Manchester United blew past a quality Real Betis side in a 4-1 win in the Europa League round of 16 on Thursday night.
With the snow falling at Old Trafford, Mark Rashford and Ayoze Perez exchanged goals in the first half before United hit top speed in the second stanza with goals from anthony, Bruno Fernandes and Wout Weghorst taking them to a comfortable lead ahead of the second leg at the Estadio Benito Villamarín on March 16.
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Erik ten Hag chose exactly the same XI that he did for Sunday’s 7-0 Premier League thrashing at the hands of Liverpool and, despite beating Barcelona in the previous round, United went into the game knowing that their five Recent European campaigns had come to an end at the hands of the Spanish opposition.
Recent history aside, the United manager got the answer he was looking for when Fernandes positioned Rashford in the penalty area and the prolific number 10 cut to his right and fired into the roof of the goal. claudio bravonet to open the scoring within 10 minutes.
United were in firm control of the opening minutes and Weghorst had two chances to double the lead before 20 minutes, but the Dutch international saw Bravo parry his first attempt and hit the near post wide from a shot. luke shaw move on to his second.
Despite their dominance, United found themselves level again on 32 minutes when Ayoze Pérez fired a low shot from distance past David De Gea’s outstretched arm to make it 1-1.
A woeful ball from behind from De Gea put Betis into the lead just before half-time, but the United keeper was saved from the post after Pérez’s deflected effort from a tight angle echoed across the frame to leave the score level. in the middle. .
Ten Hag’s side began the second half as they began the first, roaring out of the locker room and quickly winning 3-1 with goals from Antony and Fernandes in the space of six minutes.
First, Fernandes singled out Antony on the right edge of the box and watched as his Brazilian teammate clipped his signature left foot and fired an unstoppable save shot past Bravo, before the United captain scored his own goal with a Shaw’s deflected header is whipped into the corner.
Manuel Pellegrini’s Betis, fifth in LaLiga, had no answers as they sought to return to the game and the job in the second leg became more difficult when Bravo blocked Scott McTominayHe fired right into Weghorst’s path for an easy finish from close range.
Manchester United host Southampton in the Premier League on Sunday, while Betis visit Villarreal in LaLiga on the same day.