Friday, March 17, 2023
By
Reuters

Marcus Rashford scores as United ease into Europa League quarters

De Gea produced an incredible reflex save to keep out a header soon after halftime

By
Reuters
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag (right) with Marcus Rashford after he was substituted Europa League match Real Betis vs Manchester United on March 16, 2023. — Reuters
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag (right) with Marcus Rashford after he was substituted Europa League match Real Betis vs Manchester United on March 16, 2023. — Reuters

Manchester United cruised into the Europa League quarter-finals as Marcus Rashford's second-half goal secured a 1-0 win at Real Betis in the last-16 second leg on Thursday to wrap up a 5-1 aggregate victory.

The English side meticulously protected the comfortable advantage they established at Old Trafford as the Spanish team huffed and puffed to little effect and exited with a whimper.

Juanmi missed a sitter from close range early in the first half that could have changed the script as a packed Benito Villamarin stadium urged on their side to try to wipe out the three-goal deficit.

United goalkeeper David de Gea dived full stretch to deny a long-range effort from 41-year-old Joaquin before Facundo Pellistri struck the post with a close-range strike for the visitors.

De Gea produced an incredible reflex save to keep out a header soon after halftime, but United slowly took control of the game.

Rashford missed a simple chance but atoned immediately, slotting a fine long-range strike inside the left post in the 55th minute.

In Germany, Juventus defeated 10-man Freiburg 2-0 to advance 3-0 on aggregate.

Dusan Vlahovic scored from the penalty spot right on halftime after Freiburg defender Manuel Gudel was sent off for using his hands to deny Adrien Rabiot a goal.

The Italian side controlled the match in the second half and extended their lead five minutes into added time through Federico Chiesa.

In the Netherlands, Feyenoord thrashed Ukraine's Shakhtar Donetsk 7-1 to progress 8-2 on aggregate as captain Orkun Kokcu and forward Oussama Idrissi each scored twice.

In Turkey, record six-times Europa League winners Sevilla had to dig deep against Fenerbahce, who won the second leg 1-0 thanks to Enner Valencia's penalty but the Spanish side made the last eight 2-1 on aggregate.