Juan Mata helped Manchester United progress to the last eight of the Europa League last night as his only goal proved to be crucial in a match where the Red Devils wasted many opportunities, but at some point it even looked like the match would be heading to extra time as Rostov threatened for an equalizer.
United were dominant in the first half, but lack of accuracy saw them hit the woodwork twice from Zlatan’s attempts and waste many opportunities as well, while Rostov provided little attacking threat and were more eager to concentrate on their defensive duties, despite knowing that they might be heading out if the 1-1 draw in the first leg was maintained.
United were further frustrated in the second half as Pogba left the field with what looked like a hamstring injury. Romero was called into action as Azmoun tested him out from 30 yards out, giving United a big scare. United missed another opportunity when Zlatan headed over, but the much awaited goal finally came on the 70th minute. Rostov lost the ball in the middle of the pitch, and Mata picked up the loose ball to feed Zlatan, who in turn passed on to Mkhitaryan. The latter burst thru the right channel before delivering the ball in, and Zlatan got a flick before eventually finding Mata to finish off the move. United however were in for yet another scare, as Bukharov rose to glance a header towards the bottom corner, and it needed a superb save from Romero to keep the ball out. Rostov kept United on the edge as even the home crowd were tensed, but the Red Devils managed to hold on to the single goal to progress through to the next round on a 2-1 aggregate.