Rashford fires Man Utd into Europa semis
By Steve Douglas, AP Saturday, April 22, 2017, 12:07 am TWN
MANCHESTER, England -- Teenage striker Marcus Rashford enhanced his reputation by stepping up in the absence of the injured Zlatan Ibrahimovic to steer Manchester United into the Europa League semifinals with an extra-time winner against Anderlecht.
Showing coolness beyond his years, Rashford deceived two defenders in the penalty area with a Cruyff turn and slotted home a shot in the 107th minute to give United a 2-1 win at Old Trafford.
United advanced 3-2 on aggregate to join Lyon, Ajax and Celta Vigo in the last four, after a tension-filled night of quarterfinal second legs in Europe's second-tier continental club competition.
The Europa League was the competition in which Rashford made his senior breakthrough last
season, scoring twice on debut
against FC Midtjyland as an 18-year-old
unknown. He's now an England
international and one of the hottest prospects in European soccer.
Rashford may have to take on the mantle of being United's chief striker for the last month of the season after Ibrahimovic hobbled off in the final minutes of normal time after hyperextending his right knee on landing, having chested down a long ball into the area.
The Swedish striker appeared to be in pain and held his head in his hands as he was being treated.
"Fairly negative," Mourinho said of injuries to Ibrahimovic and center back Marcos Rojo, who went off injured in the first half.
There is barely a month left in Ibrahimovic's first season at United, and he is yet to commit to another year.
With the teams level at 1-1 after the first leg in Belgium last week, Henrikh Mkhitaryan put United ahead on aggregate with a 10th-minute strike at Old Trafford only for Sofiane Hanni to equalize in the 31st.
The draw for the Europa League semifinals takes place Friday.
Here's a look at how the other quarterfinal matches turned out:
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