Europa League: Rashford magic gives Manchester United the edge over Celta Vigo | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 04.05.2017
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Europa League: Rashford magic gives Manchester United the edge over Celta Vigo

The Red Devils have the advantage going into the second leg of their Europa League semifinal. Teenager Marcus Rashford was the difference, scoring a majestic free kick midway through the second half.

Celta Vigo 0-1 Manchester United
(Rashford 67')

Marcus Rashford produced a spectacular free kick to give Manchester United a slender but vital victory at Celta Vigo.

Whipping the ball over the Celta wall and into the opposite corner, Rashford's superb strike - his 11th of the season - ensured Jose Mourinho's team would go into next week's second leg at Old Trafford as clear favorites.

United traveled to Spain with a number of key players injured, most notably in defense as Sergio Romero stepped in for David De Gea. But star midfielder Paul Pogba returned to the side, playing in an advanced position just behind striker Rashford.

United were the superior side for much of the contest, with Celta goalkeeper Sergio Alvarez keeping the La Liga side in the tie before halftime with a string of saves to deny Rashford, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Jesse Lingard.

Celta's top scorer Iago Aspas, formerly of Liverpool, was anonymous before the break, but started the second-half brightly and saw a glancing header drift just wide. Pione Sisto was also denied by a fingertip save from Romero as the Celta winger's deflected shot threatened to loop over the Argentine.

The home side failed to rise to the challenge of their first major European semifinal and will need to significantly up their game if they are to prevent United winning the Europa League for the first time and qualifying for next season's Champions League.

If United come through the second leg, they are likely to meet Ajax in the final in Stockholm on May 24. The Dutch side crushed Lyon 4-1 in Wednesday's other semifinal on Wednesday.

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