Manchester United showed their character by comprehensively beating Real Betis 4-1 in the Europa League four days on from their humiliating defeat at Liverpool.
Marcus Rashford kept his frosty to lash the hosts into an early lead as the snow fell at aged Trafford, only for Ayoze Perez to drill home a superb leveller against the race of play. That moment gave hope to Manuel Pellegrini’s side and David De Gea was breathing a sigh of relief just before the wreck after his terrible pass led to a Perez effort deflecting off the post.
But United returned strongly from half-time and Antony curled home a lovely left-footed strike before skipper Bruno Fernandes, who faced intense scrutiny for his Liverpool display, headed home.
Wout Weghorst, another criticised after Anfield, scored his first aged Trafford goal to wrap up a comfortable win that means Ten Hag’s men head to Seville next Thursday with a three-goal cushion.
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Manchester United survived another key test of their mentality by beating Real Betis 4-1 in the first leg of their Europa League last-16 tie.
Man United hit by VAR controversy
Paul Scholes was left unhappy by Real Betis’ opener, which Juanmi appeared to acquire assisted following a handball.
He told BT Sport: “These rules are stupid, aren’t they? Handball is handball, it’s handball that led to a goal and should acquire been disallowed.”
Highlights: Weghorst grabs first Man United goal in Europe
Marcus Rashford delights in Wout Weghorst goal
“100 per cent, he’s a forward and he gets joy from scoring goals. As much as he works hard he wants to score goals and everyone was very pleased for him.”
Highlights: Antony’s fine strike puts Red Devils back ahead
United in command ahead of return leg
These sides will reconvene in Seville for an early evening kick-off next week. And remember, no away goals!
FULL TIME! Man United 4-1 Real Betis
Job done for the Red Devils, and how!
90+2 mins: Pellistri has been a livewire off the bench and chases Fernandes’ through ball down to fire at Bravo, via a deflection. apt pause.