Manchester United leave it late to book Europa League semi-final place

Manchester United 2 Anderlecht 1 (AET) (Manchester United progress 3-2 on aggregate.)

Marcus Rashford sent Manchester United into the Europa League semi-finals after Anderlecht took Jose Mourinho's side to extra-time in a breathless encounter.

England's last European representatives came into the quarter-final second leg boosted by Sunday's surprisingly dominant win against Premier League leaders Chelsea and Henrikh Mkhitaryan's away goal.

The Armenian struck again early on but United were given a scare, with Anderlecht captain Sofiane Hanni bringing the tie level, before Rashford capped a man-of-the-match display with the goal that secured a 2-1 extra-time triumph.

Victory saw Mourinho's men stumble a step closer to the Stockholm finale 3-2 on aggregate, but the Old Trafford quarter-final second leg proved costly as Marcos Rojo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic sustained what appear to be serious injuries.

Few could have foreseen such an arduous evening after Mkhitaryan's fifth goal in six Europa League matches, but impressive Anderlecht went into half-time level after Hanni reacted quickest to Youri Tielemans' deflected effort rebounding off the crossbar.

United's desperation to avoid an embarrassing exit was matched by the visitors' desire to win on English soil for the first time, leading to a thrilling second half that came to an excruciating end for Ibrahimovic.

The veteran Swede's enforced exit after landing awkwardly saw Rashford lead the line and the outrageously-talented 19-year-old struck the decisive blow, showing wonderful composure and skill to strike a 107th-minute winner.

KEYWORDS: sport, soccer.

 

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