Man United revives Champions League qualification hopes

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Manchester United’s Alejandro Garnacho celebrates after his team was awarded a penalty during an English Premier League soccer match between Manchester United and Everton at the Old Trafford stadium in Manchester, England. (AP )

MANCHESTER, England, March 9, (AP): Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford converted first-half penalties won by Alejandro Garnacho as Manchester United beat Everton 2-0 on Saturday to recover from back-to-back Premier League losses that had jeopardized its Champions League qualification hopes.
Fernandes tucked away his spot kick in the 12th minute for his first home goal since August after James Tarkowski clipped the leg of Garnacho just inside the area.

The Portugal midfielder then handed over penalty duties to Rashford after Garnacho went down under a rash lunge by Ben Godfrey. Rashford slotted his kick into the corner after a stuttered run-up to double the lead in the 36th.

Sixth-place United, which was coming off losses to Fulham and Manchester City in the league, trimmed the gap to Tottenham in fifth to three points. Spurs, which plays fourth-place Aston Villa in a crucial match on Sunday, has two games in hand on United.

United will be hoping the Premier League has five places – rather than the current four – in next season’s expanded Champions League format. An extra berth will be determined by English clubs’ overall performance in European competition this season.

Everton, which started the match at Old Trafford five points clear of the relegation zone, had more shots than United (23 to 15) but many were from long range and few seriously troubled goalkeeper Andre Onana.

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