Full Time: Manchester United 2-1 RSC Anderlecht
Manchester United made it to the semi-finals of the UEFA Europa League when they dramatically defeated Belgian side RSC Anderlecht 2-1 (3-2 on aggregate) at Old Trafford after extra time.
With the clash poised at 1-1 after the first leg, Henrikh Mkhitaryan – the scorer in Belgium, opened the scoring in the 10th minute to give United an advantage. The visitors had a few great chances from thereon, but couldn’t make them count. But the pressure paid off in the 32nd minute, when captain Sofiane Hanni bundled home from a rebound, after Youri Tielemans had struck the crossbar.
Soon after the restart, Jesse Lingard failed to apply the finishing touches from a Luke Shaw cutback, before Marcus Rashford spurned a chance after finding himself one-on-one with the Anderlecht stopper Ruben. More opportunities came United’s way and they went begging just like that as the match entered into extra-time.
However, Rashford more than made up for his earlier profligacy, as he slotted the ball into the bottom corner, two minutes into the second-half of the extra-time, to send United through.
The Red Devils are joined by Ajax, Celta Vigo and Olympique Lyon in the last-four. Here is how the United players fared on the night:
Manchester United Player Ratings
Sergio Romero – 6/10
Cannot lay the blame at his feet for the goal. Made a string of impressive saves and looked commanding from set-pieces and high-balls. However, grew nervy as the game wore on.
Antonio Valencia – 5/10
Made two defensive errors that allowed the visitors a whiff at goal. Wasn’t very effective going forward either. A subdued display.
Eric Bailly – 6/10
Overpowered by Acheampong in the first-half, but survived as the player failed to score. Other than that one blip, he was solid, as he dealt with the physicality of Lukasz Teodorczyk.
Marcos Rojo – NA
Subbed off halfway through the first-half due to an injury he picked up after a collision with Alexandru Chipciu.
Luke Shaw – 6/10
Misplaced several passes at the start of the game, but grew with time. Threat with his forward runs, linked up well with Rashford on a number of occasions.
Michael Carrick – 5/10
The captain was a passenger on occasions as the Anderlecht midfield bossed the area. His passing was crisp when he was on the ball, but a poor night.
Paul Pogba – 6/10
Started the move for the opener with an exquisite pass, denied by the keeper soon after with a header. Fired over the bar from just yards out in the late stages. Was strong in challenges.
Jesse Lingard – 5/10
Forced the keeper into a save from an excellent strike. But that’s as good as it got for the Englishman as he spent the rest of the game on the periphery. Missed a great chance in the second half, before being taken off.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan – 6/10
Opened the scoring with a strong finish. But seemed to fade out from then on. Is growing into a vital player, but needs to be more effective over the entire duration of the game.
Marcus Rashford – 8/10
United’s brightest player in attack. Set up the opener after Pogba sent him through. Spurned several great opportunities to seal the result in the second-half, but held his nerve when it mattered the most to score in the extra time.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic – 5/10
Isolated at the top. Could not get involved much. Should’ve done better with his opportunity from six-yards out in the second-half. Taken off after the normal time due to what looked like a serious injury.
Daley Blind – 5/10
Replaced the injured Rojo. Culpable for the goal, but made a vital block soon after. Nervy and rusty.
Marouane Fellaini – 6/10
Came on for Lingard in the 60th minute. His introduction allowed United to go more direct into the box.
Anthony Martial – 5/10
Replaced Ibra for the extra-time. Looks short on confidence.