Manchester United carved out a 1-0 win on the night to ensure a comfortable passage past Real Betis in the UEFA Europa League.
Following a fairly one-sided 4-1 showing in the first leg, Manchester United knew they just had to avoid complacency in order to make it through to the quarter-finals. While Betis gave as good as they got on the night, Erik ten Hag’s men did enough to hold on – and even win the second leg itself.
Today, we’ll be going through a few of our big takeaways as the Europa League continues to heat up.
A professional performance
The whole point of this game was to see whether or not the hosts could pull off a miraculous comeback. Instead, we got to see the new, professional Manchester United on full display. They had plenty of moments in front of goal, Marcus Rashford scored a screamer, and they always seemed to be in control of their own destiny. Given where they’ve been in recent years, that’s a huge step forward.
The heart of Betis
They may have had 46% possession to United’s 54%, and 15 shots to United’s 17. Yet despite that, Real Betis’ starting XI and substitutes just kept on pushing the tempo as much as they possibly could. Their fanbase was incredible, too, because despite how dire the situation appeared to be, their supporters were there in their numbers until the very end in Seville – showcasing just how far they’ve come.
It’s silly to suggest that anyone would be runaway favourites with eight clubs remaining. With that being said, it certainly feels like Manchester United are leading the charge by a decent margin. Juventus could cause them problems, and the same can be said for Roma, Sevilla and just about anyone else – but when you’re in this kind of form, you’re going to feel like you are invincible. Oh, and they’ve already got a trophy to their name this season, which certainly won’t hurt their confidence.
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