Manchester United 2 Anderlecht 1: Marcus Rashford finds a little extra to reach the semi-finals

Sam Wallace
The Telegraph
Marcus Rashford's terrific strike in extra-time puts Manchester United through to the Europa League semi-finals - PA
Marcus Rashford's terrific strike in extra-time puts Manchester United through to the Europa League semi-finals - PA

United aimed the ball forward at Ibrahimovic but could not make the breakthrough, the last chance of the 90 minutes falling to Rashford who hit the side netting.

Ibrahimovic jarred his right leg in the very last moment of the 90 minutes and so Mourinho played his final substitution, Anthony Martial, to take up a position on the left side. Fellaini joined Rashford in attack and United adopted a 4-4-2 system. Pogba had a goal disallowed for a foul by Fellaini when he headed the ball down to his team-mate.

It was Fellaini’s knockdown which Rashford pounced on to score the winning goal, and although they have injuries to count, to Rojo and Ibrahimovic, the relief will be that they have survived




The four semi-finalists

Are Manchester United, Ajax, Celta Vigo and Lyon. The draw is at noon tomorrow which we'll be blogging live. 


Mourinho speaks

I think we had 17 shots and 10 on target. The game was difficult. You look at these numbers and maybe if you don't watch the match you think total dominance but it wasn't like that. When we put one more player in midfield we started controlling the game. From that moment we were in control. 

Rashford, you speak about his qualities. His qualities are fantastic but he didn't score since September but I stuck by him because of his mentality, he is fantastic because  of his attitude.  I trust him

I don't think they are easy injuries but I prefer to wait after the tests are done. Initial prognosis is fairly negative. It's bad, I think. 


Full time

Manchester United are through to the Europa League semi-finals but at the cost of extra-time and troubling injuries sustained by Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marcos Rojo. 


119 min

Martial puts it past Ruben and into the net when found by a sumptuous Mkhitaryan pass but he was offside. From the free-kick Anderlecht fly up the left, Obradovic crosses deep, arcing it on to Kara's head at the back post. He has only Shaw challenging him but cannot get over it to head it down. 


118 min

Kara is playing as an auxiliart centre-forward and causes havoc with another headed pass until Romero takes charge. 


116 min

Acheampong ends a spot of head tennis in the Unitd box with a header at goal from eight yards. He had to stretch but still connected and knocked it into Romero's shins. United are far too deep and have fallen into the familiar territory of chaos in the box when they switch Fellaini into defensive midfield. 


115 min

Fellaini has retreated and Pogba pushed on since the goal. 


113 min

Martial makes a firm tackle in central midfield, gets up and shields the ball well and is fouled himself. He's trying to be teacher's pet. He'll be bringing an apple in tomorrow morning. 


112 min

Mnachester United corner that Mkhitaryan floats into Ruben's hands. 


109  min

Pogba should have scored when found by good combination play between Mkhitaryan and Martial to create a shooting opportunity on the right of the area. He tamely steers it too close to Ruben. 

<span>Rashford scores Manchester United's second after a deft flick&nbsp;</span> <span>Credit: Matt West/BPI/REX/Shutterstock </span>
Rashford scores Manchester United's second after a deft flick  Credit: Matt West/BPI/REX/Shutterstock



Man Utd need no invitation to shoot so far

The hosts have fired in 21 shots with nine of them on target

Man Utd vs Anderlecht shots on goal 10:19PM


A goal from Marcus Rashford for Man Utd makes the score 2-1.

Man Utd 2 - 1 Anderlecht (Marcus Rashford, 107 min)

Rashford stuns Fellaini's umpteenth cushioned knock-down, flicks it the other side of Dundoncker with a subtle tap then drives in an unstoppable shot from 15 yards into the bottom corner.  



Man Utd 2-1 Anderlecht (Rashford)


106 min

Mourinho has switched Martial to go through the middle ...


Half time

The vicious bounce of Tielemans' shot forced Romero's bar of soap routine but he recovered well. 

Man Utd vs Anderlecht shots on goalMan Utd vs Anderlecht shots on goal



Average touch positions (half time in extra time)

Average touch positions (half time in extra time) 10:15PM

104 min

Tielemans spears a low shot from 25 yards that Romero fumbles but then scrambles to smother. 


102 min

Rashford shoots from Fellaini's knockdown. Martial's cross was met by Fellaini and passed straight to Rashford whose side-foot clumped into Dendoncker. Anderlecht look pooped but understandably won't submit. United up the urgency. 


100 min

Anderlecht cear but back come United when Shaw wins the ball on halfway. Pogba ends the move by sweeping in Felliani's knockdown but the referee chalks the goal off for Fellaini's push on Spajic. The referee mimed hands on shoulders and the replay shows Fellaini went up prematurely and did hold his opponent down. 


99 min

Cross by Shaw on the run cleared by Spajic. Pogba attacks up the right and his cross is blocked by Obradovic. Corner. 


97 min

Rashford from the corner is cleared out by Appiah who goes into the book. Free-kick on the byline that Rashford teases expertly towards Fellaini's head but once again Spajic intervenes. Sign him up. 


96 min

Serpentine dribble from Mkhitaryan, dropping his shoulders to drop his pursuers. As he approaches the box he threads a pass through to Rashford but Kara reads it and belts it behind. 


95 min

Mkhitaryan fires a shot into Obradovic that spins down Ruben's throat. Anderlecht break from Ruben's throw and Obradovic powers forward at full pelt. He draws back his leg and spanks a shot that brushes first Bailly then Thelin and loops just wide. The referee erroneously awards a corner.


92 min

Rashford crosses from the right with a  rabona and Pogba boards the showboat to bicycle kick the centre ... on target but bravely blocked by Spajic.  


91 min

Owen Hargreaves thinks Ibrahimovic's massive quads may have protected him from the worst. 


Ibrahimovic walks off

Hobbles rather than walks but he won't go on the stretcher. Martial comes on for him


The players are in a huddle

But Zlatan Ibrahimovic is still down. Surely he's done for the night ... at best. 


Full time

Ibrahimovic falls awkwardly and hyper-extends his right knee in the box. Looks like a ligament injury as he came down from an aerial challenge. We'll have thirty more minutes, then. 


Time on ball (at full time)

Possession: Man Utd vs Anderlecht 9:55PM

Average touch positions (full time)

Average touch positions (full time) 9:55PM

90+1 min

Rashford nutmegs Kara in the box to tee up Shaw from eight yards but Spajic is in like Flynn to toe it away as Shaw's leg collided with his. But he's OK. 


90 min

Miss by Rashford on the left when found by a crafty right-foot scooped pass from Ibrahimovic. The angle was tight but not as tight as the one when Mkhitaryan scored in Brussels. We'll have two more minutes of 'normal' time. 

Miss: Man Utd 1 - 1 Anderlecht (Marcus Rashford, 65 min)



89 min

Pogba's passing veer from the sublime to the sub-slime. Here he has Mkhitaryan in perfect position on the right of the box but Pogba can't thread it past Obradovic. 


87 min

Rashford puts the ball in the back of the net with a nifty 18-yard strike but the flag was up. He was onside, had timed his run to perfection to take Pogba's fine pass. Ruben, it has to be said, had heard the whistle and made no effort to save it. 


85 min

Omitted to note that Teodorczyk had made way for Thelin. 


84 min

Acheampong is hurt and requires treatment. 


82 min

Ibrahimovic wellies another decent half-volley chance way wide, slicing it again when found by Carrick and curling his shot out towards the right corner. Recalibration required. 


81 min

Anderlecht decide what's sauce for the goose by knocking in a 50-yard free-kick, aiming for Spajic but Romero easily catches it. 


80 min

Looking for Fellaini part XII. Blind this time launches a long cross. Fellaini wins it and Ibrahimovic spins and slices a volley out towards the corner flag under pressure from Kara. 


78 min

Pogba misses a tap-in from seven yards when the corner fell to his feet in the box but he spanners it wide instead of using a precision tool. 


77 min

United knock it long again, this time a diagonal from the left for Fellaini by the right angle of the box. He wins the header but Pogba loses the second ball. Rashford's turn next to whack it in and this time Anderlecht harry it behind.  


Time on ball (60 - 75 min)

Possession: Man Utd vs Anderlecht 9:38PM

76 min

They've shown the replay of the penalty - it should have been given. Spajic had his arm around him, nowhere near the ball and dragged him over. 


75 min

United corner. Rashford takes and Tielemans clears at the near post. 


73 min

Ibrahimovic races on to a long ball from Pogba and falls when pressurised by Kara. The crowd and centre-forward demand a penalty but the referee tells him to get up. 


71 min

Ibrahimovic's turn to go from Derby winner to carthorse in front of goal when he passes the ball to Ruben when latching on to Fellaini's knock down instead of leathering it past him from 15 yards. 


69 min

Just jinxed Rashford with the 'thoroughbred' praise. Novice 'thoroughbred' perhaps. Appiah's shonky judgment to let the ball bounce frees Rashford to go one on one with the keeper from 25 yards. Ruben flies off his line and provokes a clumsy touch from Rashford as he tried to round him, pushing himself too wide to a position where Appiah was able to recover and block him. 


67 min

Slick move from United - sharp passing, good movement - ends with Rashford spearing a low shot a yard wide. 

Miss: Man Utd 1 - 1 Anderlecht (Marcus Rashford, 65 min)



65 min

Twin substitution for Anderlecht. Chipciu and Tielemans go off to be replaced by Bruno and Stanciu. 


63 min

The crowd has finally woken up. United go route one with a raking cross from the right that Fellaini half meets but doesn't win. The ball breaks scrappily to Rashford who balloons his half-volley over the bar. From the goalkick United win the ball and knock it straight back in the box for the Flemish trebuchet Fellaini to concede a free-kick by flying in for a header with the keeper with all limbs deployed as offensive weapons. 


61 min

Rashford is digging in for the team by chasing Chipciu all the away back to his own corner flag, I know what Mourinho means by insisting they all track back and make sacrifices for the team. But who breaks a butterfly upon a wheel? He's a thoroughbred centre-forward for pity's sake. 


Time on ball (45 - 60 min)

Possession: Man Utd vs Anderlecht 9:23PM

60 min

Fellaini is on. Lingard departs. 


59 min

Mourinho is urging both calm and waving Rashford forward. Fellaini is stripped to his shirt. Glorious stab pass from Tielemans to Chipciu isolates Shaw and the right-sided midfielder cuts in but spanks his shot at Blind's legs. 


57 min

Marouane Fellaini is warming up rigorously. Mourinho has the face on. 


55 min

A nice swagger about Anderlecht in possession but United almost pick them off with a clipped diagonal to Ibrahimovic by the left edge of the D. He spins his header towards the penalty spot for Rashford's run but he gets too much neck power on it and it screws towards Ruben and away from his team-mate. 


53 min

Obradovic nutmegs Mkhitaryan. Takes some stones, that, but it only provokes Mkhitaryan into a wonderful turn and break through the middle towards the box. Ibrahimovic makes a far post run and Mkhitaryan tries to find him with a Ronaldo chop to gull the defender but doesn't connect properly. 


50 min

Terrific run from Shaw down the left, to the byline. He opens his body and arrows the ball past the keeper and across the six-yard box. Tielemans misses but does enough to impede Lingard who can't get enough on it from two yards and it skews away for a goalkick. Excellent pass from Rashford to free Shaw. 

Miss: Man Utd 1 - 1 Anderlecht (Jesse Lingard, 49 min)



49 min

Tielemans is the express ball carrier who cuts a path for Teodorczyk with a lovely ball towards the left half of the area. The centre-forward takes a touch but Valencia manages to race back and block his shot at full-stretch. Corner that United defend well. 


47 min

Corner for United when Blind's long ball up for Shaw is dealt with by Appiah. Rashford takes it and Anderlecht clear and break forward at pace with United over-committed when Pogba misses with the header. 


46 min

It looks as if Carrick has dropped back to make a back three with the full backs pushed up at the start of this half. 


Half time entertainment

Average touch positions (0 min)Man Utd vs Anderlecht shots on goalMan Utd vs Anderlecht shots on goal




United played well for about 20 minutes, relaxed and have looked vulnerable ever since. Anderlecht's players have far too much pace and skill to let them have the ball in the United half with Tielemans, Acheampong and Hanni working triangles at close quarters or darting in from the flanks to get into the box. 


45+2 min

That's the half-time whistle. 


45 min

United so nearly get their fingers burned when Blind is left for dead by Acheampong and Tielemans who work the ball through the six-yard box with United's defence all over the place.  Hanni makes a hash of his first touch. He was trying to stun it and round the keeper but toed it into touch. 


44 min

Luke Shaw, being controlled by Jose Mourinho remotely presumably, overhits a left foot cross that sails into touch. Must think harder. 


43 min

Mkhitaryan snatches at a half-volley from the edge of the box when fed by a lovely Pogba pass. Perhaps it didn't come down quick enough from its initial bounce which is why he skied it. 


41 min

Pogba tries another shot from the middle of the park and manages to keep it down but screws it into Kara's shin. Shaw pounces on the rebound and wriggles past Appiah to stroke a low shot towards the left post. Ruben falls on to his knees to smother it. 


39 min

Spajic wrestles Ibrahimovic to the ground. Mkhitaryan takes the free-quick stealthily quickly, rolling it 20 yards up to Lingard who was inches offside. 


37 min

Anderlecht defend the corner and move out but Pogba takes the opportunity of their advance to try a 35-yard shot that is now headed into orbit somewhere over Salford Quays. 


35 min

Rashford races forward down the left and earns a corner with his quicksilver enterprise and smart, no-backlift shot. 

<span>Credit: OLI SCARFF/AFP </span>



33 min

That's what you get ... and your fans get ... for relaxing. Shaw could not block a left-wing cross that worked its way through to Tielemans 20 yards out. He lines up a shot almost expertly and crashes it into the crossbar through Valencia's legs. Teodorczyk and Hanni responded far more sharply than United and the latter whacked in the rebound. when the former turned and fed him. The ball over the top caught Shaw too deep while the other three defenders had sprung the trap. 




Man Utd 1-1 Anderlecht (Hanni)

<span>Hanni equalises</span> <span>Credit: Martin Rickett/PA </span>
Hanni equalises Credit: Martin Rickett/PA



31 min

Ibrahimovic and Shaw work a one-two that frees the left-back on the overlap to stride past Appiah and pull back a heavy cross that may have caused chaos on the Barnes-Wallis principle but bounced beyond Mkhitaryan. 


29  min

Anderlecht free-kick, 22 yards out to the left following a foul that Pogba vehemently protests. Tielemans takes and scoops it straight down Romero's throat. 

Man Utd vs Anderlecht shots on goal



27 min

United are living dangerously, letting Appiah cut in from the right to square the ball through the D for Dendoncker to hook a low shot a yard wide. The referee errs on awarding a corner that comes to naught so allows him to escape the wrath of the silent hordes inside Old Trafford. 


25 min

Spajic sprays a pass out to Obradovic on the overlap down the left but Valencia harasses the ball off him and into touch for a throw-in. Rojo's departure has killed the atmosphere. It's miserably quiet there. 


24 min

Too busy watching Rojo to remember to report that Romero actually tipped Acheampong's shot wide. Good work from the keeper to come out so fast. 


23 min

Exit Rojo on a stretcher. Enter Blind on Shanks's Pony. 


22 min

From the throw Acheampong hares forward, Rojo and Bailly get into a tangle, Rojo collapses when he tries to clear with his right leg. Acheampong races on with Bailly in pursuit but pulls his shot wide from the left of the box. 


21 min 

Bailly floats a crossfield pass miles over Valencia and into touch. Mourinho does the wide-eyed stare of an unbeliever. 


19 min

We wait while Rojo receives treatment for a shin-to-shin collision that may have jarred his knee. Mourinho has his 'cursed' look on ... but Rojo eventually gets back to his feet and limps back on. 


17 min

The touchmap so far

Man Utd vs Anderlecht



15 min

United move the ball about slickly and with confidence, working it from left to right and back again until Tielemans makes a superb tackle on the too-languid Pogba. 

<span>Ruben tips Pogba's header over</span> <span>Credit: Magi Haroun/REX/Shutterstock </span>
Ruben tips Pogba's header over Credit: Magi Haroun/REX/Shutterstock



13 min

A pair of excellent saves from Ruben - from Pogba's header (tipped over) and Lingard's attempted right-foot curler (clawed round the post at full stretch) - thwart United wrapping up the game early. 

<span>United celebrate scoring</span> <span>Credit: Matthew Peters/Man Utd via Getty Images </span>
United celebrate scoring Credit: Matthew Peters/Man Utd via Getty Images



10 min

Man Utd 1 - 0 Anderlecht (Henrikh Mkhitaryan, 10 min)

Excellent curving 40-yard pass from Pogba up to Rashford raiding up the left, the mirror of Herrera's pass that set up Rashford to score against Chelsea. His cross is blocked by Kara before it could reach Ibrahimovic at the back post but rebounds to him. He squares it this time and Mkhitaryan finishes crisply from 16 yards.



Man Utd 1-0 Anderlecht (Mkhitaryan)

<span>Mkhitaryan opens the scoring</span> <span>Credit: Michael Steele/Getty Images </span>
Mkhitaryan opens the scoring Credit: Michael Steele/Getty Images



8 min

Until Anderlecht Hanni capitalises on a wayward pass to chip a ball over the top from inside-right to inside-left that no'but just eludes Teodorczyk on the 18-yard line. 


7 min

United fans run through the Herman's Hermits and Slade songbooks while their surrogates knock the ball around at the back without discomfort. 


5 min

Poor pass from Shaw who was looking for Mkhitaryan. Cut out by the sliding Tielemans who then inadvertently knocks the ball back out to the left whence United work it Mkhitaryan. He tries to mesmerise Appiah with some nifty footwork but the right-back watches the ball and pounces. 


3 min

Dendoncker drives a wickedly dipping 25-yard diagonal shot from the inside-left channel when Bailly stood off him and Carrick did not track him. It didn't come down in time but had Romero momentarily scrambling. 


2 min

Unites classily work an opening on the right of the box thanks to Mkhitaryan's cute round-the-corner flick for Lingard. The angle is not so tight but he is caught in two minds and drags a cross-shot through the area that is easily repelled. 


1 min

Manchester United kick off, massively overloading on the right but move the ball backwards before knocking it long for Valencia to sprint to the corner. Spajic cuts him off at the cost of a throw-in. 


But first ...

The rarely heard full Europa League anthem



He looks pleased to be back

<span>Wayne Rooney has barely stopped smiling for the past 15 minutes</span> <span>Credit: Martin Rickett/PA </span>
Wayne Rooney has barely stopped smiling for the past 15 minutes Credit: Martin Rickett/PA



Mourinho speaks

"It is important to do some rotation because on Sunday we have another important match. If we have the same kind of attitude, pressing high, being strong, being intense, recover the ball as fast as possible, it is easy for the attacking players to have more in the ball. In the end it is a collective instinct.


Those teams as you like them

Man Utd Romero; Valencia, Bailly, Rojo, Shaw; Carrick, Pogba; Lingard, Mkhitaryan, Rashford, Ibrahimovic.
Substitutes De Gea,  Rooney, Martial, Blind, Young, Ander Herrera, Fellaini. 

<span>Bryan Robson arrives at Old Trafford</span> <span>Credit: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images </span>
Bryan Robson arrives at Old Trafford Credit: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Anderlecht Ruben Martinez; Appiah, Mbodji, Spajic, Obradovic;  Chipciu, Tielemans, Dendoncker, Hanni, Acheampong; Teodorczyk. 
Substitutes Boeckx, Deschacht, Bruno, Nuytinck, Diego Capel, Thelin,  Stanciu. 

Referee Alberto Undiano Mallenco (Pamplona) 


Anderlecht make four changes

 Spajic, Chipciu, Hanni and Teodorczyk replace Nuytinck, Bruno, Stanciu and Thelin in the starting XI.  


Team news

Manchester United make one change from the home leg, bringing in Luke Shaw on the left. Carrick. Mkhitaryan and Ibrahimovic, who missed out on Sunday, return for Herrera, Fellaini and Young. Rooney is on the bench and Romero resumes his role as first-choice Europa League keeper:



Good evening 

This was how we began last week but it wasn't up for long so I will say it again with a couple of tweaks ...

Welcome to coverage of the second leg of Manchester United's Europa League quarter-final against Anderlecht. Having been knocked out in the Round of 16 the last two times they were parachuted into this competition, this is their first quarter-final since 1985 when they took on Hungary's Videoton, drew 1-1 on aggregate but went down 5-4 on penalties in Szekesfehervar when Frank Stapleton and Arthur Albiston missed from 12 yards. Some consolation, though, they went on to win the FA Cup final at the end of the season.

Too often over the past two decades the Champions League has been portrayed as the be-all and end-all of continental tournaments yet some of the greatest European nights, the ones most cherished by those who were there, have come in the Uefa Cup and its defunct sibling, the Cup Winners' Cup. I know they want to win it to qualify for next year's Champions League but it also offers United the significant opportunity to complete their honours board – should they win they would join Juventus, Ajax, Bayern Munich and Chelsea as the only teams with all three proper Uefa trophies on their CVs.

<span>Henrikh Mkhitaryan puts United 1-0 up</span> <span>Credit: Clive Rose/Getty Images </span>
Henrikh Mkhitaryan puts United 1-0 up Credit: Clive Rose/Getty Images

They dominated the match in Brussels last week but were woeful with their finishing, Paul Pogba especially. Kara and Nutinck had something to do with that, too, of course. The prediction at the bottom of the page, not by me, argues for a 0-0 draw. I think if Jose Mourinho sends them out with the same spirit and speed they showed against Chelsea  they should win. But it looks as though he will bring Zlatan Ibrahimovic back in and there's a suggestion that he will throw Wayne Rooney a bone. I think there's too much at stake to change a winning front two.  


Manchester United vs Anderlecht your pre-match package

What is it?

The second leg of the Europa League quarter-final between Manchester United and Anderlecht, of Belgium. The first leg last Thursday finished 1-1.

When is it?

Thursday night, 20 April 2017.

What time is kick-off?

20.05 BST. Or Europa League o'clock, as its known. 

What TV channel is it on?

BT Sport 2, HD and 4K. But you can also follow the match right here with liveblogging champion Rob Bagchi from about an hour before kick-off.

What is the team news?

Wayne Rooney could return to the United squad for the first time in several weeks.

The 31-year-old captain has not played since April 1 due to ankle pain but will be assessed by Jose Mourinho on Wednesday afternoon with a view to being on the bench.

The United manager confirmed Sergio Romero will start in goal instead of David De Gea, but Phil Jones (foot), Chris Smalling (knee) and Juan Mata (groin) remain out.

Provisional squad: De Gea, Romero, Pereira, Valencia, Blind, Darmian, Shaw, Rojo, Tuanzebe, Fosu-Mensah, Bailly, Mkhitaryan, Carrick, Herrera, Young, Lingard, Pogba, Fellaini, Martial, Rooney, Rashford, Ibrahimovic.

Man Utd team picker

Honduran defender Andy Najar is an injury doubt for the visitors, who will be able to name an unchanged line-up from the first leg.

What are they saying?

<span>Europa League final? Why not...</span> <span>Credit: PA </span>
Europa League final? Why not... Credit: PA

Playing in the Europa League final in Sweden next month would be the "perfect" way to end a difficult season for Manchester United, says manager Jose Mourinho.

With United struggling for consistency in the league and struggling to finish in the top four, winning the Europa League would bring the club not only a trophy they have never won but also an automatic berth in next season's Champions League.

Mourinho's side are currently fifth in the Premier League on 60 points, four behind Manchester City but with a game in hand. Only the top four finishers are assured entry to Europe's elite club competition.

"It will be the perfect end to the season," said Mourinho.

"A difficult season, lots of matches, trying to build a team, trying to recover a certain mentality, trying to finish the season playing a European final.

"It will be the perfect finale for Manchester United."

Mourinho added that reaching the final would also be a good way for striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic to end his season.

The 35-year-old, who is United's leading scorer this season, is set to be honoured with a statue at the Friends Arena in his native Sweden where the final will be played.

"For Zlatan it would be fantastic to play the final in Stockholm, in his country. It would be beautiful," Mourinho added.

What are the odds?

Man Utd win: 1/4 Anderlecht win: 14/1 Draw: 11/2

United to progress: 1/12 Anderlecht to progress: 7/1

What's our prediction?

A 0-0 draw. Which will, of course, be enough to see United through. What do you think?

What to read next

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