Marcus Rashford has scored eight goals in European competition this season – six in the Champions League and two in the Europa League
Manchester United took a big step towards the Europa League semi-finals with an away win over Granada in the first leg of their last eight games.
Marcus Rashford put United in the lead as he superbly picked up Victor Lindelof’s long pass and passed home goalkeeper Rui Silva.
Yangel Herrera, on loan from Manchester City, hit the outside of the post for the Spanish side and ex-Tottenham striker Roberto Soldado also shot wide.
United doubled their lead late when Bruno Fernandes pushed a penalty past Silva after Yan Brice fouled the Portuguese midfielder.
The second leg will take place in a week’s time at Old Trafford. The overall winners reach a semi-final against Ajax or Roma. The Italian team leads 2-1 after the first leg in the Netherlands.
United have only lost one of their last 17 games in all competitions so far but will have to forego midfielder Scott McTominay, left-back Luke Shaw and center-back Harry Maguire in the second leg as they all will be suspended in Spain after booking.
Professional United takes the win
United have not won a trophy since winning the Europa League four years ago when Jose Mourinho’s side beat Ajax. You haven’t reached a final in Solskjaers two and a half seasons.
14 points behind Premier League leaders Manchester City and exiting the FA Cup after losing to Leicester last month, the Europa League is their only realistic hope for silver this season.
And Solskjaer will be pleased with his side’s professional performance in southern Spain as they took control of their 27th European quarter-finals.
Rashford, who had previously run over a shot, scored his 20th club goal of the season with an excellent first touch after Lindelof’s long pass from his own half. The England international ran through and shot past Silva.
Back in goal after Dean Henderson in the last seven games, David de Gea retained United’s lead with a save to deny Kenedy.
United wanted to end the draw against a side ninth in La Liga with the worst defensive record in the top Spanish league, but captain Maguire threw a shot wide and Paul Pogba missed a chance too.
Fernandes had saved a shot from the corner of the six-yard box but then doubled United in the last minute with a penalty that Silva should have saved, but the ball twisted under his body.
Granada’s dream story is coming to an end?
The game in Granada was played behind closed doors, but outside the stadium there was a huge crowd of fans
Granada’s run to the final eight in her first season in European competition was a great story. Their entire team only cost 8 million euros and the team was in the Spanish fourth division 15 years ago.
Unfortunately, fans were unable to enter the stadium for what is arguably the biggest game in the club’s 90-year history, although this did not prevent a large number of passionate fans from gathering outside to catch the team buses.
Granada finished seventh in the league in 2019-20 and had to go through three qualifying rounds, then the group stage and then the two-legged duel against Italian Napoli and Solskjaer’s former team Molde to reach the quarter-finals.
After falling behind, they had chances to equalize, but Herrera, Soldado and Kenedy couldn’t take them as they suffered their fourth straight loss in all competitions.
Next week’s game at Old Trafford is the 15th of the season in the Europa League. If they don’t win by at least two goals, they’ll be the last.
“Very happy with the result” – what they said
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer told BT Sport: “It’s not a perfect night – we have three yellow cards and suspensions, but a 2-0 result is very good. We know how difficult it is to come to Spain to get that result and I am very much satisfied with the result.
“Marcus and Bruno were exceptional for us and are so important. The first goal was a very good run by Marcus, he picked up the ball fantastically and scored a good finish, and Bruno is so good on penalties.”
“We want to win every football game. It’s still a young, learning team and we have to keep improving. It catches you so quickly when you rest and we can’t take any other approach than go forward and try . ” score goals [in the second leg]. “
Another goal conceded by United – the stats
- Manchester United have won away games in Europe against the Spanish opposition for the first time in a row, beating Real Sociedad 4-0 in February 2021.
- Granada lost for the first time in their first straight European season, having lost just two of their previous twelve games (eight wins, two draws – including qualifying).
- Manchester United have played four clean sheets in their last five games in Europe (one goal conceded) after having only managed one shutout in their last seven games (12 goals conceded).
- Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford became the fourth Premier League player to score 20 goals in all competitions this season, after Harry Kane, 29, Mohamed Salah, 27 and Bruno Fernandes, 24.
- Rashford becomes the first English player to score eight goals for Manchester United in European competition in a single season (without qualification) since Bobby Charlton between 1964 and 1965.
- Since Wayne Rooney in the 2008/09/2009/10 season, Rashford became the first player to score more than 20 goals for Manchester United in all competitions in two consecutive seasons.
- Bruno Fernandes has scored 19 of his 20 penalties for Manchester United in all competitions.
Manchester United are in the Premier League in Tottenham on Sunday (4:30 p.m. CET). Granada plays for Real Valladolid. The second leg will take place on Thursday, April 15 (8:00 p.m. CET) in Old Trafford.
1Dantas da Silva
16Diaz22ndCoutinho Meneses Duarte20thVallejo15thNeva
- 1Dantas da Silva
- 22ndCoutinho Meneses DuarteBooked at 51 minutesReplaced bySánchezat the 54 ‘protocol
- 15thNevaReplaced byFoulquierat the 74 ‘protocol
- 4thGonalonsReplaced byEtekiat the 86 ‘protocolBooked at 89 minutes
- 10Rodriguez Diaz
- 24KenedyReplaced byMachísat the 75 ‘protocol
- 9soldierReplaced bySuarezat the 87 ‘protocol
- 1de Gea
- 5MaguireBooked at 72 minutes
- 23ShawBooked at 42 minutesReplaced bySuchat the 45 ‘protocol
- 6thPogbaBooked at 8 minutesReplaced byMaticat the 74 ‘protocolBooked at 84 minutes
- 39McTominayBooked at 40 minutes
- 18thBruno Fernandes
- 10RashfordReplaced byCavaniat the 66 ‘protocol
- 11GreenwoodReplaced byvan de Beekat the 85 ‘protocol
- 34van de Beek
- 38Let us begin
Referee: Artur Manuel Soares Dias
End of the game, Granada CF 0, Manchester United 2.
The second half ends, Granada CF 0, Manchester United 2.
Harry Maguire (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Luis Suárez (Granada CF).
Gate! Granada CF 0, Manchester United 2. Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United) converts the penalty with a right footed shot into the lower left corner.
Yan Eteki (Granada CF) receives a yellow card for a bad foul.
Penalty Manchester United. Bruno Fernandes pulls a foul in the penalty area.
Yan Eteki (Granada CF) conceded a penalty for a foul in the penalty area.
Substitution, Granada CF. Luis Suárez replaces Roberto Soldado.
Substitution, Granada CF. Yan Eteki replaces Maxime Gonalons.
Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Darwin Machís (Granada CF).
Corner, Granada CF. The corner was scored by Nemanja Matic.
Substitution, Manchester United. Donny van de Beek replaces Mason Greenwood.
Nemanja Matic (Manchester United) receives the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Nemanja Matic (Manchester United).
Antonio Puertas (Granada CF) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United).
Roberto Soldado (Granada CF) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt saved. The shot by Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United) with his right foot from the left side of the six yard box is saved in the center of the goal. Prepared by Daniel James.