Manchester United will play in the finals of the Europa League after they have beaten Celta Vigo 2-1 on aggregate, in another nail-biting match for United’s supporters.
The home side got a lead after Fellaini’s sneaky header in the 17th minute, but after Facundo Roncaglia had leveled the match in the 85th minute, it was a breathtaking end of the game.
John Guidetti had a huge chance in the dying seconds, and that miss cheered United’s fans more than anything else in this clash.
Although their team reached the finals, the home performance was once again disappointing.
Defensive approach paid off, but Man United was really lucky
It was expected to see Mourinho’s men entering a game cautiously, but they were outplayed from the start. Celta had a couple of opportunities early in the match before Manchester United got the lead from their first goal-scoring chance.
After Rashford’s brilliant cross, Marouane Fellaini sneaked behind Celta’s defense and headed the ball it into a net. Following that goal, Fellaini, Mkhitaryan, and Rashford had a few chances while most of the time United was well-organized at the back.
But it is always dangerous to retreat and leave possession to a skillful squad like Celta’s. The Spaniards equalized from a corner (which will surely infuriate Mourinho), and they also missed some great chances in the second half.
United’s defense was pretty nervous as the end approached, and they were quite fortunate in a few situations.
In the end, the win is what counts.
Another narrow win after unimpressive display
The Red Devils didn’t dominate in any of the previous rounds, but still, they made it to the semi-finals. After a good showing in the first game against Celta, we didn’t expect United to play as bad as they did on Thursday night.
The Red Devils struggled for 90 minutes but in the end, they won the clash, and now they are one step away from the Champion League next season.
Mourinho’s plan was to defend the lead from the first leg, and wait to seal the victory on the counter, but from this perspective, we can say that the plan wasn’t implemented on the field.
Luckily, Fellaini’s goal strengthened United’s position, but they seemed to be inferior for the most of the encounter. On moments, it looked like they don’t have a clear strategy on what to do with the ball on their feet.
Antonio Valencia was tortured by Celta’s winger Pione Sisto, while United’s centre-backs left John Guidetti unmarked on a few occasions, but the midfield remains Manchester’s biggest issue.
Lack of imagination was a serious problem, so the “Special One” has reason to be concerned about Paul Pogba’s and Ander Herrera’s display in this match.
Armenian star Henrikh Mkhitaryan also put on a sub-standard performance, while Marcus Rashford looked like the only player in red who can create chances.
Mourinho luckily dodge a bullet on this occasion, but will United’s fortune change in the finals?
Another close game won by Mourinho – it sounds so commonly.
The Special One stated that now he’s looking for a perfect end of a season, and it means that the Europa League trophy (the only one that United is still missing) will be a priority for his team.
If they succeed, it’s going to be a win-win situation – the Europa League trophy and a Champions League place.
Written by Oliver Zivic
Follow Oliver on Twitter @guli86
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