Man Utd advance
Stunning debut for teen Marcus Rashford
Teenager Marcus Rashford scored twice on his debut as Manchester United came from behind to thrash FC Midtjylland and reach the Europa League last 16 today.
The Danish champions led 2-1 from the first leg and Pione Sisto increased their advantage.
Nikolay Bodurov’s own goal reduced the deficit before Rashford, who only started after Anthony Martial was injured in the warm-up, struck twice.
Ander Herrera’s penalty and Memphis Depay’s late goal completed the rout.
Juan Mata missed a penalty at 1-1, while Midtjylland finished with ten men after Andre Romer was sent off for a second yellow card.
While the scoreline was emphatic in the end, United were looking at an embarrassing exit before Rashford netted twice in the space of 12 second half minutes in front of the Stretford End.
The 18-year-old, named as a substitute on the team sheet, was only elevated to the starting line-up after Martial damaged his hamstring in the warm-up.
Manchester-born Rashford showed confidence beyond his tender years from the start, but Sisto’s tidy finish left Louis van Gaal staring at an embarrassing exit at the hands of a team formed in 1999.
Bodurov lifted the mood inside Old Trafford when he sliced Memphis’ cutback into his own net before Mata’s spot-kick was saved by Mikkel Andersen after Ander Herrera was clipped by Kian Hansen.
The exciting Rashford put United ahead when he tucked home from seven yards in front of the Stretford End before repeating the trick with a half-volley to make it 3-1.
Herrera added his side’s fourth from the penalty spot after Hansen handled before Depay’s thumping effort completed the scoring.
Meanwhile Tottenham dispatched Fiorentina 3-0 to reach the Europa League last 16 and underline their credentials as serious contenders for the tournament.
Hosts Spurs took the lead as Ryan Mason strode through and side-footed home midway through the first half.
The Italians rallied briefly after the break, but Erik Lamela snuffed out any hope of a fightback as he smashed in from close range.
An own goal from skipper Gonzalo Rodriguez completed the Viola’s misery.
Liverpool warmed up for the Capital One Cup final on Sunday by reaching the last 16 with a tense 1-0 win over Augsburg at Anfield.
Following a goalless first leg, James Milner scored a penalty after Dominik Kohr’s handball to put the Reds ahead.