Friday, 14 April 2017 : Manchester United were left to rue missed chances as Anderlecht salvaged a late draw to change the complexion of their Europa League quarter-final tie.
Leander Dendoncker got in front of Matteo Darmian to head an equaliser with the Belgian side’s first effort on goal four minutes from time.
Until that moment United had subdued the hosts, and deservedly led when Henrikh Mkhitaryan tapped in from a tight angle after Marcus Rashford’s shot was spilled in the first half.
But the Armenian side-footed wide when well placed after the break and Paul Pogba fired into the shins of goalkeeper Ruben to leave Jose Mourinho’s side vulnerable to the sucker punch landed by 21-year-old Dendoncker.
Since his last foray into second-tier European competition in 2003, the Portuguese has become accustomed to the bright lights of the Champions League, winning it twice and disparaging predecessor Rafael Benitez’s Europa League success after taking over at Chelsea in 2013.
But United’s position in the Premier League – four points off the top four with games running out – has forced him to revise his attitude.
For most of the match, his team seemed focused on the task. Just five games away from booking a return to the Champions League – Uefa’s sweetener for winning the competition – they looked solid in defence and slick in attack.
For their part, Anderlecht’s enterprising young team offered little, deprived of possession and restricted to efforts from distance – but all that changed with Dendoncker’s late goal.
United will still fancy their chances of finishing the job at Old Trafford next week, but with more dangerous opponents elsewhere in the draw – notably Lyon and Schalke – similar mistakes could easily derail their progress to May’s final.
Source : Internet