Manchester United hang on to reach Europa League final


Manchester United survived a huge late scare to edge past Spanish visitors Celta Vigo and set up a Europa League final against Dutch giants Ajax.

Marouane Fellaini heads home United's goal
Marouane Fellaini heads home United’s goal

Leading 1-0 from the first leg, United took control as Marouane Fellaini headed home Marcus Rashford’s cross.

But Celta, needing two goals, levelled on the night through Facundo Roncaglia to set up a tense final few minutes.

United’s Eric Bailly and Roncaglia were sent off after a mass brawl, and the hosts hung on to reach the final.

Indeed they could only celebrate after Celta striker John Guidetti scuffed a golden chance to put the visitors through to their first major European final with the final kick of the game.

The aggregate victory took the Red Devils a step closer to their first Europa League triumph and a return to the Champions League.

They will meet Ajax, who beat Lyon in the other semi-final, in Stockholm on 24 May.

Functional not flashy – but in the final

United had never lost a two-legged European tie after winning the first leg away from home, and knew they would reach the final by keeping a clean sheet at an expectant Old Trafford.

The hosts looked nervy as Celta made an attacking start, before Fellaini settled the tension by converting his side’s first effort on target.

The Belgium midfielder sneaked in at the far post to powerfully head in Rashford’s clipped left-wing cross.

Jose Mourinho’s side created few other chances as they aimed to frustrate the visitors with an organised and largely defensive approach.

Although Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Rashford and Fellaini all drew saves from Celta keeper Sergio Alvarez after the break, it was a functional – not flashy – performance. BBC Sport

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