Europa League: Rashford Fires United, Ajax Stun Schalke

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Manchester United needed an extra-time goal from Marcus Rashford to beat a dogged Anderlecht 2-1 and advance 3-2 on aggregate in the Europa League Thursday.

Fresh off their impressive win over Premier League leaders Chelsea, United forged ahead in the 10th minute through playmaker Henrikh Mkhitaryan but Sofiane Hanni drew Anderlecht level in the 32nd minute.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic squandered two great chances in the final stages of normal time, before Rashford produced another fine finish early in the second period to power Jose Mourinho’s men through.

There were dramatic scenes at the Arena Auf Schalke as Ajax Amsterdam, trailing 3-0 and down to 10 men, scored two late goals to overcome Schalke 04 4-3 aggregate and book a place in Friday’s draw.

Schalke cancelled Ajax’s 2-0 lead from the first leg through goals from Leon Goretzka and Guido Burgstaller.

It got worse for the Dutch side when defender Joel Veltman was sent off in the 80th minute, and there seemed to be no way back after Daniel Caliguiri headed in a third in extra-time.

But Ajax persisted and were rewarded through a scrambled goal from Nick Viergever and a clinical effort from Amin Younes in the last 10 minutes of extra-time to seal a sensational aggregate victory.

Olympique Lyonnais won a 16-kick penalty shootout against Besiktas after the tie ended 3-3 aggregate at the end of extra-time, while Celta Vigo advanced 4-3 aggregate over Genk to complete the semifinal line-up.

Emmanuel Offor

An avid sports fan who is also hooked on movies, music and books. Basically, I PLAYpen & PUNCHlines

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