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Report: Paul Pogba starred in Robin van Persie’s homecoming

fenerbahce

Manchester United were looking to prove doubters wrong after a tactical performance against Liverpool, against the returning Robin van Persie as Fenerbahce visited Old Trafford. United battered the Turkish-side 4-1 with goals from Paul Pogba, Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard and a consolation goal from Van Persie. United fielded a strong side with David De Gea, Pogba, Martial and Wayne Rooney all starting.

Manchester United clearly started off the better team pressing highly against a defensive Fenerbahce side. With Carrick sitting deep United seemed much more assured going forward as Pogba and Mata could join the attack every time. The first real opportunity came after 15 minutes when Juan Mata picked up the ball from the right-hand side whipped a ball towards the back post, flying in to get his head on it was Martial  but unfortunately for them he couldn’t quite time his jump well and the chance was gone. United did dominate possession and soon enough they scored but it came through a very direct method after 31 minutes. Carrick sitting inside his own half then pinged a 60 yard ball with great precision finding Juan Mata who controlled well but was fouled from behind, up stepped Paul Pogba and his penalty beat the keeper to his right.

Just 2 minutes later and United were awarded another penalty. Juan Mata slid through a delightful low volley into Martial’s feet who was clipped from behind giving the referee no choice but to give a penalty. This time Martial stepped up and scored in exactly the same corner Pogba managed earlier. It got better for United and Pogba just before half time, a great break started with Wayne Rooney who stole the ball with a strong interception, he then fed Lingard who turned away from goal and laid it off to Pogba who curled his shot into the top corner past Demirel. United go into the half 3-0 up!

During half time United made a change by replacing Chris Smalling with Marcos Rojo. United started the second half off the same way they finished the first half, by scoring! Pogba picked up the ball just inside the Fenerbahce half, a clever pass feeds Rooney who first time lays it off to Jesse Lingard who shoots low from 20 yards out into the back of the Fenerbahce net. 10 minutes into the second half and the visiting side managed to get a grip of the game and pull together a 5 minute spell of possession including a free-kick from the right-hand side which was lofted in by Souza but headed clear by Michael Carrick. 5 minutes later the returning RVP hit a curving shot just wide of the far hand post after finding some great space on the edge of the box. This spell continued and after 62 minutes RVP whipped a free-kick into the box headed behind by Shaw but the pressure was mounting.

Manchester United made the second of their changes after 65 minutes when Jesse Lingard was replaced by Memphis Depay. Memphis had his first real chance on the ball, finding space about 25 yards out and hit a vicious shot just wide. Just moments before though he bombed down the left hand side after being fed by Mata but his ball squared across was weak and intercepted. After 75 minutes, Paul Pogba was replaced by Timothy Fosu-Mensah. 5 minutes later Mata was denied by Demirel after Memphis slipped a good pass through and his right-footed attempt was saved well.

In the 83rd minutes the United faithful got their wish, good work from Emmanuel Emenike on the left hand side beat Darmian and then fed a low cross into Robin van Persie on his return to Old Trafford, which lead to strong applause and chants from the United fans as well as those travelling. 4-1 to Manchester United going into the last 5 minutes. United appeared to be sitting back but a good counter attack lead to a corner being gained and from which, some very neat play arose. Memphis played it short to Mata, back to Memphis who’s flick found Mata again who set up Fosu-Mensah whose shot from the edge of the box was relatively easily saved.
United close out the last two minutes with ease and complete what was a fast paced, attacking display and most importantly 3 points more in the group.

Goals: Paul Pogba (pen) 31′, 45+1′, Anthony Martial (pen) 33′, Jesse Lingard 48′

Assists: Jesse Lingard 45+1′, Wayne Rooney 48′

Manchester United: De Gea, Darmian, Bailly, Smalling (Rojo 46′), Shaw, Carrick, Pogba (Fosu-Mensah 75′), Lingard (Memphis 66′), Mata, Martial, Rooney

Substitutes Not Used: Romero, Fellaini, Rashford, Ibrahimovic

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