Europa League: Manchester United ride Marcus Rashford strike
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.
United meticulously protected the comfortable advantage they established at Old Trafford as the Spanish team huffed and puffed 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 half-time, 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 half-time 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.
Gunners fall silent
Sporting Lisbon goalkeeper Antonio Adan saved a penalty from Arsenal’s Gabriel Martinelli to secure a 5-3 shootout victory for the Portuguese side following a 1-1 draw.
The teams finished level at 3-3 on aggregate in the tie but the Lisbon club, fourth in the Portuguese league standings, advanced to the quarter finals after Adan kept out Martinelli’s weak effort.
Premier League leaders Arsenal went ahead when a brilliant ball from Jorginho set Martinelli away on the left and after his shot was saved, Granit Xhaka followed up to smash the ball into the net.
Pedro Goncalves scored a magnificent equaliser for the visitors just past the hour-mark as he spotted home goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale off his line and struck a shot from just inside the Arsenal half, his 45-yard effort dipping into the net.