Manchester United are through to the Europa League semi-finals after defeating Anderlecht 3-2 on aggregate.
Man United held a narrow advantage coming into tonight’s game, having bagged an away goal in Belgium. They built on that through Henrikh Mkhitaryan after just ten minutes. Paul Pogba played a stunning through ball from deep into the path of Marcus Rashford. The England international played the ball into Mkhitaryan’s feet, and he fired past Ruben with a stunning finish to bag his tenth goal of the season. You can see Mkhitaryan’s opener here.
Anderlecht were not prepared to give up on their Europa League dream, however. Daley Blind, who had just replaced Marcos Rojo at the heart of defence after the Argentine was stretchered off with a knee injury, played two Anderlecht attackers onside. One of them was Sofiane Hanni, and he punished Blind for his mistake, thumping home past the helpless Sergio Romero to draw his side level on the night, and on aggregate. Click here to see Hanni’s equaliser.
The scores were level at full-time, and the game headed to extra-time – but that wasn’t the only worry for United. Zlatan Ibrahimovic landed awkwardly and was forced off the field. It didn’t look good on first viewing, but this video suggests that he may well have suffered serious ligament damage, and could miss the remainder of the season.
Man United were frustrated for the first period of extra-time, but finally found the breakthrough through Marcus Rashford. Marouane Fellaini nodded the ball into Rashford’s path, and he did the rest. The Man United academy product left an Anderlecht defender for dead and found the bottom corner of Ruben’s goal to give his side the lead. To see Rashford’s winner, click here.
Anderlecht had no reply, and it’s Man United who will be in the draw for the semi-finals. Here are our player ratings for both sides.
Manchester United player ratings: Romero 6, Valencia 6, Bailly 6, Rojo 4, Shaw 5, Carrick 7, Pogba 7, Rashford 9, Mkhitaryan 8, Lingard 6, Ibrahimovic 3. (Subs: Blind 4, Fellaini 7, Martial 6)
Anderlecht player ratings: Ruben 8, Appiah 6, Kara 7, Spajic 7, Obradovic 6, Chipciu 5, Tielemans 7, Dendoncker 6, Hanni 8, Acheampong 8, Teodorczyk 6. (Subs: Bruno 6, Stanciu 5, Thelin 6)