Manchester United go into the second leg of their Europa League quarter final tonight against RSC Anderlecht with the scoreline locked at 1-1, with an away goal slightly tipping the needle towards Jose Mourinho’s men.
United took the advantage when Henrikh Mkhitaryan tapped in after Marcus Rashford’s shot was spilled by the home keeper. The Red Devils looked on course for a much needed win, comfortably holding possession and created several chances to increase the lead which were not taken. The hosts then equalised with their only shot on target through Leander Dendonkers bullet header, past second string goalkeeper Sergio Romero.
United have won all five of their home Europa League games this season, conceding just once and haven’t lost in European competition at Old Trafford in sixteen games (winning thirteen and drawing three).
Anderlecht go into the return leg having lost only once in seven European away games so far this season, but historically have been poor against English sides. Having made fifteen trips here previously they have never won on English soil losing thirteen and drawing twice.
Mourinho has confirmed Sergio Romero will begin the match ahead of regular starter David De Gea. Wayne Rooney returns to the squad but doesn’t look to make the starting eleven. Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Juan Mata are unavailable due to injury.
Elsewhere in the competition, Lyon take a 2-1 advantage into their clash with Besiktas. With terrible scenes of crowd trouble causing the first leg in France to start 45 minutes late, Besiktas took the lead when former Liverpool man Ryan Babel buried the ball into the bottom left corner of Lyon’s net. Lyon made a great job of starving their opposition of possession and creating multiple chances, but it was not until the 83rd minute that their superiority told. Corentin Tolisso equalised and within 60 seconds Jeremy Morel took full advantage over a goalkeeper error, robbing him of the ball and rolling it home into an empty net. Both teams have been given a two-year suspended ban from Europe and a fine as a result of the crowd disturbances.
Celta Vigo travel to KRC Genk with a 3-2 advantage in their favour, but Genk are a very good side, having already put Tottenham out of the competition in a previous round, and with two away goals in the bag this one is certainly still game on.
Dutch giants Ajax won their first leg at home to German side FC Schalke 04 with a comfortable 2-0 win.
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