Manchester United bounced back from their humiliating loss against Liverpool with a commanding 4-1 victory against Real Betis in the Europa League last-16 tie at Old Trafford on Thursday (9). The Red Devils were in fine form as top scorer Marcus Rashford and captain Bruno Fernandes both scored, with Ayoze Perez grabbing a consolation goal in the loss for Betis.
Despite being tied 1-1 at halftime, Manchester United demonstrated their quality with a dominant second half display. Brazilian winger Antony scored a stunning goal in the 52nd minute to put United ahead 2-1, and Wout Weghorst completed the scoring in the 82nd minute to seal a comprehensive victory.
The morale-boosting victory comes as a relief for United after their crushing defeat against Liverpool, with manager Erik ten Hag praising his team’s character.
“It’s always [nice to] see how a team reacts after a setback. We can reset, we can bounce back, this team has character,” ten Hag said.
Rashford opened the scoring for United with his 25th goal of the season in all competitions, while Fernandes silenced his critics with a strong performance as captain. The Portuguese midfielder led the team from the front and scored a crucial goal when he scored a header from a corner in the 58th to help secure the win.
“Bruno, I think he was brilliant today. He led the team from the first minute by his game, possession, make the rhythm of the game, and then score a goal, so I’m happy,” Ten Hag said.
Manchester United will look to build on this win when they take on Southampton in the Premier League on Sunday. The Red Devils were hammered 7-0 at Anfield last weekend in league action.
Meanwhile, in other first-leg games in the Europa League on Thursday, Juventus earned a 1-0 win over SC Freiburg thanks to Angel Di Maria’s goal, while Sevilla beat Fenerbahce 2-0 with goals from Joan Jordan and Erik Lamela.
Arsenal drew 2-2 at Sporting Lisbon, and AS Roma beat Spain’s Real Sociedad 2-0.