Bruno Fernandes penalty the difference as Man United go through to Europa League semi-finals
A Bruno Fernandes penalty proved the difference once again
It felt like nothing was going to go in for Manchester United. Well, it felt like nothing was going to go in and count as a goal. After two goals were correctly disallowed for offside, the first a thunderous strike off the post from Mason Greenwood and the second a rebound from Marcus Rashford, it seemed like United would rue those marginal lapses in concentration as the clock ticked down to 90 minutes.
Countless strikes ricocheted off the woodwork but nothing was going in.
We were into extra time with players' legs tiring, penalties felt inevitable. But it wasn't that type of penalty which broke the deadlock. As has become a common occurrence when watching Manchester United this season, a slick turn from Anthony Martial resulted in the Frenchman being brought down and gave Bruno Fernandes the chance to bag his eleventh goal of the season.
And Bruno stepped up, this time without a hop and skip, to power the ball past the otherwise impenetrable Karl-Johan Johnsson to give United the lead.
More penalty shouts and another shot off the post, this time from Lindelof, threatened to double United's lead. But in the end Bruno's 95th minute penalty was enough to send United to the final four of the Europa League.
Having already secured Champions League football next season, there is less pressure on the Red Devils to gain entry to Europe's top competition through victory in Cologne. But Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be desperate to mark his first full season in charge of the club with a trophy.
United will now play the winner of Wolves vs Sevilla for a place in the final, while Inter Milan will meet the winner of Shakhtar Donetsk vs Basel in the other semi.
Should United meet Inter in the final, they will come up against former players Ashley Young, Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez. And they really wouldn't want to lose that.