Reds need to repeat Real Sociedad's rare defeat
Manchester United have been given a blueprint for the result that would secure top spot in Europa League Group E - and a former Manchester City manager was the architect.
Manuel Pellegrini's Betis side, who are guaranteed top spot in Europa League Group C, travelled to San Sebastian at the weekend and triumphed 2-0.
Real Sociedad's no.9 Carlos Fernandez came the closest to scoring in the first half, when his shot was deflected against the post, and he was denied early in the second half when Portuguese goalkeeper Rui Silva made a decent stop.
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Those moments, and a further miss by Mikel Merino whose downward header from a corner bounced over the crossbar, provided Pellegrini's men with a platform to go on and inflict only Real Sociedad's second home loss of the season in all competitions.
They did so in dramatic fashion, scoring both of the goals which should give United encouragement in the 86th and 93rd minutes.
The deadlock was finally broken when Betis substitute Juan Cruz fired home from just inside the area after Alex Moreno raced down the left flank and pulled the ball back.
Moments later, a classic counter attack killed off Real Sociedad when Betis left-back Moreno broke forward again, running from one penalty area to the other and crossing low for Borja Iglesias to convert from close range.
Since Real Sociedad overcame United 1-0 at Old Trafford in September, both clubs have been victorious in all of their other Europa League games.
Domestically, Imanol Alguacil's team have won seven games, drawn one and lost four in La Liga and slipped to fifth place in the table, one point behind Real Betis, following Sunday's loss.