Manchester United are into the Europa League quarter-finals after a 1-0 victory v Real Betis.
Here is a look at five things we learned from the game…
United do the job
The build-up to this game lacked a little edge due to Manchester United’s heavy 4-1 lead from the first leg.
Even with a frenetic first half, the result of the tie never looked in doubt. Manchester United got the job done, extending the aggregate score.
Betis came out the blocks fast and saw a shot from Juanmi trickle narrowly wide, which could have changed the tie. David de Gea performed well in goal, and kept it scoreless, before Marcus Rashford‘s opener.
This goal silenced the Real Betis crowd, taking the aggregate score to 5-1, killing off hopes of a comeback, and the Spanish side’s players seemed to realise it too.
The match then ended up resembling a friendly, with United’s XI a very experimental one by full-time with five substitutes coming on.
With one trophy in the bag already, United are pushing strong for another, into the quarter-finals in two further competitions.
Facundo Pellistri shows he can add value
Facundo Pellistri started for Manchester United for the first time, and demonstrated he can be a valuable player.
He worked hard defensively and was a persistent threat in attack. His first half booking was another instance of poor refereeing which has plagued United in 2023.
The Uruguayan has earned Erik ten Hag’s trust, and while he faded a little as the game went on, he contributed well towards United’s victory, playing all 90 minutes.
His patience has paid off. This was a mature performance where he looked like he belonged, and more opportunities will come his way this season.
Rashford brilliance makes the difference
Marcus Rashford had been having the kind of night which really did make it look like he was playing his 48th game of the season.
Then came his moment of brilliance. After receiving a cross-field ball from Casemiro, Rashford unleashed an unstoppable shot with the outside of his boot.
The ball veered away from the goalkeeper, into the bottom corner. It was a perfectly executed shot which left the goalkeeper no chance.
That was his night done, substituted in the 59th minute for Jadon Sancho, with Erik ten Hag saving him for the FA Cup quarter-final on Sunday against Fulham.
Marcel Sabitzer returns to action
Loan signing Marcel Sabitzer returned to the team after missing the last two matches through injury.
The Austrian was a 60th minute substitute, replacing Fred. He looked keen to make an impact straight away, taking two shots at goal from distance.
It was notable that Sabitzer was selected to come on ahead of Scott McTominay. This could be a sign that the loanee is ahead in the pecking order.
There is a spot available in the next four domestic matches with Casemiro suspended, and Sabitzer could be in line to start alongside Fred this weekend.
Fernandes and avoid Casemiro avoid bookings
Erik ten Hag took a calculated risk starting both Bruno Fernandes and Casemiro, with both players one yellow card away from a quarter-final suspension.
There were some eyebrows raised after 60 minutes when it was Fred who was taken off. Fernandes played another 10 minutes before being substituted.
Casemiro completed all 90 minutes and showed his professionalism, staying out of trouble, and out of the referee’s notebook.
In the end it was a successful night for the pair, with both of them avoiding yellow cards. Both Casemiro and Fernandes will be eligible to play in the first leg of the quarter-finals, with bookings wiped out once the last eight ties are over.