Manchester United will look to complete the job they started at Old Trafford last week when they face Real Betis in the second leg of the 2022/23 Europa League season.
Both teams met in the first leg of this tie last week, with United securing a 4-1 win. So the hosts have a mountain to climb to overcome a three-goal deficit against one of Europe’s most in-form teams.
However, Betis manager Manuel Pellegrini has refused to give in, with the Chilean saying, “I don’t think a knock-out game is ever over” ahead of a first competitive meeting of the sides on Spanish soil. Pellegrini has good reason to believe that, given he’s lost just one of seven home meetings against United throughout his career (W4, D2), with that record including a 4-1 win over the Red Devils whilst in charge of Manchester City in 2013.
But continuing that trend will require Los Verdiblancos to rediscover their home form, with Betis having won just one of their last seven games at Estadio Benito Villamarín, including three losses from their last five matches.
Manchester United have one leg in the next round after that dominant first-leg win. Yet the Red Devils cannot take anything for granted at this tournament stage.
The visitors have already avoided defeat on two UEL trips to Spain this term (W1, D1), and a third successful visit will secure their safe passage into the quarter-finals as their three-pronged trophy hunt continues. Erik ten Hag’s men won all three of their European road trips in the group stage, although a return of just two wins from six away games in 2023 (D2, L2) suggests United can be vulnerable away from Old Trafford.
But they will be confident of seeing this through, having lost just once in their last 14 competitive games (W10, D3).
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