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Rampant Rashford slots Man Utd to UEL semis; Zlatan hurt

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  • Mkhitaryan strikes again
  • Rojo, Zlatan hurt
  • Hanni levels tie
  • Rampant Rashford wins it

Marcus Rashford scored a deserved and decisive goal as dominant Manchester United needed extra time at Old Trafford to beat Anderlecht in the UEFA Europa League quarterfinals.

Tied 1-1 after the first leg in Belgium, Henrikh Mkhitaryan scored his second of the tie to give United an early lead before Sofiane Hanni forced extra time with an equalizer.

[ MORE: Zlatan hurt | Rojo, too ]

Jesse Lingard provided the match’s first threat, and Leander Dendoncker tempted the goal at the other end as both teams sought early control.

United broke through in the 10th minute, as Marcus Rashford benefited from his blocked cross returning to his feet. He was given two bounces to settle it, and Mkhitaryan hit a perfect shot past Anderlecht keeper Ruben.

Youri Tielemans saw a yellow card soon after for taking down a lively Rashford.

Ruben then poked a Paul Pogba shot over the bar for a corner before making a flying save on Jesse Lingard. United was ready.

Anderlecht got successive beneficial calls from the referee in the build-up to its equalizer. Hanni cleaned up a mess in the box after Tielemans struck the bar from outside the 18.

Rashford, 19, then roasted Dennis Appiah before forcing Ruben into conceding corner as United worked to reclaim the lead. Luke Shaw saw a shot collected by Ruben in the 40th minute.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

[ MORE: Top Premier League story lines ]

Anderlecht should’ve been up in the 48th minute, but Lukasz Teodorczyk took far too long with his breakaway and Antonio Valencia was able to slide and force a corner kick that led to nothing.

At the other end, Lingard’s intra-six slide just missed proper contact on Shaw’s terrific cutback.

Rashford beat Ruben on a 1v1 run break, but couldn’t catch the goal from an acute angle after being closed down by Appiah. Moments later, a ball fell for Ibrahimovic in front of goal, but the Swede was seemed uncharacteristically offguard and hit his low shot at Ruben.

The chances kept coming, especially for Rashford. In a sense it was a microcosm of their season: Clearly better than the opposition, but finish missing.

United then lost Ibrahimovic in stoppage time.

Rashford sent a rabona cross to the back post, and Pogba had a bicycle kick saved off the line by an Anderlecht defender.

The chances kept coming, with Fellaini unable to head on target off a corner kick.

Pogba had a goal pulled back when Fellaini was whistled for an over-the-back foul.

Tielemans cranked a shot that Romero spilled forward and collected as the first period of extra time came to a close.

That’s when Rashford struck, calmly maneuvering to strike a low left footed shot home.

It wasn’t over, as Romero had to act quickly to defy Frank Acheampong’s header in the 116th minute.

Martial was offside in a late bid to make it 3-1.

CCL: Lodeiro from 45; Royer’s diving header — SEA, RBNY lead (video)

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After 45 minutes of their respective CONCACAF Champions League knockout-round quests, things are going unnervingly well for the Seattle Sounders and New York Red Bulls.

[ MORE: FC Dallas disappoint in CCL; Club America flying ]

If you’ve watched Major League Soccer teams try, try and try again — only to eventually fail in spectacular fashion — in CCL over the years, you might say things are going a little too well.

There’s still another 45 minutes to be played on Thursday — plus the return legs next week — but both the Sounders and Red Bulls hold 1-0 halftime leads, and the vitally important away goals which come with it. Nicolas Lodeiro’s 45-yard, first-time lob of the Santa Tecla (El Salvador) goalkeeper in the 15th minute has already been eternally etched into the memories of Sounders fans.

Just 15 minutes later, Daniel Royer perfectly executed the diving header and got on the end of Bradley Wright-Phillips’ curling ball into the box to Jesse Marsch’s side ahead of Honduran side CD Olimpia.

Villarreal DF Semedo charged with attempted murder

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MADRID (AP) A Spanish judge has charged Villarreal defender Ruben Semedo with attempted murder and ordered him to be temporarily detained without bail.

Court officials in Lliria say on Thursday the Portuguese player is also charged with assault, robbery, illegal detention, and illegal possession of firearms.

Semedo testified before a judge on Thursday, and left the court in handcuffs.

The 23-year-old Semedo was detained early Tuesday, accused of tying up, assaulting and threatening another man last week. Authorities say he and two other men allegedly held the victim captive while they robbed his apartment.

Semedo’s agents told Spanish media the player denies any wrongdoing.

Villarreal on Tuesday said it was investigating Semedo and would take appropriate disciplinary action.

Villarreal signed Semedo from Sporting Lisbon last summer for a reported fee of $17 million.

Wenger: Arsenal “complacent, had no ideas” in Ostersunds loss

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Perhaps Sunday’s League Cup final had already reached the forefront of their minds, but Arsene Wenger admonished his players, whom he said were “complacent, not focused” and “had no ideas” for much of Thursday’s Europa League defeat, at home, to Swedish side Ostersunds.

[ MORE: Premier League TV schedule | Man United vs. Chelsea ]

The Gunners advanced to the round of 16 on the back of their 3-0 first-leg victory last week, but Wenger was understandably displeased by the effort he saw and expressed such feelings in no uncertain terms, before quickly easing up and praising the fact they were able to pull back a goal against the current fifth-place team from Sweden — quotes from the BBC:

“We were not at the races in the first half,” said Wenger, who saw his side booed off at half-time and full-time. I think in the second half it was much better and we should have scored a few goals.

“In the first half, we were in trouble and in danger because we were complacent, not focused and were open every time we lost the ball. We had no ideas with the ball and that’s why we were in trouble.

“We responded very well because we did the job to qualify, but that’s what we have to take from the night and that’s all.”

With Arsenal now trailing fourth-place Chelsea by eight points (and seven back of fifth-place Tottenham Hotspur), winning the Europa League might just be the Gunners’ last chance at qualifying for next season’s Champions League.

Batshuayi racially abused by Atalanta fans

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Borussia Dortmund striker Michy Batshuayi says he was subject to racist chants from Atalanta fans during a Europa League game in Italy.

The Belgium international, on loan from Chelsea, tweeted:

Dortmund advanced to the round of 16 by drawing 1-1 to beat Atalanta 4-3 on aggregate on Thursday.

The game was played at Mapei Stadium in Reggio Emilia because Atalanta’s home stadium is unsuitable for UEFA games.

There have been several incidents of racism at Serie A matches this season.