Rashford edges Man United to the Europa League quarterfinals
With a 1-0 victory over Real Betis on Thursday night, Manchester United advanced to the quarterfinals of the Europa League with a 5-1 overall triumph. Marcus Rashford's incredible goal helped Erik ten Hag's team build on their 4-1 victory in the first leg at Old Trafford last week to secure their spot in Friday's round of 16 draws. For the best sports betting casinos of March 2023, make sure you Visit CasinoDaddy's pages!
Real Betis placed early pressure on United, but the match was decided by another goal from Rashford in the second half. As a result of avoiding receiving a booking that would have disqualified them from the quarterfinal first leg next month, Ten Hag will also have Bruno Fernandes and Casemiro available for the subsequent round.
Rashford succeeds once more for Man United
Before Rashford received the ball in minute 56, 25 yards from Rui Silva's goal, the game had dwindled into a very evenly matched fight.
Moments before, when his shot went over the bar and into the lower tier, he squandered a wonderful opportunity to score, but his confidence was still strong enough for the United striker to take a gamble. His strike, which resembled a carefree knuckleball, slid away from Silva's extended palm and sneaked inside the far post, ending the tie instantly.
Rashford scored his 27th goal of the season, which is already his most productive one, and he is in the kind of form that gives United hope for anything. Seldom does a striker have such a great run of form that they can create something out of nothing, but Rashford did just that against Real Betis. It's a valuable talent to have once the season's stretch run begins and close games are decided by the most minute of margins. The fact that Rashford was asked to leave the field before the ball reached the goal said volumes about how important he is to this squad. There is still a vital FA Cup quarterfinal match against Fulham on Sunday.
After losing 4-1 in Manchester, they knew they were up against it, but Betis had opportunities to put United under pressure during a hectic first 10 minutes here. Juanmi, a former Southampton attacker, outran Harry Maguire but missed the target with his effort by rolling it wide of the far post. Then Joaquin, age 41, struck the post.
United was rocking and Stadium Benito Villamarin was bouncing at that moment, but Ten Hag's team took back some control in the middle of the first half, and the score remained 0-0 at the break. The hostile atmosphere inside the stadium would have erupted if Real Betis had scored first, and United may have been in trouble. Instead, it was a professional performance away from home in Europe, and they are now in the running for the quarterfinal draw on Friday.
Though they gave up three goals in the second half at Old Trafford, Manuel Pellegrini's club still has a chance to force their way into the Champions League when La Liga play resumes this weekend against Mallorca.
After joining United, Facundo Pellistri had to wait 893 days before making his debut. The winger had previously started for Uruguay at the World Cup in Qatar and played for the under-21s in an EFL Trophy encounter at Barrow in front of a few thousand spectators, but now he can finally claim to have started a competitive game for United. After many strong cameos off the bench, he has earned his turn, and with Alejandro Garnarcho's ankle ligament injury keeping him out until May, the 21-year-old could get additional chances.
As he was released down the right to cross for Wout Weghorst, who was making his 17th straight start since coming in January, he was engaged after only 20 seconds here. He later played a significant role for most of the evening by serving as a solid outlet. The Brazilian constantly tries to cut inside with his better-left foot, and he did enough against Real Betis to indicate he deserves more minutes in the final stretch, especially with Ten Hag's injury list rising. He is a different alternative than Antony, who was forced to stay at home due to sickness.