Report: United earn Europa League final place; Bailly sent off!


Manchester United drew 1-1 with Celta Vigo in the semi-final second leg of the UEFA Europa League earning a final place against Ajax who beat Lyon 5-4 on aggregate in the other semi-final. Marouane Fellaini was the provider of United’s goal in the 17th minute of the match by Facundo Roncaglia who was sent off along with Eric Bailly in the 87th minute of the match after a fracas over something around the centre circle. United will be weakened in the final but will aim to win it.

Jose Mourinho started the same team he did a week ago in Spain, making seven changes from the team beaten 2-0 by Arsenal on Sunday. The Spanish side were looking for a goal from the off, pressuring United in their own area, aiming to get something on the break. Sergio Romero has to make two stops on the first two minutes, calm in his area with United seemingly inviting pressure on them. United soon got themselves back in the game through their possession, Paul Pogba did some keepy-uppy tricks turning to attack sending a good ball into the area which was thwarted by the Spanish side. United took the lead in the 17th minute of the match through Marouane Fellaini with a header after Rashford put a sensational pass into him. United were 1-0 up and two goals to the good.

Fellaini’s header was United’s 100th goal of the season. Two minutes after United’s opener Henrikh Mkhitaryan had a shot after he broke clear on the left flank but his effort flew over the crossbar. United has changed their play from sitting in their own half in the opening few minutes of the match to playing some quick attacking football. Mkhitaryan released Lingard, but his effort from the edge of the box was deflected for a United corner, which amounted to nothing. Celta Vigo won a free-kick in the 25th minute of the match which was swung in by Daniel Wass and Romero had to punch the ball to safety. Two minutes later, Pablo Hernandez was given the space and the time to shoot from 25-yards, forcing Romero to put it out for a corner.

In the 35th minute of the match, United seemed to be in cruise control and well on their want to facing Ajax in the final in Sweden in just under a fortnight’s time. United found themselves under a bit of pressure with five minutes left with Pione Sisto’s quick feet towards the left-hand side of the edge of the box before he curled his effort almost catching Romero off his line. United ended the half 1-0 up, 2-0 on aggregate seemingly in the driving seat to the final. Marcus Rashford, the provider to Fellaini’s header has been involved in United’s last four goals in the Europa League, scoring twice and assisting twice. No changes at the start of the second half for, but the visitors brought on Sanchez Ruiz Jozabed for Daniel Wass.

From the start of the second half, Celta Vigo were looking to get themselves back into the match with fast paced attacking football. In all of their six away matches in the Europa League this season, the Spanish side have scored, winning three of the last four, which could suggest they will not be happy leaving Old Trafford without finding the back of the net, which would help them change the game. United, though, have been doing their best to thwart the Spanish side from taking away their advantage of the away goal a week ago. United seemed to have gone back to playing in their own half with Celta Vigo pressuring them with their pace and ability, which so far is not causing many problems for United. Romero has been a top player in this game, getting the better of almost every attempt made.

United won a free-kick in their own area after Pogba did a Cruyff turn, being taken out by Hugo Mallo. The £89 million man will probably be criticised for using his skill by those who just do not know how to appreciate him. Just after the hour mark, United started getting themselves forward, creating some pressure for the visitors, so far it not getting them anything. Marcus Rashford got himself into the box, creating a threat on the Spanish side, keeping the ball and launching a shot with was dealt with by Celta Vigo. United had another spot of pressure to deal with but Eric Bailly chased down and won the ball, under pressure to clear it, so he rounds the player who was trying to dispossess him, clearing the ball easily.

Iago Aspas earned himself a yellow card for dissent after going down on the left side of the box with Mkhitaryan trying to get the ball back. He seemed to think he was due a free-kick but the referee did not make much of it, booking him after he threw his toys out of the pram. Theo Bongonda replaced Nemanja Radoja in the 68th minute of the match, the second substitution of the evening for the visitors. In the 69th minute, Fellaini was through in the box, sending his shot goalwards with a corner being won which Rashford took, not getting anything for United from that set-piece. In the 71st minute Jozabed had a shot on goal, which was wide of the mark. United looked comfortable at this late stage of the match with Celta Vigo looking desperate for a goal.

In the 75th minute after pressuring United, Celta Vigo had a good chance to capitalise through John Guidetti, being off target by some distance. Chances seem to be running out for the Spanish side. In the 77th minute of the match, Michael Carrick replaced Henrikh Mkhitaryan with United looking to win the match with the veteran midfielder on the pitch to help United in possession and set the tempo for the game. The Spanish side made their second change on the  80th minute with Claudio Beauvue replacing Sisto. United still have two substitutes to make, with the visitors having none left this evening. United had a moment of pressure on the Spanish side with Lingard and Rashford having some good play, but failing to get something from the attack.

In the 85th minute of the match, United conceded the away goal with Facundo Roncaglia scoring the equaliser on the night. United still lead 2-1 on aggregate with a nervy final few minutes. There was a fracas on the pitch with Eric Bailly seemingly punching John Guidetti and Antonio Valencia involved also. It resulted in Bailly being sent off as well as Roncaglia with both teams down to ten men and the winner missing either man from the final. After the commotion Wayne Rooney replaced Lingard and Chris Smalling replaced Rashford with United still in the match just, but conceding another goal would see them out of the competition. Six minutes were added at the end of the match. United won a free-kick on the edge of the Celta Vigo’s box after a challenge, which came to nothing.

Four minutes into added time Pogba played a sublime pass to Ander Herrera who found the back of the net with it being ruled out as Pogba fouled his man in the box. United seemed to be wasting time where they could, in all fairness, they had been the victim of teams wasting time in this competition this season, so why not waste some of their own. In the final few seconds of the match, the Spanish side were through on goal with United doing just enough to stop a second goal being scored. United were through to the final, but it was going to be at some cost – maybe not an injury, but with Eric Bailly losing his cool and earning himself a straight red card meaning he will miss out in Sweden in less than a fortnight.

Goals: Marouane Fellaini 17′

Assists: Marcus Rashford 17′

Manchester United: Romero; Valencia, Bailly, Blind, Darmian; Herrera, Fellaini; Lingard (Rooney 86′), Pogba, Mkhitaryan (Carrick 77′); Rashford (Smalling 89′)

Substitutes Not Used: De Gea; Jones; Mata, Martial

Bookings: Daley Blind 32′, Ander Herrera 81′, Eric Bailly s/o 87′

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