Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes secured a hard-fought 2-0 victory at Granada in the Europa League quarter-final first leg to place their aspect in the driving seat. In a recreation the place clear-cut possibilities had been sparse, the spotlight of a uninteresting opening quarter got here when a streaker by some means managed to search out his manner onto the pitch, regardless of crowds not being allowed to attend the match because of COVID-19 protocols.
Rashford’s aim simply previous the half hour was the sport’s standout piece of high quality. Victor Lindelof strode out of defence and his lengthy ball was completely weighted into the trail of the England ahead, who managed properly earlier than coolly ending to place United forward and notch up his twentieth aim of the season in all competitions.
Granada fought for a manner again into what was billed as the largest match in their latest historical past, with Chelsea loanee Kenedy testing David de Gea from vary earlier than Yangel Herrera – on mortgage from Manchester City – hit the put up with a volley.
In a cagey second-half, Fernandes was denied from shut vary by a save from Portuguese countryman Rui Silva late on earlier than the midfielder netted United’s second with a stoppage-time penalty after being felled by substitute Yan Brice Eteki.
“It’s a massive win. We knew it was going to be hard coming here,” United ahead Daniel James instructed BT Sport. “Marcus took his goal really well and Bruno put his penalty away at the end. We always knew it was going to be tough. We had to play our football, which is where the first goal came from. Obviously the second goal gives us a good platform. Today’s a great win. We need to go into next week with the same attitude as today.”
United will be without suspended club captain Harry Maguire, in addition to Luke Shaw and Scott McTominay for the return leg after the trio had been booked. The winners of the tie will face the victors in Ajax Amsterdam’s conflict with AS Roma in which the Italians maintain a 2-1 lead from their first away leg which was additionally performed on Thursday (April 8).