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Thursday, December 14, 2017

Lukaku, Rashford send Manchester United into last 16

Thursday, 07 December 2017 10:54
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MANCHESTER, December 6: Romelu Lukaku and Marcus Rashford scored as Manchester United defeated CSKA Moscow 2-1 on Tuesday to reach the Champions League knockout rounds for the first time since 2013-14.

A contentious goal awarded to Vitinho gave CSKA a shock lead on half-time, but Lukaku and Rashford struck twice in two second-half minutes to send Jose Mourinho's side into the last 16 as Group A winners.

After Saturday's 3-1 win at Arsenal, victory at Old Trafford sustained United's momentum ahead of Sunday's crucial derby showdown with runaway Premier League leaders Manchester City.

"I'm really happy because we don't want to qualify with a defeat, we don't want to qualify with a bad performance," said Mourinho. "So the objective was to qualify playing well and try to get a positive result. I think we did that very, very well."

In avoiding defeat, United extended their run of unbeaten home games to 40 in all competitions, their last loss on home turf being a 2-1 defeat by City in September last year.

With Basel qualifying by winning 2-0 away to Benfica in the other group game, CSKA had to content themselves with a place in the knockout phase of the Europa League. 

Mourinho made six changes to the team that had beaten Arsenal, handing a rare start to forgotten left-back Luke Shaw, and the low-key feel was only exacerbated when the Champions League music failed to play prior to kick-off. (AFP)


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