Football: Man United cling on against Celta to reach Europa League final

Manchester United's Wayne Rooney applauds fans after the match.
Manchester United's Wayne Rooney applauds fans after the match.PHOTO: REUTERS

MANCHESTER (REUTERS) - Manchester United survived a fraught finale, featuring an ugly brawl and a red card for each side, to draw 1-1 at home to Celta Vigo and reach the Europa League final on Thursday.

United, who won 2-1 on aggregate, will face Ajax Amsterdam in Stockholm on May 24 after the Dutch side overcame Olympique Lyonnais 5-4 on aggregate after a 3-1 defeat in Lyon.

Leading 1-0 from the first leg of the semi-final in Spain, United thought they had killed off the tie when Marouane Fellaini headed them in front after 17 minutes.


Marouane Fellaini (right) celebrates scoring Manchester United's first goal. PHOTO: EPA

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United sat back and allowed Celta to dominate possession but looked comfortable until Facundo Roncaglia headed the visitors level in the 85th minute, meaning another goal for the Spaniards could have put them through on away goals.

Tempers flared shortly afterwards with Roncaglia and United defender Eric Bailly sent off after a melee near the centre circle at Old Trafford.

 

John Guidetti had a chance to win the tie for Celta with the last kick of the game but failed to control the ball six metres from goal.

Celta, whose fans made most of the noise, were lively from the start but United went ahead when Fellaini got ahead of his marker to head in at the far post after Marcus Rashford drifted out to the left and delivered a perfect cross.

The hosts were then happy to sit back and contain Celta, making the game strangely subdued. The visitors moved the ball around nicely but failed to make the most of their chances.

The game changed dramatically when Roncaglia headed home Theo Bongonda's cross.

That was followed by a brawl in which Bailly lashed out at Guidetti, who fell to the ground, before Roncaglia got involved.


Romanian referee Ovidiu Hategan (left) shows a red card to Celta Vigo's Facundo Roncaglia (second left) and Manchester United's Eric Bailly (centre). PHOTO: AFP

United managed to keep Celta at bay during the six minutes of stoppage time until the very last kick of the game when they were given a huge let off due to Guidetti's poor control.

The Celta players sank to their knees in despair as the whistle blew seconds later.


Celta Vigo's Sergio Alvarez and Jozabed look dejected after the match. PHOTO: REUTERS


Jose Mourinho celebrates after the match. Manchester United will meet Ajax in the Europa League Final. PHOTO: REUTERS