Europa League: Man Utd breeze past Real Betis
The Red Devils secured a comfortable win at Old Trafford against Real Betis in the first leg of the round of 16 in the 2022/23 Europa League.
MU hosted Real Betis at home in the first leg of the round of 16 in the Europa League. Coach Ten Hag surprised many by not changing the starting lineup after their 0-7 loss to Liverpool last weekend. The Dutch coach only moved Bruno Fernandes back to the number 10 position.
With the advantage of playing at home and a quality squad, it was not difficult for the Red Devils to control the game and open the scoring in the 6th minute. Bruno Fernandes crossed the ball, and the Betis defender attempted to clear it but the ball fell to Rashford’s feet. The English striker took a touch and unleashed a powerful shot into the near corner to beat Bravo.
The early goal boosted MU’s confidence and created continuous opportunities. However, the Red Devils’ forwards were somewhat unlucky. In contrast, Real Betis were sharp when given a chance. In the 32nd minute, Ayoze Perez received the ball on the right wing and curled a decisive shot into the far corner that beat De Gea.
The remaining minutes of the first half witnessed back-and-forth play from both teams, but no more goals were scored. Toward the end of the half, the away team almost took the lead after De Gea made a mistake in passing. Fortunately for the hosts, the ball hit the post.
In the second half, Ten Hag substituted Dalot and Wan Bissaka. The Man United players took more initiative in keeping possession and creating attacking opportunities towards the Betis goal. The goal they scored seemed inevitable.
In the 52nd minute, Antony received a pass from Bruno before executing a skillful strike that beat Bravo, raising the score to 2-1 for the Red Devils. The ball went straight into the top corner of the net, leaving Bravo helpless. After this goal, the morale of MU improved significantly, and they only needed 6 minutes to score again.
This time, Bruno Fernandes scored a powerful header after a corner kick by Luke Shaw. Real Betis collapsed after this goal and allowed the MU players to dominate the game.
Leading by a 2-goal margin at home, Man United played more confidently and completely controlled the game. Meanwhile, Betis could not create pressure on De Gea’s goal in the second half.
In addition, Antony missed two clear opportunities when facing goalkeeper Bravo. It was not until the 82nd minute that “Red Devils” scored the fourth goal. Weghorst scored with a quick rebound shot inside the penalty area.
The 90 minutes of the match ended with a resounding 4-1 victory for Manchester United. With this result, Ten Hag’s squad will have a significant advantage in the return leg on March 17, while also boosting morale after a devastating 0-7 defeat to Liverpool last weekend.
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