Jose Mourinho’s side had to hold on for a nervy five minutes after Facundo Roncaglia netted late on
MAROUANE FELLAINI fired Manchester United into the Europa League final.
United went into the semi-final second leg against Celta Vigo one-goal up thanks to Marcus Rashford’s strike in Spain.
And the scorer turned provider at Old Trafford 16 minutes in when he whipped in a delightful cross from deep for the big Belgian to power in with his head.
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But Celta’s Facundo Roncaglia hauled his team back into the tie with an 85th minute header.
United managed to hold on but were devastated to lose Eric Bailly to a straight red card with just moments to go – meaning he now misses the final.
The centre-back completely lost his cool and lashed out grabbing Celta’s John Guidetti by the neck.
Bailly’s over-the-top reaction saw visitors’ scorer Roncaglia retaliate and also earn himself a sending off.
It was fitting that the last kick of the game should fall to Guidetti – a former Man City player – only for the Swede to completely miss what should have been the goal that brought on extra time.
Facts, Stats, Goals and Lols
- It might have been the Europa League but there was a real big match atmosphere at Old Trafford with a final beckoning.
- It will be United’s first European Final since they contested the Champions League against Barcelona at Wembley in 2011, a match they lost 3-1.
- It has certainly been a long road to the final in Stockholm with 14 games and trips to seven different countries.
Sergio Romero has featured in all bar two of those ties and is proving to be some number two goalkeeper. In 16 appearances this season he has chalked up 10 clean sheets.
- Marouane Fellaini has his detractors but has been tremendous in both legs of this semi-final.
- The big Belgian’s headed first half goal was his 15th for the club and last night was his 131st appearance.
- The Celta fans in their sky blue tops certainly brought colour to Old Trafford having enjoyed a trouble free afternoon in sunny Manchester.
- This was always going to be a tough ask for Celta Vigo after losing the first leg 1-0 but they did miss two great first half chances, and shook United towards the end after finding an equaliser.
- United had a cracking front cover of their programme entitled ‘The Final Piece’ with a jigsaw showing all the trophies they have won with the Uefa Cup piece half way into it’s position.
- While the league season has been a disappointment if United can finish the season with the Community Shield, EFL Cup and Europa League it certainly has to be seen as a success.
Manchester United’s next fixtures
Tottenham (A) – Sun, May 14 – PL
Southampton (A) – Wed, May 17 – PL
Crystal Palace (H) – Sun, May 21 – PL
Ajax – Wed, May 24 – EL
Dream Team ratings
Manchester United: Romero 7, Valencia 6, Bailly 5, Blind 6, Darmian 6, Fellaini 7, Herrera 7, Pogba 7, Lingard 6 (Rooney 5), Rashford 7 (Smalling 6), Mkhitaryan 7 (Carrick 6)
Subs not used: De Gea, Jones, Mata, Martial
Bookings: Blind, Herrera
Sent off: Bailly
Celta Vigo: Alvarez 6, Mallo 6, Cabral 6, Roncaglia 6, Castro Otto 6, Radoja 6 (Bongonda 6), Hernandez 7, Iago Aspas 7, Wass 6 (Sanchez Ruiz 6), Sisto 6 (Beauvue 6), Guidetti 6
Subs not used: Fontas Prat, Diaz,Gomez, Villar
Bookings: Cabral, Iago Aspas
Sent off: Roncaglia
What they said
Jose Mourinho on facing Ajax next: “It will be difficult, they finish the league this weekend.
“From this weekend they’ll have 12 days to prepare, but we have three matches and not many players.”
He added: “I’m more than happy if we win the Europa League. It was so hard for me this season that if we manage to do that its amazing.”
Ander Herrera: “[We want to win it for] Marcos Rojo. He has a big injury, same as Zlatan. We will fight for both.
“Also, Timothy Fosu-Mensah, [Chris] Smalling and [Phil] Jones, they have injuries, we are a team.”