Europa: Rashford Sends United Into Semis As Celta Vigo, Lyon, Ajax Advance

By Johnny Edward:

Teenage striker Marcus Rashford scored an extra time winner in the 108th minute at Old Trafford to send Manchester United through to the semi-finals of the UEFA Europa League at the expense of Anderlecht, reports Completesportsnigeria.com.

The Red Devils beat Anderlecht side 2-1 in the second leg of theorquarter-final tie to qualify 3-2 on aggregate. The result extended United’s unbeaten run at home to 27 matches.

Henrik Mkhitaryan gave the hosts the lead after ten minutes but Sofiane Hanni levelled scores for Anderlecht.
Paul Pogba had a chance to double his side’s lead with a looping header off a Mkhitaryan corner kick but goalkeeper Ruben Martinez tipped the ball over.

And in the second half Rashford squandered a golden opportunity to make it 2-1 for United when he raced past Dennis Appiah and rounded Martinez in goal but the young English forward failed to score.

In the 72nd minute, Zlatan Ibrahimovic was brought down in the box under a challenge but the referee ignored the penalty call. Ibrahimovic was later taken off with an injury at full time.

In extra time, Pogba slammed in Marouane Fellaini’s knockdown but the goal was ruled out for a foul on Kara Mbodji.

The Frenchman should have sealed the win off a swift counter attack but he was also guilty of another poor finish as his low shot lacked power to beat Martinez who got down to his right to push the ball to safety with ten minutes left to play.

Mbodji’s header with one minutes left to play was tipped over by Romero who was superb in goal for United.

Elsewhere, an extra time goal from Nick Viergever helped send Ajax through to the semi-finals of the Europa League.
Goals from Leon Goretzka and Guido Burgstaller for Schalke 04 had cancelled Ajax’s 2-0 first leg lead in regulation time and an extra time goal from Daniel Caligiuri looked to seal a 3-2 aggregate win until Viergever’s 110th minute goal. Ajax added another goal to make it 3-2 on the night and 4-3 on aggregate for the Dutch side.

In Belgium, Genk crashed out of the competition despite playing out a 1-1 draw at home to Spanish side Celta Vigo. Celta Vigo advanced to the next round of the competition 4-3 on aggregate at the Luminus Arena.

Pione Sisto’s 63rd minute strike was cancelled out by Leandro Trossard three minutes later.

In the other quarter-final tie, Lyon defeated Besiktas on penalties after the two legs ended 3-3 on aggregate.

The draw for the semi-finals will be held on Friday.

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