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Manchester United - Anderlecht

Manchester United vs Anderlecht Europa League 2016-17: Match report, goals, action

A game that saw Rojo and Zlatan go off with knee injuries needed Marcus Rashford extra time goal to separate the sides as Manchester United march on
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Manchester United's English striker Marcus Rashford celebrates scoring their second goal during the UEFA Europa League quarter-final second leg football match between Manchester United and Anderlecht at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England,

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Manchester United 2-1 Anderlecht: match report

Manchester United are through to the semi-final of the Europa League after being pushed to the very limit by Anderlecht over two legs. It took 197 to separate the sides and Marcus Rashford ended the night as Manchester United's hero after a man of the match performance and a winning goal to boot.

The game started at a blistering pace and United had three excellent chances in the opening 15 mnutes. They managed to put one of those away when Mkhitaryan drove home from inside the box to put United on their way after ten minutes. Paul Pogba had a chance shortly after from a corner but his header was tipped over the crossbar and Lingard almost made it two shortly afterwards with a bending effort that Ruben saved too.

Marcos Rojo injured his knee just moments later and United, all of a sudden, started to look vulnerable. Just after 30 minutes, Anderlecht's all-action midfielder, Youri Tielemans, drove a shot that rattled the crossbar before it broke to Sofiane Hanni to restore parity on the night and across the two legs. United would not have it all their own way, after all.

The second half did not have as many goals but it did have plenty of chances. Zlatan had a number with his best saved by Ruben as he looked to his right in the hope of seeing an offside flag that was not coming. Rashford had a chance after a defensive blunder but his touch took him away from goal as he rounded the keeper. There were a number of half-chances and three quarter-chances to go with those misses and it just felt like it was a matter of time until they scored. But every time we were left without a goal.

The game went to extra time with Zlatan Ibrahimovic doubled over in pain having hyperextended his knee at the end of normal time meaning he could not continue. The first half of extra time came and went and while Paul Pogba though he had sealed it, Fellaini was blown up for a free before that as he climbed on Spajic's back to get to the ball.

Had United run out of ideas? They most certainly had not and when Daley Blind launched a ball towards Fellaini's head, he headered it down to Rashford, who made no mistake as he turned on his left foot, had a look at the keeper and drove home. 

Anderlecht pushed for an equaliser but it was not coming, having spent so much time defending. they came close but Sergio Romero was on hand to reject Acheampong from a header and to claim a number of deep crosses.

United go into the draw with Celta Vigo, Lyon and Ajax in Friday's draw while Anderlecht go home with a moral victory and a number of new fans after their gutsy performance at Old Trafford.


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