Manchester United took a giant step into reaching the quarter-finals of the 2022/2023 UEFA Europa League, following a commanding 4-1 victory over Spanish La Liga outfit Real Betis in their round-of-16 first-leg tie at Old Trafford.
Wout Weghorst had the ball in the net early in the fifth minute which was chalked off but the Red Devils didn’t have to wait for long to get the opener as Marcus Rashford beat his marker to fire home in the sixth minute.
Former Newcastle United and Leicester City forward Ayoze Perez levelled proceedings in what was his first goal against Manchester United in 14 fixtures against them. It was also his first goal since joining the Spanish outfit. The first half went into the break with the scores level.
The Red Devils took the second half by storm as Brazilian attacker Antony and Portuguese midfielder Bruno Fernandes both struck within six minutes (52nd and 58th) to give the hosts some breathing space, before Dutchman Wout Weghorst grabbed the fourth to put the icing on the cake for Erik ten Hag’s side.
On paper, the return leg at the Estadio Benito Vilamarin in Spain next week appears to be all but a formality, though it will take a mammoth effort from Betis to claw their way into the tie and possibly the last-eight.
🔴 Live Blog:
FULL-TIME AT OLD TRAFFORD: Manchester United 4-1 Real Betis
GOOOAAALLL!!! Manchester United 4-1 Real Betis (W. Weghorst)
58′ MIN: Luke Shaw launched the corner kick and superbly found the head of Bruno Fernandes, whose accurate effort from near the penalty spot went straight into the left side of the goal.
GOOOAAALLL!!! Manchester United 3-1 Real Betis (B. Fernandes)
52′ MIN: Antony scores an absolute screamer from outside the penalty area, with the ball flying into the top left corner!
GOOOAAALLL!!! Manchester United 2-1 Real Betis (Antony)
SECOND HALF UNDERWAY AT OLD TRAFFORD: Manchester United 1-1 Real Betis
HALF-TIME AT OLD TRAFFORD: Manchester United 1-1 Real Betis
33′ MIN: Here comes the VAR decision. The goal is given and Betis players have a reason to celebrate!
33′ MIN: The Betis players halt their celebrations as referee Daniel Siebert makes the VAR signal to review the goal, most likely to ascertain if there was a handball in the build-up play.
32′ MIN: Juanmi tees up Ayoze Perez (Betis) on the edge of the box and he fires the ball into the bottom left corner.
GOOOAAALLL!!! Manchester United 1-1 Real Betis (A. Perez)
6′ MIN: Marcus Rashford was in the right place at the right time to get to the rebound inside the box and gleefully rifles the ball into the top right corner.
GOOOAAALLL!!! Manchester United 1-0 Real Betis (M. Rashford)
KICK-OFF AT OLD TRAFFORD: Manchester United 0-0 Real Betis