MANCHESTER (Reuters) - Marcus Rashford, Antony, Bruno Fernandes and Wout Weghorst scored to lift Manchester United to an emphatic 4-1 win over Real Betis in the first leg of their Europa League last-16 tie on Thursday, four days after their humbling loss to Liverpool.
Erik ten Hag’s team, who capitulated 7-0 to their arch-rivals on Sunday, were desperate to bounce back quickly and Casemiro’s fifth-minute effort was ruled out for offside.
Rashford soon scored his 25th goal of the season in all competitions, however, controling a cross from Fernandes and smashing it into the top corner to the delight of Old Trafford fans who braved the chilly temperatures and blowing snow.
“It’s a step back in the right direction,” Rashford said. “Obviously, we have to build on this now to gain momentum again. We can’t put too much emphasis on Sunday, because it’s gone, we can’t change it.”
Ayoze Perez, on loan from Leicester City, netted his first goal for Betis in the 32nd minute. There were questions about a handball in the buildup but VAR officials ruled otherwise.
The home team dominated the second half, and Brazilian winger Antony put United ahead in the 52nd minute, launching a blistering left-foot shot from just outside the box into the top corner.
Six minutes later, Fernandes shrugged off the scathing criticism he received as captain after Sunday’s poor performance with a goal to head in a corner off the fingertips of Betis keeper Claudio Bravo.
Weghorst finally got his goal in the 82nd minute after missing numerous chances, steering the ball into the net after a cutback from substitute Facundo Pellistri.