A familiar face caused difficulty for Manchester United at Old Trafford when on loan Leicester midfielder Ayoze Perez scored an equaliser.

Manchester United went on to crush Real Betis in the second half, recording a 4-1 win, giving the Spanish side a near impossible task for the second leg.

While manager Manuel Pellegrini said they will not give up, the mood among Real Betis players was one of disappointment.

They had gone into the game optimistic of pulling off a result, and left lucky to lose with only a three goal margin.

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Manchester United v Real Betis: Round of 16 Leg One - UEFA Europa League
Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

Real Betis players react

Ayoze Perez expressed his disappointment at the defeat. The former Newcastle forward told Mundo Depotivo that their performance in the second half has probably put them out of the Europa League.

Perez said: “We came with the idea of ​​a positive result because we have a great team, but the second half condemns us.”

He added that he is still optimistic, but knows Real Betis must bounce back with a good result away to Villarreal in La Liga on Sunday.

He said: “With our people at home, anything is possible, but first we have a strong match on Sunday and then, at home, show that we are a strong team.”

Veteran Joaquin started the game and the 41-year-old admitted Real Betis will struggle to beat United by the necessary margin.

He told Cadena Cope: “It’s already difficult to beat them, imagine trying to put four past them. In the end, we have to be realistic, we’re going to fight until the end to give a good impression of ourselves, above all at home.

“But we have to be realistic, it’s an opponent that have very good players.”

He said the margin of the defeat had left the La Liga side stunned, adding: “At no point did I think that we would leave with such a bad result. Perhaps a 0-1 or a 2-2, but we’re hurt by the 4-1.”

Joaquin has seen it all, playing at the 2002 World Cup for Spain. He knows that managing to overturn the first leg result against United would take a mini-miracle.

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