UEFA Europa League
Old Trafford, Manchester, England
87′ Bailly Sent off
87′ Roncaglia Sent off
Manchester United booked their place in their first ever Europa League Final after defeating Celta de Vigo 2-1 on aggregate, having drawn 1-1 on the night, despite both sides reduced to ten-men late-on, in what was a thrilling Semi-final Second-leg at Old Trafford.
Marouane Fellaini headed the Red Devils in front on the night in the first-half, to extend their aggregate lead before Facundo Roncaglia headed home to give the Spaniards hope, although it was short-lived as the Celta de Vigo man was dismissed alongside United’s Eric Bailly for a heated altercation after John Guidetti, who spurned a glorious chance with the final kick of the game, was adjudged to have been struck in the face by the Ivory Coast international.
The visitors started well and went close in the third minute when Iago Aspas cut-inside to fire a powerful effort that Sergio Romero was forced to tip over the bar.
In the 17th minute the hosts took the lead on the night to extend their aggregate lead when Fellaini latched onto a fine cross-field pass from Marcus Rashford to head home past Sergio Álvarez, who was beaten at his near-post.
In the 26th minute the Spaniards went close when Pablo Hernández’s strike from-range was tipped over the bar by Romero.
Thirteen minutes later the visitors went close again when Pione Sisto curled an effort at-goal from the edge of the area that Romero did well to hold onto.
Two minutes later Celta had a good chance to level the scores on the night when Sisto sent a terrific delivery into the path of Daniel Wass, who met the ball with a brave-header that flashed just wide.
A minute before the interval the Spanish side had another good chance when John Guidetti met a Wass corner with a header, but his effort was tame and straightforward for Romero.
Three minutes into the restart the hosts went close to doubling their lead on the night when Henrikh Mkhitaryan fired a ferocious effort from-range that Álvarez brilliantly palmed behind through a crowd of bodies, following a freekick.
Six minutes later the Spaniards went close when Aspas surged forward before curling an effort at-goal that Romero saved with ease.
Three minutes later the visitors had another good chance to draw level on the night when Hugo Mallo’s cross was chested down by Sisto, who teed up Guidetti, who fired the ball just wide.
In the 63rd minute United went close to a second goal when Rashford drove into the area before firing an effort at-goal that Álvarez smothered away.
Five minutes later the hosts went close again when Fellaini fired an effort at-goal from a tight-angle that Álvarez palmed behind at his near-post.
In the 70th minute Celta went close when substitute Jozabed fired a powerful effort just wide from-range.
Four minutes later the Spanish side had a great chance to level the scores on the night when Mallo sent a teasing delivery into the path of Guidetti, who somehow headed the ball wide from close-range.
In the 85th minute Celta de Vigo levelled the scores on the night when Théo Bongonda’s teasing delivery was headed home by Roncaglia following a corner, to set-up late drama, with one more Celta goal sending the Spaniards through on away-goals.
However two minutes later, both sides were dealt a blow as Bailly and Roncaglia received straight red cards. Bailly received his marching orders for appearing to catch Guidetti in the face, although it looked as though Antonio Valencia shoved the striker, who made the most of it. Celta’s Roncaglia was dismissed for striking the neck of Bailly.
As both sides looked for the all-important goal, the hosts thought they had found it in the 93rd minute when Ander Herrera fired home from close-range, but the referee had already blown for a foul by Paul Pogba on Mallo.
With seconds left on the clock, Celta had a great chance to snatch the victory when a cross-field pass eventually found substitute Claudio Beauvue, who teed up Guidetti, who looked set to score, but the Swedish striker miscued his effort from close-range as United cleared the danger.
The result meant that Manchester United progressed into their seventh major European competition Final and their first Europa League Final, where they will face Ajax, who defeated Lyon, who like Celta de Vigo, bowed out of the competition.