Juan Mata scored the only goal as Manchester United recorded an underwhelming 1-0 victory over FC Rostov on Thursday (Mar 16) to reach the Europa League quarter-finals. It was a move started and finished by Mata, who nicked the ball off Rostov in midfield and helped it out to Mkhitaryan, whose low cross found the Spaniard at the back stick via a flick from Ibrahimović.
Pogba, United's world-record signing last summer, was forced off in the opening moments of the second half, walking directly to the training room after being subbed out for Marouane Fellaini.
Rostov nearly took a shock lead with their first real chance in the 53rd minute, when Sergio Romero, in only his 10th appearance of the season, was forced into making a fine save from Sardar Azomoun after the forward cut in from the right-hand side and curled a left-foot shoot that was heading for the corner of the net.
Rostov know that due to the current aggregate score they will need to score in Manchester and there is a clear sense that their best chance of eliminating United would have been with a triumph in Russian Federation, where Ajax and Bayern Munich had already been beaten this season.
With a parp of the whistle, the referee eventually brought a miserable game to a conclusion, and sent United through into the Europa League's quarterfinals.
"It is a good chance to play Champions League next season and we will try until the end". United made a change themselves after Phil Jones replaced Blind, following an elbow to the head.
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United's breakthrough finally appeared after 70 minutes, however.
United began the second half slowly, with Rostov creating their first real opportunity of the game in the 54th minute when Sardar Azmoun bent an effort towards goal from the edge of the area that Sergio Romero did well to turn around the post.
It was a nervy ending for the hosts, who were indebted to Romero for making a flying save from Rostov captain Christian Noboa's free-kick from 25 yards with the last kick of the game but United held on to advance to the next round and take a step closer to another cup final.
Manchester United will now turn their attentions back towards Premier League affairs and their home clash against manager-less Middlesbrough at Old Trafford on Sunday.
Subs not used: De Gea (GK), Young, Carrick, Lingard, Rashford.