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MOTM: Martial the standout player, Mkhitaryan and Lukaku both shone on Moscow

Manchester United beat CSKA Moscow 4-0 in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday evening. Jose Mourinho played three at the back, which made his team more potent in attack, it working that well that United broke the deadlock in the fourth minute with Romelu Lukaku scoring goal number nine of the season. Anthony Martial, the provider of Lukaku’s opening goal, scored a penalty in the 18th minute after Henrikh Mkhitaryan was found in the box.

Lukaku put United 3-0 up in the 27th minute, Martial assisting again, the Belgian’s tenth goal of the season. The home side had a few chances, David De Gea being the difference. Mkhitaryan hit United’s fourth of the game, latching onto Martial’s shot, deflected by the keeper, just before being replaced by Jesse Lingard. Lukaku had a few chances to complete his hat-trick, it not working in his favour. Matteo Darmian replaced Ashley Young in the 66th minute with Mourinho using his squad depth to maintain freshness.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan

Henrikh Mkhitaryan had a great match against CSKA Moscow, punishing the Russian team with the space they allowed him, The Armenian had four shots on goal, scoring once, seeing another saved, the two other shots blocked. Mkhitaryan’s passing was great too, an 85% pass accuracy which saw United dominate with the ball. The Armenian was floating throughout the midfield, helping his team create chances and helping with the fluidity. Mkhitaryan won the penalty in the 18th minute of the match, scored by Martial, scoring United’s fourth goal in the 57th minute, just before being replaced by Lingard. Mkhitaryan won two in three tackles, and other than that did not need to get involved defensively as United had this in the bag from the first goal in the fourth minute.

Anthony Martial

Anthony Martial played a cracking game of football in Moscow on Wednesday evening. Two assists, one goal – a penalty and a dominating performance for United in the Russian capital. The Frenchman played 72 minutes before being replaced by Marcus Rashford, with United 4-0 up at the time and still seeking more goals, which failed to come. Martial had two shots on goal, his penalty which was scored and the shot in the 57th minute, which was saved, Mkhitaryan striking the rebound from Igor Akinfeev into the back of the net. Martial is having a great second season under Jose Mourinho, showing his true potential. 84% of his passes were successful, he created five chances, two being turned into goals by Romelu Lukaku. Martial had nine take-ons, winning six of them, also winning one of four aerial duels in the match.

Romelu Lukaku

Romelu Lukaku continued his goalscoring exploits in Moscow in the Champions League on Wednesday evening, scoring the opening goal in the fourth minute of the match, completing his brace in the 27th minute with Anthony Martial providing both, the Frenchman scoring a penalty in between the two goals. Lukaku did not get his hat-trick, but it will come, in time at least. The Belgian had four shots on goal, all on target, scoring twice and seeing two saved. Lukaku’s passing was good at 82%, showing how dominant Manchester United were against the Russian side. He created two chances, neither turning into a goal, but they kept United pressuring their opposition. Lukaku won 50% of hie aerial duels, expecting him to win more because of his height and build, but he did enough to get United the all important three pointss

Conclusion

Manchester United have dominated this season, scoring goal aplenty, dominating in a number of matches, yet still not tested in the Premier League by a team in the top six last season – the first chance of that could be against Liverpool next month. United dominated CSKA Moscow, which was not expected in the lead up to the match, based on previous visits to Russia with United heading home largely frustrated. Four goals scored, again, another goal conceded – the first in the Champions League this season, six points out of six in the elite European competition and a double-header against Benfica in Lisbon and Manchester coming up before the end of October, which cold see United well-placed to reach the knockout stages of the Champions League this season, if Benfica continue to frustrate, losing two in two with everything to play for when United rock up in town on the 18th October.

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