Manchester United beat Feyenoord 4-0 in the UEFA Europa League at Old Trafford on Thursday night in a very convincing win. Jose Mourinho’s side were on fire from the start of the match, dominating their opposition with Wayne Rooney, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and others pulling the strings. Paul Scholes made the claim that United would score four or five goals in this match, something he was right about. United have been playing like this for the past few weeks, but the result will instil the confidence in the side that never gave up. Good luck on Sunday, coin throwers!
Jose Mourinho made six changes to the side which faced Arsenal five days ago with Sergio Romero, Daley Blind, Luke Shaw, Wayne Rooney, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Zlatan Ibrahimovic all starting. United would need a victory over Feyenoord to be in with a chance of a knockout stage berth in the UEFA Europa League this season after Fenerbahçe beat Zorya Luhansk 2-0 in the early evening kick off. United were third in the group at kick off with six points from four matches, perhaps United were lucky to still be in with a chance of qualifying for the knockout stages, but either way, this should be taken seriously, or the criticism that will follow will be thick and fast.
Ahead of the match, Jose Mourinho said that Michael Carrick would be the only positional player with five attacking players, other than the four defenders and the goalkeeper that is. United started the match lively, using their attackers to their potential, which is what we wanted and needed to see. United were playing some good football with some good attacking play against the Dutch side. Paul Pogba fired a decent effort towards goal, just off target. United were trying to find something to take the driving seat in the game, being very positive in their quest.
Soon, Feyenoord had a rare chance to get something from this game, breaking through United and getting a shot on goal, which Romero blocked, with a second chance moments later, making the save again. United seem to be up for the challenge, pressing to get what they need from this match. United, despite being on top for much of the game, suffered a flat patch around the half hour mark, which needed to change in order for them to get back on the front foot. Minutes later, United were on the attack with Pogba and Mkhitaryan, with nothing coming of the attack. United were getting ready for some action on the build up.
In the 35th minute of the match, United found the opening goal with Wayne Rooney scoring his 248th goal for Manchester United, his 39th European goal for the club, after Zlatan Ibrahimovic assisted for the captain. United need to keep on the front foot, maintain possession and up the pressure on their Dutch opposition. United were still on the front foot, making Feyenoord look like they were out of their depth, which may change into the second half of the match. Mkhitaryan has been playing well, seemingly Mourinho’s plan has worked thus far, given the player some time to adapt, being protected by him and now raring to get involved. The first half ended with United scoring the only goal of the match.
United started well int he second half with the first notable chance coming from Rooney, but he could not catch up with the ball to cause problems for goalkeeper Brad Jones. Mkhitaryan was denied a clear foul against him by the referee after he broke through the Feyenoord defence, which possibly could have been a red card for the visitors, but yet again, another decision not given for United by another poor referee. I’m sensing a pattern here this season. United did find the net against in the 55th minute, but if was offside. United are looking to get what they need, maintaining the pressure on the Eredivisie leaders, who have so far bene played out of the match.
United were playing some good football again, things are starting to click. A second goal was a just though, or heartbreak could befit United once again. Mkhitaryan has been on fire, getting some good balls into good positions and getting involved himself on the run. Juan Mata has been one of the key players in the match too. Mourinho has got his side starting to look like a Manchester United side, which is great to see. United doubled their lead on the 69th minute with Juan Mata finding the back of the net with a Rooney assist. United had their insurance, should they concede a late goal, but another would not go a miss. United were still trying. Marcus Rashford replaced the goalscorer, Mata, moments after scoring.
United went 3-0 up in the 75th minute after Zlatan Ibrahimovic had the ball in the area, crossed it short, further into the area and Brad Jones put the ball into his own net with a deflection. United were home and dry and in the running for a knockout stage berth, should they obtain a point against Zorya Luhansk. Wayne Rooney and Henrikh Mkhitaryan were replaced in the 82nd minute for Jesse Lingard and Memphis Depay with United looking to end the match on a high, continuing to pressure their Dutch opposition, who have been made to look very poor at Old Trafford this evening. United continued to dominate the match, scoring a fourth goal in stoppage time after Antonio Valencia assisted Jesse Lingard for a stunning effort on goal. United were home and dry at Old Trafford and Paul Scholes was right, United scored four goals in a pretty dominant affair.
Goals: Wayne Rooney 35′, Juan Mata 69′, Brad Jones OG 75′, Jesse Lingard 90+1′
Assists: Zlatan Ibrahimovic 35′, Wayne Rooney 69′, Antonio Valencia 90+1′
Manchester United: Romero; Valencia, Jones, Blind, Shaw; Carrick, Pogba; Mata (Rashford 70′), Rooney (Lingard 82′), Mkhitaryan (Memphis 82′); Ibrahimovic
Substitutes Not Used: De Gea; Rojo; Herrera, Fellaini