Celta Vigo vs Manchester United as it happened: Marcus Rashford hands visitors first-leg advantage

Live Blog

All the action as it happened from the Europa League semi-final first leg at the Estadio de Balaidos

Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford struck a stunning second half free-kick to secure a 1-0 win at Celta Vigo in their Europa League semi-final, first leg on Thursday.

The victory puts United on course for this month's final with Ajax Amsterdam the most likely opponents after they beat visiting Olympique Lyonnais 4-1 in their first leg on Wednesday.

Until the goal United's finishing had been poor with Celta keeper Sergio Alvarez thwarting them several times. However he was powerless to stop Rashford's 67th minute free-kick

Relive all of the action below...

Live Updates

Good evening and welcome to our live coverage of this evening's Europa League semi-final first-leg, as Manchester United look to come away from Celta Vigo with an away goal.
 
Team news coming your way very shortly. 
Here's how Manchester United are lining up this evening...
 
And here's Celta's team this evening...
And once again for all of the traditionalists out there...
 
Celta Vigo v Man Utd
 
Celta Vigo: Sergio, Hugo Mallo, Cabral, Roncaglia, Jonny, Wass, Radoja, Hernandez, Aspas, Guidetti, Sisto.
Subs: Villar, Fontas, Marcelo Diaz, Bongonda, Beauvue, Jozabed, Sergi Gomez.
 
Man Utd: Romero, Valencia, Bailly, Blind, Darmian, Ander Herrera, Fellaini, Lingard, Pogba, Mkhitaryan, Rashford.
Subs: de Gea, Mata, Rooney, Martial, Smalling, Carrick, Young.
 
Referee: Sergei Karasaev (Russia)
So, after all the moaning about injuries, Jose Mourinho actually fields a very strong Manchester Untied team. Paul Pogba, Chris Smalling and Eric Bailly all return to his starting XI, with Smalling absent since March 19 with a knee injury.
 
Celta meanwhile line-up with a couple of familiar faces. Star striker Iago Aspas was a Liverpool flop while strike partner John Guidetti played for Manchester City between 2008-15. 
 
I use the word 'played' in the loosest sense of the term. During his seven year stay at the club he only made one appearance in the League Cup, and was farmed out on loan to IF Brommapojkarna, Feyenoord (where he scored 20 goals in 23 league games), Stoke and Celtic. 
Looks like a party atmosphere in Vigo this evening...
 
 
 
 
Manchester United march on.
 
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has just been interviewed on BT Sport.
 
 
Here's what he had to say:

I want to see confidence, to see the team playing to win. I want us to fight for a result that will allow us to go at them in the second leg and reach the final.

Eric Bailly is playing well. He's important, but it's also important to have a proper central defender, Chris Smalling, on the bench. That gives me relief and stability. 

We have lots of experience on the bench. It has personalities. Rashford and Lingard, starting, have a little more sharpness at this moment. We want the youth to create some danger.

A look at the two teams in formation... 
 
United playing a 4-3-3 according to the good folk at Uefa. 
Just 5 minutes until kick-off.
 
And boy does the Estadio Balaidos sound loud.
Oh dear.
The teams are out and the Europa League anthem is playing. Not that you can hear it, mind. The Celta fans are singing their hearts out. 
 
Kick-off is just moments away.
Anybody got a 'how-long-until-Eric-Bailly-gets-injured' sweepstake on the go?
 
I'm going for 57 minutes.
 
United win the toss and will kick-off.
 
And we're away! 
1 min: Bright start from United, with Mkhitaryan dribbling down the left and flicking the ball back to Pogba.
 
The midfielder attempts to loft a through-ball over the defence and into the path of Rashford, but he overhits it. Sergio Alvarez catches the ball and punts clear.
4 mins: It's been a scrappy start to the game: Celta are clearly well up for this but they're already being forced to sit quite deep with Blind and Bailly keeping a very high line.
 
On a break forward Mkhitaryan has a shot from just outside the box, but he shanks it well wide. 
6 mins: Sisto picks up the ball in his own half and is quickly shoved off the ball. Celta win the free-kick, but knock it backwards and enjoy a spot of possession at the back. 
7 mins: Some good inter-play between Siston and Guidetti, but the former lets the ball run away from him just as he's about to turn in the box. United clear. 
8 mins: From the clearance, Valencia charges down the right wing. He offloads to Herrera and attempts to run on the Spanish midfielder's cute lob forwards, but is shouldered off the ball. Good defending.
 
Moments later, Mkhitaryan tries to spring Rashford into some space down the other side of the pitch, but he's also unable to keep possession. 
10 mins: The football writers ain't happy.
  
11 mins: What a chance for Celta to open the scoring!
 
Aspas controls a long-punt forward with a sublime first-touch and knocks the ball back to Rudoja, around 30-yards out from goal.
 
He shifts the ball onto his (supposedly) weaker left foot before hitting a fantastic diagonal pass across the face of goal. Running in from the opposite flank Wass meets the ball and is given a free go at it, but criminally sends his attempt wide of the post.
 
Romero was helpless; United were there for the taking.  

Preview...

An injury ravaged Manchester United squad will still be favourites against out-of-form Celta Vigo, who have lost all three of their most recent matches.

United’s Premier League top four hopes were dealt another blow at the weekend when Gylfi Sigurdsson’s free kick sailed into the top corner past David De Gea to steal Swansea a point from Old Trafford.

The Europa League now presents their most realistic chance of qualifying for next season’s Champions League, so Mourinho’s men will need to be on their game. The Spanish side should not be taken lightly, as their main focus will be the Europa League as a result of their comfortable mid-table position domestically.

Celta Vigo sit 13th in La Liga but have performed well in the Europa League losing just 2 games, the same as United, beating Genk and Shakhtar Donetsk on the way to the semi-finals. Top scorer Iago Aspas will be looking to capitalise on United’s defensive injury crisis which will see Luke Shaw, Eric Bailly, Timothy Fosu-Mensah and Marcos Rojo all sidelined, while first choice striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic is out long term after a knee injury ended his season.

What time does it start?

Celta Vigo vs Manchester United kicks off at 20:05 on Thursday 4th May.

Where can I watch it?

The match will be shown live on BT Sport 2 from 19:30. Highlights will be shown on BT Sport 3 at 01:00 on Friday 5th May.

It’s a big game for…

Daley Blind. The Dutch utility player will be tasked with organising United’s makeshift defence and will be tasked with shutting out the in-form Iago Aspas. Blind has failed to assert himself since Mourinho arrived at Old Trafford and with the summer transfer window approaching, Blind has the chance to prove his worth to his manager.

Best stat…

25: United boast a 25 game unbeaten run but have suffered due to too many draws: 8 of their last 14 games have ended tied. The two teams have almost identical scoring records across the league and Europa League, with Manchester United scoring 70 and Celta Vigo 69.

iago-aspas.jpg
Former Liverpool forward Iago Aspas has scored 25 goals in all competitions this season (Getty)

Player to watch...

Iago Aspas: The striker has a point to prove after his disappointing spell at United’s rivals Liverpool, where he failed to score at all. Since his return to Celta Vigo in 2015, he has scored 31 goals in 64 games, and already has 25 goals in all competitions this season.

Past three-meetings…

This will be the first meeting between the two sides.

Form guide…

Celta Vigo: LLLDW

Manchester United: DDWWW

Odds…

Manchester United to win: 5/3

Celta Vigo to win: 7/4

Draw: 28/13

(Odds provided by 888 Sport)

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