Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes led Manchester United to victory at Granada as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side took a giant step towards the Europa League semi-finals.
Having overcome Real Sociedad and AC Milan after dropping out of the Champions League, the road to May’s Gdansk final continued with what was the biggest match in the Andalusian hosts’ 90-year history.
Rashford’s role against European debutants Granada had been uncertain ahead of the quarter-final first leg, but the forward started and scored a fine opener added to by Bruno Fernandes’ late penalty in a 2-0 win.
The 23-year-old limped out of Sunday’s win against Brighton on his return from the ankle complaint that ruled him out of England duty and Solskjaer selected him on Thursday despite admitting the forward was not fully fit.
Rashford looked in discomfort within minutes of kick-off in Spain, but he dug deep and capped his bright first-half performance by opening the scoring when giving Victor Lindelof’s outstanding pass the finish it deserved.
The England forward brilliantly controlled the ball and slotted home his 20th goal of the campaign, becoming the first United player to reach that tally in successive seasons since Wayne Rooney in 2008-09 and 2009-10.
Rashford was replaced in the 65th minute and Fernandes added another away goal at the death heading into a second leg that Scott McTominay, Luke Shaw and Harry Maguire will miss through suspension.
Additional reporting by PA.