The Red Devils came away from Andalusia with a healthy 2-0 win against the Spanish side, which now makes them favorites to advance to the semi-finals of the competition.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is desperate for a trophy, having entered his second straight year without winning any silverware. The Europa League presents a perfect opportunity for the club to end their trophy drought.
And if Manchester United’s performances so far – against Real Sociedad, AC Milan and now Granada – are anything to go by, then it’s clear that the Red Devils are taking the competition very seriously.
A perfect result in Granada
This may not have been a good performance but Manchester United recorded a perfect result away from home. The Reds weren’t always comfortable but dug deep to grab an important victory.
Possession wise, it was a dominant performance by Solskjaer’s side. However, they struggled to create chances against their opponents and their passing in the final third wasn’t always the best.
When it mattered most, though, the gulf in quality between the two teams manifested. Manchester United’s opening goal had a mark of individual brilliance written all over it.
The long pass from Victor Lindelof to Marcus Rashford was reminiscent of that of Toni Kroos to Vinicius Junior during Real Madrid’s Champions League quarter-final first leg against Liverpool on Tuesday.
The control and finish from Rashford was equally spectacular and it was a goal worthy of winning any game, even if Manchester United’s performance on the day was a bit lethargic and sketchy.
Three key players suspended for second leg for Manchester United
While the Red Devils have taken a huge step in the first leg, they’ll be missing some key players in the return fixture due to suspensions.
Skipper Harry Maguire, first-choice left-back Luke Shaw and the reliant Scott McTominay will all miss the second leg against Granada at Old Trafford through suspension.
“It was not a perfect night. We got three yellow cards and three suspensions [but] 2-0 is very good result. We know how difficult it is to come to Spain,” Solskjaer lamented after the game, as quoted by the Guardian.
“It’s created a good starting point for next week’s game – then we’ve got to play well to get a result. We want to win every game – football catches you so quickly if you rest.
“We can’t have any other approach. It’s still a young team, a learning team, and we have to improve all the time.”
The suspension of some key players is certainly not good news, but it isn’t the worst news, either. Manchester United will be taking a 2-0 advantage from the first leg and their bench should be able to see the game through in the return fixture, especially against a less-superior opponent like Granada.