Fellaini sends Man Utd to Europa League Final

AP Photo/Dave Thompson
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Marouane Fellaini and Facundo Roncaglia traded goals and Manchester United’s first leg lead proved decisive following a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford on Thursday in the second leg of their UEFA Europa League semifinal against Celta Vigo.

Eric Bailly was sent off late for United, giving the side’s beleaguered back line an extra headache ahead of the May 24 final versus Ajax in Solna, Sweden.

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The opener was a classic Fellaini goal, as Marcus Rashford collected a ball from Henrikh Mkhitaryan and swept a diagonal ball toward the back post. The big-haired Belgian powered a header home.

Sergio Romero was challenged a couple times by Celta Vigo, though most were “safety first” stops from the backstop.

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Romero made a quick intervention to stop a Celta Vigo chance early in the second half, and Mkhitaryan answered at the other end with a bullet that was pushed out for a corner by Celta keeper Sergio Alvarez.

It looked as if United would coast, but Celta nabbed a goal with under 10 minutes to play. Roncaglia got the better of Eric Bailly, who was otherwise strong, to head home off a short corner to make it 2-1 on aggregate.

That’s when the fight took center stage, literally, with a ruckus off the kickoff escalating to a pair of red cards. Bailly and Roncaglia were sent off for shots to the face of opposing players, meaning the winning side would lose the services of a key player for the final in Sweden.

Former Man City man John Guidetti missed a point blank chance at the final whistle, and United marched onto the final.