By Williams ‘Bantu’ Irubor
Manchester United edged out Russian minnows FC Rostov at Old Trafford to reach the Europa League quarter-finals with a 2-1 aggregate victory.
Juan Mata got the decisive goal for United when he scored from Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s flick, but Rostov threatened to take the game to extra time and Sergio Romero made two good saves late on.
It was a very frustrating night for United because they dominated for most part of the game without finding the back of the net. And they also lost record-signing midfielder Paul Pogba to a hamstring injury.
Their best chances before the goal came in the first half, when Henrikh Mkhitaryan shot wide when one-on-one and Ibrahimovic twice hit the post.
United will find out on Friday who they will play in the quarter-finals, with the draw taking place at 12:00 GMT.
The Europa League is the only major trophy that has so far eluded United, but winning the competition is not just about collecting another piece of silverware.
With a guaranteed place in next season’s Champions League for the winners, United, who are sixth in the Premier League, would not have to rely solely on finishing in the top four.