Man Utd player ratings: One scores 9/10 and another gets 8/10 in 4-1 win over Real Betis - gallery
Manchester United earned a healthy lead from the first leg of the Europa League last-16 tie.
Manchester United will head to Spain with a strong lead in their Europa League last-16 tie, after the Red Devils beat Real Betis 4-1 in the first 90 minutes at Old Trafford.
Goals from Marcus Rashford, Antony, Bruno Fernandes and Wout Weghorst handed United the huge advantage, in a game where they were by far the better side, and saw them bounce back emphatically from Sunday’s loss at Anfield.
It took United just six minutes to take the lead, when Luiz Felipe slid in to cut out Fernandes’ cross into the box. Instead, the ball fell to Rashford and the attacker shifted it onto his right before blasting an effort past Claudio Bravo in the away goal.
United were the better side in the opening 30 minutes and Weghorst went close with three chances, including one which deflected wide off Felipe. Meanwhile, Bravo twice kept out Rashford to keep the gap at just one goal, with Casemiro firing over just before the half-hour mark via a swivelling shot inside the box.
But when the second goal came, it was the visitors who found the back of the net. On-loan Leicester City man Ayoze Perez struck the ball past David de Gea from a narrow angle after some lax defending from the Red Devils. There was suspicion of a handball in the build-up, but a VAR check deemed Juanmi not guilty of handball a few seconds before Perez’s goal.
Betis also hit the post in the latter stages of the first half after David de Gea’s loose pass was pounced on by Juanmi, with the United defenders scrambling to prevent the opposition getting a clear shot at goal.
After the break, United retook the lead via a sumptuous strike from Antony. The winger cut inside on his left and curled his shot into the far corner, with Bravo left standing helplessly as the ball flew past him.
On 58 minutes, Fernandes made it 3-1 when he managed to lose his marker in the Betis box and head in with relative ease from a Luke Shaw corner. It’s one Bravo may not want to see back, and the keeper couldn’t react quick enough to stop the header.
United were flying at this stage - Antony’s shot was held soon after, while the winger chipped over from a few yards out when he really should have passed to a waiting team-mate in the centre. The Betis defence were having their work cut out and Bravo kept out chances from Fred and Antony, while Weghorst’s shot was blocked by Felipe.
It looked set to be another frustrating game for the on-loan striker, but was perfectly placed to tap in on 82 minutes when Scott McTominay’s initial shot was saved by Bravo. United kept searching for a late fifth, with Facundo Pellistri testing Bravo. But there were some nasty scenes in the away end in the final stages of the game, with Betis fans clashing with stewards and police, while a few tried to gain access to the United end.
Here’s how we rated the United players...