Man Utd cruise into Europa League semis after Granada win


Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Manchester United eased into the Europa League semi-finals on Thursday, staying on course for a potential all-English final against Arsenal after a 4-0 aggregate win against Granada.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men went into the second leg at Old Trafford after a comfortable 2-0 win in Spain and knew that, barring a disaster, they were almost certain to progress.

An early Edinson Cavani goal, his first for the club in Europe, virtually sealed the tie, though the visitors had chances of their own in both halves to keep the tie alive.

United, who won the competition under Jose Mourinho in 2017, will be desperate to win their last-four clash against Roma after four semi-final defeats under Solskjaer.

The home side opened the scoring in the sixth minute when Paul Pogba flicked on a cross to Cavani, who volleyed into the bottom corner from inside the box.

Yangel Herrera twice went close to an equaliser on the night, flashing two headers wide of David de Gea’s goal and Bruno Fernandes volleyed over at the other end.

Pogba was booked early in the game and committed another foul shortly afterwards but the referee decided that challenge did not warrant a second yellow.

Solskjaer substituted the France international at half-time to avoid a red card, bringing on Donny van de Beek in midfield.

Granada’s Jorge Molina went close with a header shortly after the restart and United also had chances to pull further ahead through Mason Greenwood and Cavani.

German Sanchez had another opportunity to make life uncomfortable for United following a set-piece but could not keep his left-footed shot on target.

The game became increasingly open in the final minutes. De Gea made a fine save before an own goal from Jesus Vallejo sealed a 2-0 second-leg victory for United.

United, on course to finish second in the Premier League, are looking to win their first silverware since their triumph in the Europa League four years ago. Last year they lost in the semi-finals to Sevilla.

Arsenal beat Slavia Prague 5-1 on aggregate. Manager Mikel Arteta will next go head to head with his predecessor Unai Emery, now Villarreal boss, keeping alive the dream of an all-English final.

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