Rashford, Antony, Bruno Fernandes and Wout Weghorst on target as Utd secures big first-leg lead

Manchester United bounced back from Sunday’s trouncing at Liverpool with Antony’s stunner helping them cement a 4-1 first-leg Europa League last-16 lead over Real Betis.

United did struggle at times against La Liga’s fifth-placed side and was lucky to go in at half-time level after Ayoze Perez, who had already canceled out Rashford’s opener, hit the post with David De Gea beaten.

But once Antony’s curling effort had restored their advantage, they blew Betis away. Fernandes’ booming header from a corner was too powerful for Claudio Bravo to handle, and Wout Weghorst added a fourth after fine work from substitute Facundo Pallestri.

Antony and Weghorst both missed glorious chances to extend United’s lead further, but Erik ten Hag’s side will still travel to Spain next Thursday in pole position to reach the Europa League quarter-finals.

How Man Utd put one foot in the Europa League quarter-finals

Ten Hag named an unchanged side to the one that started at Anfield on Sunday afternoon. This was the team that had got United into their mess, and it was the team that was going to get them out of it.

They certainly enjoyed the perfect start when Marcus Rashford sidestepped his man and smashed in an opener past Bravo with less than six minutes gone, as United threatened to blow Betis away straight out of the traps.

But there were still chinks in the armour of the hosts’ confidence. Leicester loanee Perez placed a low shot back across De Gea and inside the far post to stun Old Trafford on the half-hour mark, and from there United struggled to regain their momentum before half-time.


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