Manchester United produced a professional performance to ensure they left Vigo with an away goal and the lead in the tie to take the Spanish team back to Old Trafford next week for the second leg.
It was a vintage Jose Mourinho performance with Manchester United executing the perfect balance in their game to not slip up and get what they needed. However, they will be disappointed that they did not leave Spain with more than just the one away goal having spurned a number of good chances in the game.
Manchester United started the game well, enjoying good comfortable possession of the ball. The return of Paul Pogba was notable with the Frenchman dominating the midfield area. However, the first chance of the game came for Celta Vigo. Radoja found the run of Daniel Wass in the box but Wass headed the ball just wide of goal.
Paul Pogba’s influence was considerable and it was the Frenchman who was involved in United’s first foray forward. Pogba surged forward through the midfield lines towards the Celta box and was brought down by Fernando Roncaglia on the edge of the box, but incredibly the referee did not blow for the foul.
Marcus Rashford tested Sergio Alvarez with a fierce curling shot from the edge of the box but the Spaniard was able to save brilliantly from Rashford. Stunning technique from Rashford and an equally stunning save.
Celta were not overly ambitious in their possession or attacking intent and were choosing to leave two midfielders rather far back when they did venture towards the United box. At the other end of the pitch a neat passing move between Rashford and Lingard put Lingard through on goal but he hit his shot straight at Sergio Alvarez.
At the start of the second half Celta appeared to be more ambitious in their play. Daniel Wass drifted a ball into the box that found Iago Aspas in the middle of the United box but Aspas couldn’t get his effort on target.
Celta continued to carve out the best chances in the second half. Sisto cut inside onto his right foot and tested Sergio Romero with a deflected curling shot but Romero was equal to the shot and tipped it over the bar.
United were awarded a free kick on the edge of the box. Marcus Rashford stepped up and delivered a stunning free kick past Sergio Alvarez who was frozen to the spot. A goal worthy of winning any game and it did win it. A crucial result for United who take the away goal back to Old Trafford for the second leg with a big advantage. Now attention turns to the weekend game away at Arsenal and how many changes Jose Mourinho will make to the team as he looks ahead to the second leg of this tie.
Celta Vigo: Alvarez:8, Mallo:6, Cabral:6, Roncaglia:6, Jonny:5, Radoja:6, Hernandez:5, Wass:7, Sisto:6, Aspas:4, Guidetti:4
Subs: Jozabed:5, Beauvue:NA
Manchester United: Romero:7, Valencia:7, Bailly:8, Blind:7, Darmian:6, Fellaini:6, Herrera:7, Pogba:8, Lingard:6, Mkhitaryan:6, Rashford:8
Subs: Young:NA, Martial:5, Smalling:NA