United pegged back in Brussels


Man Utd were denied by a late equaliser as they drew 1-1 with Anderlecht in their Europa League quarter-final first leg in Brussels.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan gave United the lead on 36 minutes with a close-range effort, in a first half that Jose Mourinho’s side dominated.

Anderlecht improved in the second period, but United were still in control until the hosts’ late leveller through Leander Dendoncker, who headed superbly past Sergio Romero with four minutes left.

The return leg will be played on Thursday, April 20, as United look for an automatic route into the Champions League and another piece of silverware.

Antonio Valencia, Michael Carrick and Marcus Rashford came into the side in Brussels for United’s 52nd game of the season, and the first half went according to plan for the visitors.

They were nearly 1-0 up on 18 minutes after Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s close-range effort from Rashford’s fine cross was saved well by Ruben, before Jesse Lingard poked the ball against the post from the rebound.

United went ahead with nine minutes of the half remaining through Mkhitaryan, who finished up from a yard out at an acute angle after Rashford’s first-time effort in the area had been tipped into his path by Ruben.

Massimo Bruno’s effort after the break was cleared under the crossbar by Valencia, who then did well to block Frank Acheampong’s rebounded shot, while at the other end, Mkhitaryan volleyed just wide from Matteo Darmian’s cross.

Pogba, in acres of space, should have made it 2-0 with just eight minutes remaining after Ibrahimovic’s delightful set-up, but the Frenchman could only strike against the body of Ruben from 12 yards out.

And United were made to pay by the hosts with four minutes left, as Ivan Obradovic’s superb cross from the left was headed home by Dendoncker from 10 yards.

The draw is United’s 14th of the season, but Mourinho will feel they are well placed for the return leg at Old Trafford.