Marcus Rashford scored a vital extra-time goal that sent Manchester United into the Europa League semi-final with a 2-1 victory over Anderlecht (3-2 on aggregate).
United took the lead first through Henrikh Mkhitaryan. The Armenian drilled in a low finish in the 10th minute but Anderlecht got an equalizer when Sofiane Hanni scrambled home an equaliser after 32 minutes.
Amidst injuries to Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marcus Rojo, United were themselves a reason they could not finish Anderlecht off in normal time as the players wasted plenty of precious chances.
It was only at the 107th minute that Rashford scored the decisive goal with a brilliant turn and finish.
Manager Jose Mourinho has been gradually shifting his attention upon the second-tier European tournament as it offers a potential route into the Champions League, away from the difficult battle for top-four places in the Premier League — making this victory a much needed one.
But even as they rescued themselves through an extra-time goal, Mourinho must know that his team deeply needs a cohesive attacking plan and to hone their finishing if they are to secure Champions League qualification.
And while Rashford was the deliverer of goals against Chelsea and here against Anderlecht, the loss of Ibrahimovic, who scored 28 goals for United this season, would still prove to be a heavy setback.
As for Rojo, who received lengthy treatment following a heavy collision with an Anderlecht player, meant that United’s defense is dealt a further blow. It was indeed the worst timing as United are already without injured two other defensive players, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling.