By Sedara Philip
Manchester United cruised into the Europa League quarter-finals as Marcus Rashford’s second-half goal secured a 1-0 win at Real Betis in the last-16 second leg on Thursday to wrap up a 5-1 aggregate victory.
The English side meticulously protected the comfortable advantage they established at Old Trafford as the Spanish team huffed and puffed to little effect and exited with a whimper.
Juanmi missed a sitter from close range early in the first half that could have changed the script as a packed Benito Villamarin stadium urged on their side to try to wipe out the three-goal deficit.
United goalkeeper David de Gea dived full stretch to deny a long-range effort from 41-year-old Joaquin before Facundo Pellistri struck the post with a close-range strike for the visitors.
De Gea produced an incredible reflex save to keep out a header soon after halftime, but United slowly took control of the game.
Rashford missed a simple chance but atoned immediately, slotting a fine long-range strike inside the left post in the 55th minute.