Talking Points: Granada v United
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Reds return home from Spain with a two-goal lead over Granada in the UEFA Europa League quarter-final, ahead of next week's return leg at Old Trafford.
Here are all the key talking points from Thursday’s first leg in Spain…
The Reds will go into next week’s return leg in M16 with both the lead and two important away goals. Rashford’s opening effort and Fernandes’ late spot-kick also ensured United won in Spain for the first time since Marcus netted against Celta Vigo in the semi-final of this competition back in May 2017.
Success in Spain Gallery
This way for all the best images from our first-leg win in Andalusia.
Our no.10 reached 20 goals for the campaign in all competitions when he netted the game’s opener on 31 minutes. It means that Rashford has now surpassed that tally in back-to-back seasons, making him the first Red to do that since Wayne Rooney achieved it in 2008/09 and 2009/10.
ANOTHER CLEAN SHEET
David De Gea returned to the starting XI in his home country and helped to preserve United’s impressive record at the back in the Europa League this season. The shutout in Granada follows clean sheets in the wins at both Real Sociedad and Milan in the previous rounds.
The one downside from the win in Andalusia is that Scott McTominay, Luke Shaw and Harry Maguire will all miss the return leg at Old Trafford through suspension. The trio received their third yellow cards apiece in European competitions this season, resulting in a one-match ban that they will serve during next week’s clash.
ROMA AHEAD OF AJAX
Should United finish the job off on home soil next week, it’s Roma who look the favourites to be our potential semi-final opponents. In the other tie in our half of the draw, the Italian side also netted two away goals, coming from behind to beat Ajax 2-1, ahead of next week’s return leg at the Stadio Olimpico. Elsewhere in the competition Arsenal drew 1-1 at home to Slavia Praha while Villarreal claimed a narrow 1-0 victory at Dinamo Zagreb.
NEXT STOP... NORTH LONDON
Before that second leg in M16 next Thursday, attentions will turn to Sunday’s Premier League clash with Tottenham Hotspur in the capital. The Reds will be hoping to maintain an unbeaten record in the league on the road this season.