Granada hosted Manchester United this evening in the first leg of the quarter-final of the Europa League. It’s the biggest game in the club’s entire history given fifteen years ago to the day they were losing 1-0 in a game in Spanish football’s fourth tier.
Granada’s road here was long. They’ve had to negotiate their way past Teuta, Locomotive Tbilisi, Malmo, PSV, PAOK, AC Omonia, Napoli and Molde to get to the quarter-final for the first time in their history. United, with a little more pedigree in Europe, entered the competition at the last 32 after being knocked out of the Champions League in the group stage. They beat Real Sociedad and Milan to get to Granada.
Granada were promoted to La Liga in the 2018/19 season, playing a refreshing brand of football under up-and-coming young coach Diego Martinez. They finished seventh last season to qualify for European football for the first time in their history, entering uncharted territory. The game started evenly, but it was United who struck first blood when Marcus Rashford controlled a high ball expertly before finishing coolly.
The Touch. The Control. The Finish.
Marcus Rashford is unbelievably good.pic.twitter.com/VYd1Yneifw
— ᥅ (@TheFergusonWay) April 8, 2021