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EUROPA: Rashford fires Man United to semis as Besiktas advance on penalties

EUROPA: Rashford fires Man United to semis as Lyon advance on penalties

Manchester United ace Marcus Rashford scored in extra time to send his side through to the Europa League semi-finals after winning the tie 3-2 on aggregate against Anderlecht on Thursday night.

From the first leg which ended 1-1, the Red Devils got ahead early in the game at Old Trafford when Henrikh Mkhitaryan scored with a low drive on 10 minutes.

A battling Anderlecht took the fight to the hosts as Sofiane Hanni equalised with a close-range finish before United, in their quest for the last-4 ticket, missed several chances to end the game 2-2 on aggregate during normal time.

But Rashford sent United into the last four when he swept home to seal a 3-2 win at the 107th minute.

“All you can do is keep trying to create chances, that’s what we kept doing and we pinned them back,” match-winner, Rashford, said in a post-match interview.

“We had a lot of chances and could have scored but sometimes games go like that. We got one in the end.”

United manager Jose Mourinho is being offered a potential route into the Champions League, away from the battle for top-four places in the Premier League, which makes this victory crucial.

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Elsewhere, some stunning penalties were taken by both Besiktas and Olympique Lyon, with both sides netting from their first six efforts, before Lyon eventually emerged winner.

Leading 2-1 from the first leg in France, Lyon were beating by the Turkish side 2-1 in normal time and through extra time, which kept them 3-3 on aggregate and calls for penalty shootouts.

KRC Genk couldn’t do more than a 1-1 draw at home after a 3-2 defeat from the first leg away to Celta Vigo.

The Spanish side scored in the 63rd minute by Sisto before an equalizer from the home team about four minutes later held them to a draw, but didn’t stop them from advancing to the semi-final of the Europa League.

In the other tie between FC Schalke 04 and Ajax, though trailing 2-0 down at full time, Ajax succeeded in securing the ticket to the last 4 after netting two goals in extra time.

The Dutch side had won the first leg 2-0 at home but couldn’t score a goal for 90 minutes at the Bundesliga side, as the home team led them into extra time 2-2 on aggregate.

Schalke’s Caligiuri put the hosts ahead in the 101st minute , before two goals by Viergever (111′ minutes) and Younes (120′ minutes) went in for Ajax as they emerged winners.

As it stands, the remaining teams in the UEFA Europa League are:
Manchester United
Ajax
Lyon
Celta Vigo

The semi-final draw will be held on Friday.

 

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