Report: United 2 Granada 0 (Agg 4-0)
Manchester United secured a deserved semi-final berth in the Europa League with an Edinson Cavani volley and a late own goal sealing a 2-0 second-leg win at Old Trafford to see the Reds through 4-0 on aggregate.
United will now face Roma in the last four later this month at Old Trafford with the second leg away to the Italians in early May.
With the cushion of our 2-0 away win in Spain last week, the Reds didn’t need to push themselves to book the ticket to a third semi-final spot in the competition in the last four years.
Cavani was out of the blocks swiftly to score his ninth goal of the season for United in only the sixth minute, before an own goal from Granada's Jesus Vallejo in the 90th-minute completed an enjoyable evening for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side.
FIRST HALF - CAVANI VOLLEYS REDS AHEAD
If there was any concern about complacency with such a healthy first-leg lead then that was dispelled as United went into overdrive and scored after just six minutes to stretch the aggregate score to 3-0.
Alex Telles began the move with a cross and, captain for the night, Paul Pogba, headed backwards and Cavani struck home with a controlled left-footed volley. It was the Uruguayan’s 50th European goal of his career and certainly put us on Easy Street.
There was a reminder from the Spaniards that they still wanted to leave their mark on Old Trafford on the club’s first visit to England two minutes after Cavan’s goal when a header from Granada’s Yangel Herrera, who is on loan from Manchester City, drifted just wide.
Herrera popped up again after 20 minutes with another header that flew just past the post from a free-kick to fire another warning to United.
The Reds were able to drop down the gears after our speedy start, but almost produced a second after 34 minutes when Nemanja Matic picked out Bruno Fernandes in the box and our Portuguese midfielder crashed a right-foot volley just over.
Bruno’s effort four minutes later wasn’t quite as neatly hit and his shot was dragged well wide as the Reds searched for another goal. Equally Mason Greenwood was also off target as he screwed a shot wide just before half-time, but United remained in control.
SECOND HALF - REDS GO THROUGH
Pogba had picked up a yellow card in the first half and also had a clash of knees at one point and he was subbed at the interval following the introduction of Donny van de Beek; Fernandes, meanwhile, took over the armband from the Frenchman.
Both United and our visitors had early second-half headed chances, with Granada’s sub Jorge Molina and our own Mason Greenwood cursing they didn’t do better with their close-range chances.
Cavani was added to that missed header category when he was picked out by Fernandes in the 56th-minute. The striker’s run was perfection, but the execution wasn’t as his unopposed attempt glanced off his shoulder and wide.
It was his last piece of the action as he was replaced by Dan James on the hour, just after van de Beek had drilled a shot inches wide following a penetrating Greenwood run.
United had our third captain of the match when Fernandes was given a breather and the oncoming Juan Mata was immediately handed the armband.
Granada's late flurry saw them almost get a much sought after consolation goal, but a hit from sub Perez was handled easily by David De Gea and our goalkeeper, who had been largely redundant all evening, then pulled off a point-blank save from Herrera to secure a clean sheet.
United went forward after that late surge from Granada to snatch a second when a Telles cross just brushed over Mata's head and came off the unfortunate Vallejo to make it a routine victory for the Reds.
United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka (Williams 82), Tuanzebe, Lindelof, Telles; Fred, Matic; Greenwood (Amad 82), Fernandes (Mata 73), Pogba (c) (van de Beek 46); Cavani (James 60).
Subs not used: Grant, Henderson, Fish, Elanga, Rashford, Shoretire.
Goals: Cavani 6, Vallejo OG 90
Granada: Rui Silva, Foulquier, Vallejo, German (Nehuen Perez 82), Neva (Victor Diaz 74), Montoro, Gonalons (Molina 32), Kenedy (Puertas 46), Herrera, Machis, Soldado (Suarez 45).
Subs not used: Banacloche, Fabrega, Isma Ruiz, Torrente.
Bookings: Soldado, German, Neva, Montoro