UEFA Europa League Quarter-final Second Leg
Manchester United vs. RSC Anderlecht
Venue: Old Trafford
Date: Thursday, 21 April 2017
Kick-off: 20:05 BST
Manchester United needed extra time to overcome Anderlecht in their Europa League quarter-final.
After a 1-1 draw from last week’s first leg in Belgium, Sofiane Hanni cancelled out the away goal and Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s early opener at Old Trafford.
The tie therefore went to an additional 30 minutes, where Marcus Rashford made it three goals in four games by bagging with a little over 10 minutes remaining.
Within 60 seconds, neat play ended with Jesse Lingard’s cross being cut out before last week’s equaliser Leander Dendoncker’s swerving shot dropped just over.
Paul Pogba’s exquisite pass then set Rashford away on the left, and although his initial cross towards Zlatan Ibrahimovic was cut out, he set Mkhitaryan who smashed home with a low strike.
Mkhitaryan then nearly turned provider as his corner was met by the head of Pogba, only for Ruben to produce a flying save, before he did likewise from Lingard’s curling attempt.
Poor communication at the back led to Frank Acheampong racing through only for Sergio Romero to get a touch as the ball hit the side netting.
Forced into a change due to Marcos Rojo’s injury, the hosts looked shackled at the back as Dendoncker’s shot fell just wide before Youri Tielemans’ free-kick was held.
The pressure built and the equaliser came when Tielemans’ deflected strike struck the bar, and as Lukasz Teodorczyk stumbled, captain Hanni was on hand to smash home the loose ball to level.
The pace of Rashford allowed his cross to be beaten away before Pogba was aimless and then saw a shot blocked.
Bursting forward from left-back, Luke Shaw’s weaker foot effort didn’t have the power to trouble as Mkhitaryan sliced off target despite a smart touch to bring down Pogba’s pass.
Soon after the break, Rashford’s slipped pass to Shaw was met by the latter’s low cross, only for Lingard’s sliding toe to turn the ball wide.
Alexandru Chipciu flashed wide before Teodorczyk headed at Romero as the visitors looked comfortable.
Pogba’s long ball was headed down by Ibrahimovic into the path of Rashford, and as the space opened up, he dragged wide from just outside the penalty area.
Rashford’s break saw him round Ruben only for Dennis Appiah to recover to thwart the youngster as Ruben denied Ibrahimovic from close range when the flag stayed down.
The ball was somehow volleyed over by Pogba from Mkhitaryan’s corner as Ibrahimovic was nowhere near causing trouble with his wayward shot not once but twice.
As the game grew old, Rashford hit the side netting but 90 minutes arrived as the match went to extra-time.
As the extra half hour commenced, Rashford’s rabona cross and Pogba’s overhead kick had Old Trafford on their feet, only for the acrobatic attempt to be blocked by Uros Spajic.
Ivan Obradovic’s shot was incorrectly rewarded with a corner, but Nicolae Stanciu fired the short corner routine over the bar.
Pogba did have the ball in the net from substitute Marouane Fellaini’s headed knockdown, but the goal was disallowed for an alleged foul.
Rashford’s shot was blocked as Fellaini again used his height to head down for a set before Romero spilled Tielemans’ long range drive only for the Argentine to smother the loose ball.
Half-time of extra time arrived but no soon had the second period begun when Daley Blind’s long ball was headed down by Fellaini, and Rashford’s Cruyff turn allowed him room to place a left-footed finish past Ruben in front of the Stretford End.
Anthony Martial’s mazy run ended with Pogba’s low chance being saved as Acheampong’s header was dealt with by Romero as his defence switched off.
Martial slotted home late on only to be ruled out for offside but United saw out the remaining time to book their place in the semi-finals.
They made hard work of it, but Jose Mourinho’s side did the job required to secure their name in the last four.
You’d expect fatigue on the back of this, but the fixtures keep on coming as a league trip to Burnley awaits this Sunday at 2:15pm with a chance to move to within a point of the top four with victory.
United: Romero; Valencia, Bailly, Rojo (Blind 23), Shaw; Carrick, Pogba; Lingard (Fellaini 60), Mkhitaryan, Rashford; Ibrahimovic (Martial 91).
Subs not used: De Gea, Young, Herrera, Rooney.
Manager: Jose Mourinho
Anderlecht: Ruben; Appiah, Mbodji, Spajic, Obradovic; Tielemans, Dendoncker, Hanni (Bruno 64); Chipciu (Stanciu 64), Teodorczyk (Thelin 79), Acheampong.
Subs not used: Boeckx, Deschacht, Nuytinck, Capel.