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Celta Left To Rue Missed Opportunities In Europa League

Celta Vigo held Manchester United to a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford on Thursday but couldn’t find another away goal to reach the Europa League final.

Iago Aspas claims Celta Vigo “were infinitely better” than Manchester United but vows “we’re a group of young lads and I’m sure we’ll be back.”

Aspas failed to get on the scoresheet during Thursday’s 1-1 draw at Old Trafford, which was enough for United to reach the Europa League final, but the striker insisted Celta “barricaded” the English giants “at their own home”.

“We’re a little down for these fans who have come to support us,” the former Liverpool man said after the game.

“We believed. We were infinitely better than them. They only had a couple of shots.

“We failed to create clearer chances. It’s a shame I didn’t get the last one [referring to John Guidetti’s last-gasp miss]!

“We were better than them. We barricaded United at their own home, with their €40-50m players.

“Still, we’re a group of young lads and I’m sure we’ll be back.

“We struggled a lot to get here and I’m going to churn my guts out to come back here.

“I think they scored with their only chance. It’s a shame that I didn’t score the one at the end.”

Having lost 1-0 at Balaidos in the first leg, Celta needed to make a strong start, yet Marcus Rashford’s cross was nodded in by Marouane Fellaini at the far post on just 17 minutes.

The Galicians responded well, though, as Pablo Hernandez had a shot tipped over by Sergio Romero from just outside United’s D.

Pione Sisto’s cross was then sent just wide by Daniel Wass, although Sergio Alvarez had to be on his toes to turn over Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s piledriver.

John Guidetti was guilty of fluffling several, gilt-edged chances, the first of them a half-volley from Hugo Mallo’s deep cross, which he flashed wide from close range.

Fellaini, meanwhile, had an angled effort saved at Sergio’s near post from Paul Pogba’s nutmeg, before substitute Jozabed Sanchez smacked one just wide of Romero.

Staying at the United end, Guidetti guided a free header wide from another Mallo delivery, but Facundo Roncaglia went one better, glancing home Theo Bongonda’s inswinger with just five minutes remaining.

Tempers suddenly frayed, however, as Eric Bailly pushes Guidetti and Roncaglia also got involved, resulting in red cards for the ex-Villarreal defender and Celta goalscorer.

The visitors thought they had booked their trip to Stockholm in the most epic way imaginable right at the death, but Guidetti couldn’t get his feet in check from Claudio Beauvue’s cutback, which left the Swede facing an empty net.


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