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Manchester United ease past Granada despite absence of several first-team stars

Manchester United beat Granada 2-0 to reach the Europa League semi-final
Manchester United beat Granada 2-0 to reach the Europa League semi-final
ANALYST

Manchester United have once again qualified for the semi-finals of a cup competition, this time the Europa League. The Red Devils defeated Granada home and away to book their ticket to the last four.

Having won 2-0 against the Spanish outfit in Andalusia last week, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side repeated the scoreline in the second leg at Old Trafford.

Edinson Cavani gave the hosts an early lead when he finished with aplomb after being set up by Paul Pogba – the in-form duo once again combining for a goal after their impressive combination caught the eye against Leicester City.

The Reds rounded off the result in the final seconds of the game when Alex Telles’ perfectly weighted cross was directed into his own net by Jesus Vallejo for an own goal.

Depleted Manchester United gets the job done

It was far from a convincing performance from Manchester United but they still managed to see out the tie. Despite missing several key players, the Reds were largely comfortable.

The absence of skipper Harry Maguire, midfielder Scott McTominay and first-choice left-back Luke Shaw didn’t matter at all as they eased to a 2-0 win.

However, those who stepped in used the opportunity to stake a claim for more first-team action. Telles hasn’t played for a while but was in top shape against Granada and played key roles in both of his side’s goals.

Axel Tuazembe and Nemanja Matic – who replaced the suspended Maguire and McTominay, respectively – had decent outings, while Donny van de Beek enjoyed one of his most productive games in a Manchester United shirt.

It may have been a depleted team but the Reds proved to be too much for their opponents and deservedly ran out as winners.

Ole targets first trophy

There can be no denying the work Solskjaer has done since taking charge of Manchester United. The Norwegian has made the Reds competitive again in his two years at the helm.

The only thing missing is a trophy to match their efforts. Manchester United have now reached four semi-finals in the last two seasons and they must make this one count.

United have a tough tie against AS Roma in the last four of the Europa League but they have no excuse not to go past the Italian side.

"We played against some good teams but we relish the chance again to go to a final. I've seen the determination, the attitude in every player that we want to go one further,” Solskjaer said, as quoted by Sky Sports.
"The disappointment of the defeats that we've had, they give us the motivation to go one step further and hopefully end the season on a high."

Manchester United have already overachieved in the Premier League, where they currently occupy second place, and it’ll be a perfect season if Solskjaer can finally end the club’s trophy drought by winning the Europa League.

Edited by Arjun Panchadar
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