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Manchester United beat Villarreal to reach Champions League last 16

Manchester United beat Villarreal to reach Champions League last 16

Champions League

Manchester United beat Villarreal to reach Champions League last 16

In Michael Carrick’s first football match as caretaker manager, Manchester United beat Villarreal 2-0. Now they need just one point against Young Boys at home on the penultimate matchday to secure the top spot after they qualified for the Champions League knockout stages.

The game was delayed due to the failure of the batteries in referee Felix Brych’s headset, and when it finally started, Scott McTominay headed Alex Telles’ free-kick into the side-netting as United took the lead.

At the other end, before Yeremi Pino eluded Alex Telles and blasted just wide from a tight angle David de Gea saved Moi Gomez’s long-range effort. Pino continued to cause difficulties for the Brazilian national team, outmuscling him and setting up Dani Parejo, but De Gea was up to the task.

Telles was given some space upfront and produced a wonderful whipped cross that found Cristiano Ronaldo, though the Portuguese’s header was weak and easily handled by Geronimo Rulli. Just after halftime, United’s first meaningful chance to take the lead came when Fred was picked out by Jadon Sancho on the edge of the Villarreal area, but his effort was saved by Rulli.

As De Gea made a fantastic reaction save to keep Manu Trigueros’ bouncing shot out he saved United once more while Arnaut Danjuma’s drive flew over the top shortly after. Carrick brought on Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes in quest of an opener, and the Portuguese almost provided when he set through Sancho, but Rulli stayed solid in the Villarreal goal.

Ronaldo came to United’s rescue once more after Fred regained the ball high up the pitch from a free-kick, lobbing the ball over Rulli to give United a late lead. When Ronaldo got on the end of Juan Foyth’s weak header back to the goalkeeper, his toe-poke was just wide of the target, and Rashford’s low shot was pushed behind by Rulli.

As stoppage time approached, Sancho clinched United’s triumph with a spectacular finish into the top of the net on the counterattack. Watch football highlights to see how Manchester United beat Villarreal in the Champions League. 

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