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Man Utd reach Europa League semi-finals after extra-time defeat of Anderlecht

Marcus Rashford capped a man-of-the-match display with the goal that secured a 2-1 extra-time triumph.

FOOTBALL 21/04/17 07:16
Man Utd reach Europa League semi-finals after extra-time defeat of Anderlecht

Marcus Rashford sent Manchester United into the Europa League semi-finals after Anderlecht took Jose Mourinho’s side to extra-time in a breathless encounter.

England’s last European representatives came into the quarter-final second leg boosted by Sunday’s surprisingly dominant win against Premier League leaders Chelsea and Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s away goal.

The Armenian struck again early on but United were given a scare, with Anderlecht captain Sofiane Hanni bringing the tie level, before Rashford capped a man-of-the-match display with the goal that secured a 2-1 extra-time win, sending United through 3-2 on aggregate.

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho (on the injuries sustained by Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marcos Rojo): “I want to wait, but my feeling is not good for both. I want to wait and try to be optimistic, but I am not. We have Daley Blind, who has experience in the position, and I think it is time for Jones and Smalling to be brave – to risk. Because for the team you have to do everything, that is the way I think. You cannot do miracles, so miracles I don’t expect, but they have to try to do everything to accelerate the process.”

Anderlecht manager Rene Weiler: “I’m really happy with the way we played but obviously less happy with the result. It didn’t turn out well for us result-wise but we put in an excellent first half and a we had a couple of chances to get the second goal as well, which would have been decisive. It was very disappointing to concede at that stage in extra time as it was difficult to find a way back after that.”

Tweet of the match

Star man – Marcus Rashford

After enduring some struggles this season, the 19-year-old is now well and truly generating excitement again. The extra-time winner he netted in delightful fashion was just reward for an eye-catching performance in which he also teed up Mkhitaryan’s goal and at one point produced an outrageous rabona cross.

Injury woes for United

United sustained some notable damage while securing their semi-final place, with top-scorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic hobbling down the tunnel immediately after normal time following an awkward landing, and Marcos Rojo having departed the field on a stretcher in the first half – another blow for the Red Devils’ defence, with Phil Jones and Chris Smalling already sidelined.

In with the crowd

Anderlecht put on an impressive show here, as did their vocal travelling support – something acknowledged by Mourinho after the final whistle as he went over to applaud them.

Player ratings

Manchester United: Sergio Romero 6, Antonio Valencia 6, Eric Bailly 6, Marcos Rojo 5, Luke Shaw 6, Michael Carrick 6, Paul Pogba 6, Marcus Rashford 8, Jesse Lingard 6, Henrikh Mkhitaryan 7, Zlatan Ibrahimovic 5. Substitutes: Daley Blind (for Rojo, 23 minutes) 5, Marouane Fellaini (for Lingard, 60 minutes) 6, Anthony Martial (for Ibrahimovic, 91 minutes) 5.

Who’s up next?

Manchester United's Paul Pogba (Martin Rickett/PA)
(Martin Rickett/PA)

Burnley v Manchester United (Premier League, April 23)

Anderlecht v Club Brugge (Jupiler Pro League Championship play-offs, April 23)

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