Marcus Rashford fires extra-time winner as Manchester United reach Europa League last four - The Irish News
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Marcus Rashford fires extra-time winner as Manchester United reach Europa League last four

Manchester United's Marcus Rashford celebrates his winning goal against Anderlecht

MANCHESTER United manager Jose Mourinho said he kept his trust in goalscorer Marcus Rashford after the teenager's decisive goal secured a place in the Europa League semi-final.

Rashford sent United into the last four after them to extra-time in a breathless encounter.

England's last European representatives came into the quarter-final second leg boosted by Sunday's surprisingly dominant win against Premier League leaders Chelsea and Henrikh Mkhitaryan's away goal.

The Armenian struck again early on but United were given a scare, with Anderlecht captain Sofiane Hanni bringing the tie level, before Rashford capped a man-of-the-match display with the goal that secured a 2-1 extra-time triumph - 3-2 on aggregate.

Mourinho, who has now reached his 10th European semi-final as a manager, equalling the record of Sir Alex Ferguson and Giovanni Trapattoni, said: "I think we had 17 shots and 10 on target but the game was difficult.

"Someone could watch the match and say total domination but they started better than us and had good chances and controlled the game for half an hour.

"At 1-1 you are at risk. Okay you speak about his (Rashford's) qualities but he was not scoring a goal since September. I kept the confidence in him.

"Some players don't know what makes me trust a player but Marcus I trust."

Striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic suffered what seemed to be a serious leg injury when he hyper-extended his knee, with Marcos Rojo also leaving the field injured.

"I prefer to wait for all the tests to be done tomorrow then speak what I feel. I'm just a manager not a doctor," Mourhino said when asked about the seriousness of the injuries.

Joining United in the draw for the last four are Ajax after they secured a dramatic 4-3 aggregate win against Schalke despite being reduced to 10 men.

Schalke looked to have pulled off a sensational comeback after being 2-0 down following the first leg in Amsterdam. They took a 3-0 lead on the night, only for two late extra-time goals to swing the tie in Ajax's favour.

Nick Viergever and Amin Younes scored the crucial goals for Ajax in the 111th and 120th minutes, after Daniel Caligiuri's headed goal in the first half of extra-time appeared to have won it for Schalke.

In Belgium, Pione Sisto's solo goal sealed Celta Vigo's place alongside United and Ajax after they edged out Genk.

Holding only a narrow 3-2 lead from the home leg, Celta kept their opponents at bay with relative ease for more than an hour before Sisto fired them in front on the night with a thunderous strike from the edge of the area.

Leandro Trossard quickly pulled one back to leave the Belgians needing only one more to take the overall lead on away goals, but the visitors stood firm to make the last four.

French side Lyon were the last side to secure their last-four progression after a 7-6 sudden-death penalty shootout victory at Besiktas.

Talisca scored the opening goal of a pulsating match after 27 minutes before Alexandre Lacazette ensured Lyon, 2-1 up from the first leg, were back in charge of the tie with his fine finish moments later.

But Talisca added his second of the night shortly before the hour mark to take the game to extra time, and latterly penalties, only for Lyon to prevail after captain Maxime Gonalons converted the decisive spot-kick.

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