Marcus Rashford’s free-kick gave Manchester United control of their Europa League semi-final against Celta Vigo.

Rashford gave United the lead, and also a precious away goal advantage going into next Thursday’s second leg.

Manchester United is currently struggling to finish in the Premier League’s top four – a point behind Manchester City and four off third-placed Liverpool – which makes a Europa League title win their best opportunity of earning a place in next season’s Champions League.

Returning home with an advantage, Jose Mourinho’s side will be strong favourites to progress to face Ajax or Lyon in Stockholm on 24 May in the final of a competition they have never won.

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho: “I am very pleased with the performance but not with the result. At half-time we should have had three – or at least two goals.

“We played well enough to have the tie closed, but we have to go and play at Old Trafford.

“Rashford is a 19-year-old kid who is in love with football. He stays after training for half an hour to practise taking free-kicks and waits for the opportunity.

“We tried to win the match but we missed chances. We played well, we were compact against a team who are difficult to play against.

“Let’s hope Old Trafford wants us to win because when Old Trafford wants it, we win.”

Scoreline

Celta Vigo

Manchester United
Rashford (67′ minutes)

Advertisements