Wout Weghorst scored his first goal at Old Trafford and appeared overcome with emotion as Manchester United pushed Real Betis aside.
The striker made headlines in recent days after footage of him touching the ‘This is Anfield’ sign came to light ahead of the 7-0 defeat by Liverpool at the weekend.
It caused fury among United fans as it’s usually a tradition reserved for Liverpool players – the Red Devils’ biggest rivals.
But Weghorst hit back after a show of confidence from manager Erik ten Hag, who put him in the starting XI to face Spain’s away side in the Europa League at Old Trafford.
Needing a good performance, United slapped Betis in a 4-1 match to all but end the European tie ahead of next Thursday’s second leg.
And it was Weghorst who scored the fourth goal, rebounding fastest from a Scott McTominay shot and scoring his first Europa League goal for the club since being loaned from Burnley.
The Netherlands international raced to the South Stand, where fans serenaded him as he was on the verge of tears.
It’s only the second goal Weghorst has scored since going on loan, scoring against Nottingham Forest in the Carabao Cup semi-final.
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Marcus Rashford, who also scored against Real Betis, was delighted to see his United team-mate on the top scorer.
He said: “As a striker, he enjoys scoring goals. As good as he works and does other things, he wants to score goals to make everyone happy for him.”
Meanwhile, Man United legend Paul Scholes said: “Everyone at the club will be happy for him… you could see how happy people were for him. He does a lot of hard work that people don’t always see.”
United scored in just the sixth minute against Real Betis when Rashford smashed one on former Manchester City goalkeeper Claudio Bravo.
Ex-Newcastle ace Ayoze Perez, on loan from Leicester, equalized but the Red Devils went on a rampage after the break.
Antony scored a belter from his typical position and sliced in with his left foot before Bruno Fernandes headed home from a Luke Shaw corner.
United didn’t stop there, keen to end the tie and Weghorst was rewarded for his non-stop work pace with a late goal.
And it acts as a form of redemption from Sunday, when the Red Devils were crushed 7-0 by Liverpool in the club’s worst league defeat since Boxing Day 1931.
Weghorst responded to the backlash surrounding him as he touched the Anfield sign by insisting he was only doing it to finish off fellow national team player Virgil van Dijk.
In a statement released on social media, he said: “I normally never react to media issues but for this time it’s worth it because you great United fans are important to me. So I just want to clarify the video that is doing the rounds.
“From the national team, I know Virgil is always touching that sign and I wanted to stop him from touching it to try and finish him off before the game.
“I always supported FC Twente as a child and as a proud player now for Manchester United, my commitment to this incredible club can never be questioned.
“Sunday was a terrible day for all of us. We’re doing everything we can to get it right over the next few weeks. We will fight back together and achieve our goals this season!”
https://talksport.com/football/1357382/man-utd-wout-weghorst-goal-tears-real-betis-europa-league/ Wout Weghorst is close to tears after Old Trafford’s first goal as Manchester United beat Real Betis