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Manchester United Progress To The Next Round

Manchester United
Ander Herrera of Manchester United celebrates scoring his team's fourth goal during the UEFA Europa League Round of 32 second leg match between Manchester United and FC Midtjylland at Old Trafford on February 25, 2016 in Manchester, United Kingdom.

The Red Devils progressed onto the next round of the UEFA Europa League after overturning a 1-2 deficit from the first leg encounter with FC Midtjylland, winning 5-1 in the second leg. Things were not going according to plan early on in the second leg at Old Trafford; Pione Sisto scored the opening goal in the second leg on the 27th minute. Sisto then forced the question, can Manchester United score three or more goals.

Five minutes after FC Midtjylland took the lead, United would score their first of the evening. Juan Mata found Memphis Depay on the left wing and after beating Romer fired the ball across the goal forcing Nikolay Bodurov to turn the ball into his own net. Manchester United would also be given a golden opportunity to level the match on aggregate when Romer made a wild tackle on Ander Herrera in the box, which led to a penalty kick to the Red Devils.

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Spanish playmaker Juan Mata stepped up to take the penalty and attempted to sneak in a low left footed effort but Andersen was composed and palmed the penalty away. When the halftime whistle rang the Red Devils were ruing a missed penalty that could have potentially come back to bite them. In the second half the Danish visitors began to show weakness under pressure.

Debutant Marcus Rashford in the 63rd minute would score his first goal for Manchester United. Right back Guillermo Varela cross found Juan Mata which Mata cut in a ball in the danger area where Rashford was able to bang home from close range. Rashford would go on to grabbing his double in the 75th minute when Varela again played a quick one-two and Guillermo sent a cross to the back post. Varela’s cross was met by the debutant Rashford to take the Red Devils to a 3-1 lead, a 4-3 lead on aggregate.

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Manchester United would go on to put the match to bed in the 87th minute when Danish defender Kian Hansen handled the ball inside the penalty box after Memphis Depay whipped a shot towards goal. This time Ander Herrera stepped up to take the penalty and the Spanish international smashed home the penalty. United would go on to score their fifth of the evening when Memphis Depay showed some dribbling skill and lashed a low shot to wrap the match up at 5-1.

Manchester United for the first time this campaign defeated an opponent by more than three goals. The thing to take away though is many journalists criticized United for still what was a lackluster first leg in Denmark and an abysmal 50-60 minutes in the second leg. The main phraseology used in the first leg was “Manchester United are being beaten by a team everyone in the press box need to look to spell the name properly.”

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The Red Devils have drawn Liverpool for the Europa League round of 16. Despite both teams not being thrilled to face off against each other, the one major silver lining to this match up for both Liverpool and Manchester United is that they won’t travel too far.

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