Manchester United leave it late to book Europa League semi-final place

Manchester United 2 Anderlecht 1 (AET) (Manchester United progress 3-2 on aggregate.)

Marcus Rashford sent Manchester United into the Europa League semi-finals after Anderlecht took Jose Mourinho's side to extra-time in a breathless encounter.

England's last European representatives came into the quarter-final second leg boosted by Sunday's surprisingly dominant win against Premier League leaders Chelsea and Henrikh Mkhitaryan's away goal.

The Armenian struck again early on but United were given a scare, with Anderlecht captain Sofiane Hanni bringing the tie level, before Rashford capped a man-of-the-match display with the goal that secured a 2-1 extra-time triumph.

Victory saw Mourinho's men stumble a step closer to the Stockholm finale 3-2 on aggregate, but the Old Trafford quarter-final second leg proved costly as Marcos Rojo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic sustained what appear to be serious injuries.

Few could have foreseen such an arduous evening after Mkhitaryan's fifth goal in six Europa League matches, but impressive Anderlecht went into half-time level after Hanni reacted quickest to Youri Tielemans' deflected effort rebounding off the crossbar.

United's desperation to avoid an embarrassing exit was matched by the visitors' desire to win on English soil for the first time, leading to a thrilling second half that came to an excruciating end for Ibrahimovic.

The veteran Swede's enforced exit after landing awkwardly saw Rashford lead the line and the outrageously-talented 19-year-old struck the decisive blow, showing wonderful composure and skill to strike a 107th-minute winner.

Email Updates

Receive our lunchtime briefing straight to your inbox

More in this Section

Lion's Peter O'Mahony omitted completely from squad to play All Blacks on Saturday

Warren Gatland gambles as Lions’ hopes rest on Johnny Sexton and Owen Farrell partnership

Robbie Henshaw and George North ruled out of rest of Lions Tour

Bravo the hero as Chile secure place in Confederations Cup final


Today's Stories

Richie Hogan: I’ll sweep streets for 50 years if I can hurl ‘til 35

Jon Rahm eyes Ryder Cup spot after professional debut

Cork City taking no chances as Levadia pose tricky European test

Michael Conlan can shine in Pacquiao’s shadow

Lifestyle

Hand of Fate: Have faith in the hand you are dealt

Sean O’Hagan returns to 'cosmopolitan' Cork

Nude dating show Naked Attraction will see singletons revealing a lot about themselves

'Everybody cheats on everybody': Technology and its impact on human behaviour

More From The Irish Examiner