Manchester, May 12 (IANS) Manchester United advanced to the final of the Europa League after a 1-1 draw against Spanish side Celta Vigo in the second leg gave the English football giants a 2-1 victory on aggregate.
After notching a 1-0 victory in the May 4 first leg at Balaidos Stadium in northwestern Spain, United on Thursday narrowly staved off a comeback effort by Celta to secure the final berth with a 1-1 draw here at the Old Trafford stadium, reports Efe.
Belgian midfielder Marouane Fellaini opened the scoring for the hosts in the 17th minute when he headed home a perfectly placed cross from Marcus Rashford.
United focused on preserving their lead from that point forward, with Celta Vigo having a slight edge in time of possession at half-time.
After the intermission, Celta produced most of the best scoring opportunities, nearly getting a goal in the 76th minute when a header by Swedish striker John Guidetti went just wide of the post.
The Spanish club finally got on the board five minutes before stoppage time when Argentine defender Facundo Roncaglia headed a Theo Bongonda cross into the far corner of the goal.
The visitors still needed another goal, however, leading to a frenetic final few minutes that saw United central defender Eric Bailly getting sent off for pushing his hand into the side of Guidetti’s head; both teams were down to 10 men, however, because Roncaglia was ejected in the same altercation.
In stoppage time, the hosts had a chance to seal the victory but an apparent goal by Ander Herrera was disallowed for a foul. Three minutes later, Guidetti failed to score on one final chance inside the box.
“The boys didn’t play a phenomenal match but they fought, they gave everything they had to give and I’m really pleased for them because 14 matches and we are in the final so it’s good,” United head coach Jose Mourinho said, as reported by the club’s website.
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