Marcus Rashford’s goal helped Manchester United easily advance to the quarterfinals of the Europa League on Thursday. This victory gave them a 5-1 round-of-16 victory overall.
Three goals down following the first leg at Old Trafford a week ago, Betis required an unlikely outcome back in Seville to advance to the round of eight. The fifth-placed LaLiga team gave their Premier League opponents everything they could handle, but David de Gea’s string of saves prevented them from scoring.
But, in the 55th minute, Rashford ended any chance of a miraculous comeback by putting in a magnificent strike from over 30 yards. Rashford moved up to sixth place on the team with his 25th goal in European action for Man United one more than Cristiano Ronaldo’s total and first on the club’s all-time chart.
The 25-year-old is currently third among players from Europe’s top five leagues with his 26th goal overall this season, trailing only Kylian Mbappe of Paris Saint-Germain (39) and Erling Haaland of Man City (39). (31).
With the FA Cup quarterfinal against Fulham coming up on Sunday and United already having won the Carabao Cup, they will now wait for their opponent in the Europa League quarterfinal in Friday’s draw.
Erik ten Hag, the manager of Man United, decided to start both Casemiro and Bruno Fernandes despite the possibility of suspension for the first leg of the quarterfinals if either received another caution.
In order to advance and score early goals, Betis appeared to require that experience.
Juanmi slipped past the United defense twice in the opening period, but De Gea saved the day for the guests both times. Between those two excellent opportunities, experienced midfielder Joaquin’s curling shot from a distance hit the outside of the post.
In his first Man United start, Facundo Pellistri launched a shot just before halftime, but Wout Weghorst was unable to get a toe on the ball to put it into the goal.
Although Betis continued to pose a threat early in the second half, De Gea was once more required to step up and deflect away an Ayoze Perez header from a corner, but it was United who made the breakthrough.
Rashford delivered another unforgettable moment to his career-best season only moments after scorching an obvious opportunity into the seats in an uncharacteristically high position.
Before the ball nestled in the corner of the net, the England forward gave Betis goalkeeper Rui Silva no chance with a devilish shot that included a swerve and dip.
Ten Hag used the additional goal advantage to give Rashford and Fernandes a break as United advanced.
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