Manchester United defeated Real Betis 4-1 on Thursday to take control of their Europa League matchup after their disastrous performance against Liverpool.
Marcus Rashford, Antony, Bruno Fernandes, and Wout Weghorst scored for United in their last-16 first-leg victory at Old Trafford, advancing them to the next round before the second leg in Seville the following week. Ayoze Perez, a forward on loan from Leicester City, tied the game at 1 at halftime for Real Betis. Nevertheless, United scored three goals in the second half to make up for their 7-0 loss at Liverpool the previous weekend. For the best sports betting casinos of March 2023, make sure to visit CasinoDaddy.
Fernandes responds positively to criticism
After the 7-0 loss against Liverpool, Fernandes received more criticism than usual, which made for a difficult few days for him. He has received calls for his position as one of United's captains to be taken away, but after receiving support from manager Erik ten Hag at his news conference on Wednesday, the Portugal midfielder showed everyone just how crucial they all are with performance.
Fernandes, who was given the armband like he did at Anfield, contributed to United's opening goal when his cross could only be cleared into Rashford's path. He headed in a Luke Shaw cross to put himself on the scoresheet in the second half. The crowd chanted “Bruno, Bruno” as he celebrated by sliding his knee toward the corner flag.
After a strong showing in the second half, United defeated Real Betis to win the match, and Fernandes was largely responsible for it. He and the rest of the team had a horrible game against Liverpool, but he will still be an important player for Ten Hag. After the loss to Liverpool, the manager and the supporters both demanded a response, and Fernandes was the first to speak.
Ten Hag has received acclaim for his man management this season, and his decision to deploy the same team against Real Betis came in response to the humiliation at Anfield. The Dutchman said, “Fix it,” and he eventually got what he wanted.
Ten Hag was quite diplomatic at his pregame news conference on Wednesday, but in his program notes, he wasn't holding back. In a letter to his followers, he stated: “It is not acceptable for Manchester United to lose in that fashion to any team, but especially not to Liverpool. I want to make clear to you, our fans, that I share your bitter disappointment about the result and the players have been left in no doubt that we cannot tolerate what we saw in the second half on Sunday.”
Ten Hag should be delighted with his team's performance after they first acted like they had nothing to prove. After only five minutes, Weghorst's goal was disallowed for offside. Less than a minute later, Rashford took advantage of a rapid break to give United the lead with a shot that rattled into Claudio Bravo's top corner. Ten Hag stated that the goal was to forget about the nightmare against Liverpool as early as possible, and he succeeded in doing so, despite a tricky period following Real Betis' equalizer.
If the Manchester United supporters who came out on a wintry night in Manchester had misjudged Real Betis, they won't now. The Spanish team scared United when they were given opportunities to break and had the technical ability to craft chances when they got into the penalty area. They were cheered on by roughly 4,000 loud fans from their part of Old Trafford.
Although there was some luck involved with the equalizer, as the ball appeared to roll down Juanmi's arm, Perez's finish was superb. They also had a chance to go in front at the break when another Perez attempt hit Shaw and then the post.