for Man United after meeting a corner from Rashford, but the France international somehow blazed over the crossbar from close range as the aggregate score remained 2-2 at Old Trafford.

Ibrahimovic had yet another wonderful chance in the 82nd minute after super work from Carrick, but the Swede got his effort horribly wrong on another night of missed opportunities for the Red Devils.

Rashford was next to come close for Mourinho’s side after being released by Ibrahimovic in the 89th minute, but the forward hit the side-netting as the quarter-final headed for extra-time following a 1-1 draw in the second leg.

Ibrahimovic landed awkwardly in the final act of the 90 minutes, and the Swede had to be replaced by Anthony Martial after suffering an injury that could well end the experienced forward’s season.

A rabona from Rashford provided Pogba with the chance to score a spectacular over-head kick in the first opportunity of the additional 30 minutes, but Spajic was on hand to make yet another brilliant block, before Ivan Obradovic had one narrowly deflected wide of the post down the other end.

Man United continued to look the more likely to register in the first half of extra-time, but some sensational defending from Anderlecht’s two centre-backs, and a Pogba goal disallowed for offside, kept the score level at the break.

The pressure was absolutely relentless, however, and Man United took the lead in the 107th minute when Rashford created some space inside the Anderlecht box with a wonderful turn before rolling the ball into the corner of the net.

Acheampong almost spoiled the party in the latter stages with a close-range header, but Romero made the save as Man United booked their spot in the final four of the competition with an extra-time success.


About Newton Arunaye

Manchester United Fan. Nigerian Blogger, Social Media Expert, Online Music Promoter.

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