Ratings: Cavani and Pogba combined to open the scoring with the Frenchman playing well in the first half


Manchester United beat Granada 2-0 (4-0 on aggregate) in the UEFA Europa League quarter-final second leg at Old Trafford. Edinson Cavani opened the scoring in the sixth minute of the match, shinning the ball into the back of the net on the volley after Paul Pogba’s pass. Pogba was booked 11 minutes later and the Spanish side were trying to get hims sent off, which shows bad sportsmanship. United did well in the match, bringing on Donnny van de Beek, Daniel James, Juan Mata, Amad Diallo and Brandon Williams. A second goal was scored by Jesus Vallejo in the 90th minute, which secured a 4-0 aggregate victory over the Spanish club.

United started well at the Theatre of Dreams and instantly sought to hunt for an early goal against the Spanish side. United got their goal in the sixth minute of the match, putting them 3-0 up on aggregate in the tie, which gives the Spanish side an uphill struggle to make the semi-finals of the competition. Ales Telles crossed the ball into Paul Pogba, who flicked the ball into Edinson Cavani and his volley found the bottom corner of the net. It was his ninth goal of the season and his second in two matches. The ball came off Cavani’s shin but a goal is a goal and he won’t be too worried by that.

Paul Pogba was booked in the 17th minute of the match, which was a harsh booking and the Granada players seemed to orchestrate that. Minutes later and Pogba won the ball then a player fell over his legs and Roberto Soldado was vocal with the referee in trying to get Pogba sent off for a second yellow card. However, Soldado was the player that was booked. Pogba needs to be wary of the threat Granada have now which won’t stop until they get him off the pitch. Poor tactics and bad sportsmanship from the Spanish side all because they are in a losing position. Boo hoo.

Granada were forced into making their first substitution in the 32nd minute of the match with Maxime Gonalons being replaced by Jorge Molina. United were still using their attacking power to command their lead of the game and in the 34th minute, Bruno Fernandes missed the target after Nemanja Mastic delicately chipped the ball into him but his shot went over the target. Fernandes then had another chance five minutes later but Cavani’s pass bobbled on the pitch and was not received by the Portuguese magnifico. United were in a commanding position at the end of the first half but another goal should kill the game again.

At the start of the second half, Solskjaer made his first substitution with Donny van de Beek replacing Pogba after his booking in the first half of the match. Within a few minutes, Granada had an opportunity on goal but Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s face took the sting off the shot which did not trouble David De Gea. United had a chance at the other end pit the pitch with Mason Greenwood’s attempt not causing much trouble. United would need to remain wary of Granada’s threat as they have been seeking to get something from this match, despite the fact they were 3-0 down on aggregate – they were better than they were at home a week ago.

United had another effort on goal through Cavani in the 56th minute of the match with the ball ending up coming off his shoulder after Fernandes played the ball into the box. It was a shame he did not make it ten goals for the season with that – but there is still plenty of time for that to happen. Van de Beek had a good chance on goal with Greenwood running with the ball, stopping to buy some time, passing to the Dutchman but his shot was wide of the target. Solskjaer made his second substitution with Cavani being replaced by Daniel James in the 60th minute of the match. United will use James’ pace on the attack now.

Solskjaer made a third substitution in the 73rd minute of the match after Juan Mata replaced Fernandes, so United will have some fresher legs on the pitch against Burnley in the Premier League at Old Trafford on Sunday. United won a free kick before the substitution, which Telles took and it seemed to get a deflection but the referee blew his whistle with the ball in the air. United made a double substitution in the 83rd minute of the match with Amad Diallo replacing Greenwood and Brandon Williams replacing Aaron Wan-Bissaka. United should take the chance to maintain this 1-0 victory to learn the mentality of maintaining a 1-0 victory.

Amad Diallo had a good moment on the pitch, running through with the ball but slowing as he reached the box. It seemed like he was fouled, right in front of the referee but he gave nothing, despite Mata appealing. Granada then got forward and threatened United with De Gea making the save. The ball was then played up the pitch with Mata rising to make the header, the ball missing him and it deflecting off Jesus Vallejo and into the back of the net for United to go 2-0 up in this game, 4-0 on aggregate. It was a shame that Diallo was ignored by the referee after that cynical foul and I think it should have perhaps been a red card for last man.

United got the job done and will now play in the semi-final of the Europa League this season where they will face AS Roma, a team they beat 7-1 at Old Trafford back in 2007. It will be an interesting match for United, who are the favourites to lift the trophy this season. They will need to be at their best to lift the trophy but two matches lie in wait before they can think about that. Next up for United is a visit from Burnley in the Premier League on Sunday, which United will need to win to keep their cushion in second place in the league table. If Leicester City do not face West Bromwich Albion for a week, so United could end up ten points clear.

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

Kept another clean sheet but was hardly tested. Did well late on the make the save. Played a good ball to Wan-Bissaka. Good to see him back, for however long it may be.


29 Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Played well at right-back and was required more defensively against Granada, as they pushed to get something in the match, despite not getting anything. They were better than at home last week. Wan-Bissaka was replaced by Williams in the 83rd minute of the match. I would like to see him attack more.


38 Axel Tuanzebe

Good to see him back in the team again. He maintained his composure when under pressure. Needs to be utilised more this season.


2 Victor Lindelof

Authoritative in this match with the absence of Henderson and Maguire. Did what he needed to do defensively against Granada.


27 Alex Telles

Did what he needed to do with Shaw suspended in this match, which will see Shaw get some much-needed rest ahead of Sunday's clash with Burnley. Was better with the dead ball situations, which was the same as last week. Supported Pogba on the left in the first half.


17 Fred

Helped United press further up field. His shooting towards goal was not all that great, even after Sunday's goal against Spurs.


31 Nemanja Matic

Played in a superb chipped ball into Fernandes in the 34th minute of the match. Had a good game for United, which he will be happy with. United kept a resurgent Granada, who had poor sportsmanship, at bay in the game to reach the semi-final of the Europa League.


6 Paul Pogba

Did well in the first half of the match. He got his third assist in his last four matches sending the ball into Cavani to put United 1-0 up on the night and 3-0 up on aggregate. He was booked in the 17th minute of the match and Granada seemed to want to get hims sent off. He was replaced by Van de Beek at the start of the second half.


18 Bruno Fernandes

Had a good game for United but was not able to extend his goal or assist tally in this match. He had a good shot on goal, which was off target and did what he needed to do in the match before he was replaced by Mata in the 73rd minute of the match.


11 Mason Greenwood

Had some good moments on the pitch and when Cavani came off, he was the main striker. He tried to work inside the box but ended up getting dispossessed or crowded in the box, keeping possession by playing the ball out to a teammate. It was good to see that he is developing into the striker he could become in the future. Should have scored today. He was replaced by Diallo in the 83rd minute of the match.


21 Edinson Cavani

Scored his ninth goal of the season with a volley, which on replay came off his shin. He won't have been worried about that. He is in good form at this stage of the season. His positioning was good to see, both as a goal threat and opening up space for his teammates. Should have had a second goal, but it came off his shoulder. Replaced by James in the 60th minute.



34 Donny van de Beek

Replaced Pogba 46'. Was a positive addition at the start of the second half. There was some moaning when he did not start. They will probably moan that he never scored, although he did get a chance too. He needs to play more but also needs to settle at the club, which has been the main problem. Should have at least got an assist.


Ratings: Cavani and Pogba combined to open the scoring with the Frenchman playing well in the first half

Replaced Cavani 60'. Used his pace to push Granada, despite United being 3-0 up on aggregate and cruising to the semi-final of the Europa League. Did what he needed to to in the second half but should have created something.


8 Juan Mata

Replaced Fernandes 73'. Came on late in the game and did not really have much impact, other than supporting the attack. His experience was key to seeing out the match.


16 Amad Diallo

Replaced Greenwood 82'. Needs more time to impress. Should at least come off the bench in the Premier League.


33 Brandon Williams

Replaced Wan-Bissaka 82'. Did what was expected at right-back to see out the match.


Goals: Edinson Cavani 6′, Jesus Vallejo 90′ o/g

Assists: Paul Pogba 6′

Manchester United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka (Williams 83′), Tuanzebe, Lindelof, Telles; Fred, Matic, Pogba (Van de Beek 46′); Fernandes (Mata 73′); Greenwood (Diallo 83′), Cavani (James 60′)

Substitutes Not Used: Grant, Henderson; Fish, Shoretire; Rashford, Elanga

Bookings: Paul Pogba 17′; Roberto Soldado 19′, German Sanchez 61′, Carlos Neva 75′

Written by John Walker

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