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2019/20 – UEFA Europa League – FC Copenhagen – RheinEnergieSTADION, Cologne, Germany

Manchester United beat FC Copenhagen 1-0 to reach the UEFA Europa League semi-final where they will face either Wolverhampton Wanderers or Sevilla. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side required extra time to get the victory in this match with the Danish side doing well. The goalkeeper has a magnificent game. Anthony Martial won a penalty in the 94th minute which Bruno Fernandes converted to win the game for United. It was a hot evening on Cologne and United will be pleased they are through.

Copenhagen started well in this quarter-final, pushing United and nearly breaking through a few times with United defending shoddily at times. United then started to get into the game, sending the ball into the Danish sides half, pushing to find an opener. It seemed strange at a point when the referee gave a penalty, seemingly for nothing, which turned into an offside. Towards the end of the half, Mason Greenwood found the back of the net, ricocheting off the far post and in but was ruled offside by VAR.

United scored a second goal in the game around 12 minutes into the second half. Greenwood fired goal wards hitting the post and rebounding only for Marcus Rashford to slot home but the flag was raised and United had a goal removed for the second time in the match. Solskjaer’s side will need to keep pushing for the victory, which is going to be a fight for them. It could be the best thing that happens though as it will be clear that United need some reinforcement this summer.

United had a few chances on goal as the Danish side seemed to tire late into the game. Bruno Fernandes struck the post with a sublime strike which saw him start to lead in the match. Copenhagen then started to push to get back into the game, pushing United into their own half and seeking to find a goal, which was not forthcoming. With about 16 minutes remaining, Rashford was down after a challenge, seemingly needing treatment but he was back on his feet in no time.

In the 85th minute of the game, Anthony Martial had the chance to get United ahead but saw his effort saved by Karl-Johan Johnsson after Brandon Williams spun the ball into the Frenchman. 25-yards out, Martial looked to fire his shot into the top-right corner with the Swede making a diving save to deny the United forward from breaking the deadlock. It seemed to be one of those matches for United, hitting the post and seeing efforts saved in this quarter-final match.

It ended 0-0 with extra time to decide the victor from this game. Copenhagen did well to defend against United with many not expecting the showing that they saw from the talented Danish side. They have a few players to keep an eye on; Victor Nelsson, a central defender and Jonas Wind, a forward – they both played well and with both being 21, have good futures ahead of them. Rasmus Falk played well too and seems to be a decent player but is 28. Johnsson, the goalkeeper was magnificent too.

 

Solskjaer made a third change with Juan Mata replacing Greenwood before extra time. Four minutes into the first 15 minutes of extra time, United won a penalty after Martial was taken out in the box. He firstly had the chance to score, then getting back into the box and was fouled. The referee gave the penalty with VAR giving it too. Fernandes took the spot kick, putting United 1-0 up at this late stage of the game. United now need to keep their heads and grind this result

At the end of the first period of extra time, United were pushing to a second goal with Juan Mata having an effort and Victor Lindelof hitting the rebound. United seemed to find the energy to keep going despite making just tree substitutions in the game so far. Johnsson has been immense in goal for the Danish side and should keep his head held high after the performance he put in for his team. They were perhaps not too far behind United in the 90 minutes and should be proud of that.

Solskjaer made a fourth change in the 113th minute with Jesse Lingard replacing Rashford, still with United needing a second goal to close the game. United were still 1-0 up but with only one goal in it, an equaliser could have sent the game to penalties. With a matter of minutes remaining for United, the Danish side were pushing to get an equaliser, seemingly fighting to get involved and get forward. So far, United were doing all they needed to stay ahead.

United gave away a free-kick with just over a minute of extra time remaining, before stoppages. It was a nervy moment for United, who weathered the set-piece with Lingard running forward with the ball and deflecting the danger before losing the ball. Copenhagen then tried to get forward again, searching for the equaliser. United still did all they could to keep a clean sheet with one added minute of time at the end. Solskjaer made a fifth change with Scott McTominay replacing Martial.

Goals: Bruno Fernandes 95′ penalty

Assists: N/A

Manchester United: Romero; Wan-Bissaka, Bailly (Lindelof 70′), Maguire, Williams; Fred (Matic 70′), Pogba; Greenwood (Mata 90′), Fernandes, Rashford (Lingard 113′); Martial (McTominay 120′)

Substitutes Not Used: De Gea; Fosu-Mensah, Mengi; Pereira, James; Ighalo, Chong

Bookings:Harry Maguire 62′, Eric Bailly 63′; Mikkel Kaufmann 75′, Jens Stage 77′, Zeca 105+3′

2019/20 – UEFA Europa League – LASK – Home

Manchester United beat Linzer ASK 2-1 at Old Trafford in the UEFA Europa League round of 16 second leg, winning the game 7-1 on aggregate. Philipp Wiesinger scored the opening goal of the match after a laboured first half but less than two minutes later, Jesse Lingard scored his second goal in his last two matches to draw level. After making five substitutions, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer side went for the kill with Anthony Martial scoring his 23rd goal of the season.

It was a pretty poor first half with Linzer ASK having the best opportunity to break the deadlock but somehow they did not. United’s depth in the squad is quite poor with hardly any pace on the pitch. Solskjaer will not have been happy with the players, who were just making it look pretty difficult. Harry Maguire had a change to break the deadlock too, heading wide of the target and he looked pretty annoyed with himself.

In the tenth minute of the second half, LASK were a goal to the good with Philipp Wiesinger scoring the first goal of the game. It was a pretty sloppy goal to concede and Sergio Romero will not be happy with the defence with Tim Fosu-Mensah heading the ball, which reached Wiesinger 25-yards out and he then picked his spot, curling his effort into the top corner with Romero diving to try to make the save.

United were not down and out finding inspiration from conceding the goal and got the game level just two minutes after the opening goal. Jesse Lingard found the back of the net for United, scoring twice in his last two matches. Juan Mata clipped the ball over to Lingard to equalise. Solskjaer will have been happy with that play, which had shown an improvement from the first half. United were now 6-1 up on aggregate.

Solskjaer made a double substitution just after the hour with Paul Pogba and Andreas Pereira replacing Jesse Lingard and Fred, who both did not look happy after coming off the pitch. A third change was made in the 72nd minute with Tahith Chong replacing Brandon Williams. Two more changes were made with six minutes remaining with Teden Mengi and Anthony Martial replacing Fosu-Mensah and Daniel James.

United took the lead in the 88th minute of the match with Martial scoring his 23rd goal of the season after playing a one-two to break into the box and cooly finishing past the LASK goalkeeper. Solskjaer will be happy to get through the game with no injuries, giving some fringe players a game and getting his top scorer a few minutes to take the challenge back to Marcus Rashford this season. Not ideal but a good win, in the end.

Goals: Jesse Lingard 57′; Philipp Wiesinger 55′

Assists: Juan Mata 57′, 88′; Peter Michorl 55′

Manchester United: Romero; Fosu-Mensah (Mengi 84′), Bailly, Maguire, Williams (Chong 72′); Fred (Pereira 64); Mata, McTominay, Lingard (Pogba 63′), James (Martial 84′); Ighalo

Substitutes Not Used: Grant; Wan-Bissaka; Fernandes, Matic, Garner; Rashford, Greenwood

Bookings: Scott McTominay 39′; Peter Michael 34′

2019/20 – UEFA Europa League – LASK – Away

Manchester United beat LASK 5-0 at the Linzer Stadion in Linz, Austria in the UEFA Europa League round of 16 first leg. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side will be seeking a relatively easy passage into the quarter finals of the competition this season with his team scoring three away goals in this match. Odion Ighalo, Daniel James, Juan Mata, Mason Greenwood and Andreas Pereira provided for United with Bruno Fernandes, Ighalo, Fred (twice) and Tahith Chong assisting the goals. United face Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League on Sunday.

United started well against LASK, pushing to get an opening goal from the start of the game. The Austrian side pressured United at times, United ending the first half ahead in the game with 60% possession, 84% passing accuracy, 11 attempts on goal; four on target, six off target, and one blocked. Odion Ighalo scored his fourth goal of the season for United in the 28th minute after Bruno Fernandes made a driving run into the area, chipping the ball over to the Nigerian before hitting the back of the net.

United continued to pressure the Austrian’s in the second half of the match, doubling their lead just before the hour mark with Daniel James ending his goal drought, assisted by Ighalo, scoring his fourth goal of the season for the club. Ighalo played the Welshman through from midfield, with him running solo into the box, getting around a defender before thundering his shot into the bottom corner of the goal. He uttered a huge roar after that goal, seemingly show his frustration not to score sooner.

Solskjaer made his first substitution at 2-0 up with Tahith Chong, who this week signed a new contract, replacing the Welshman, who scored his first goal for the club since the 31 August 2019. It may have been touch and go with Eric Bailly, who seemed to suffer an injury late in the second half, however, after a few minutes he was alright to play on. Andreas Pereira Replaced Fernandes in the 78th minute of the match. United continued to get the better of their opposition in the match.

United scored a third goal in the game, through Juan Mata, who was unlucky in the first half. Fred had the ball in midfield, slotting it forward to Mata who was up front seeking to attack. The Spaniard made it look easy as he slotted past the LASK goalkeeper to put United well ahead in the game. United will probably be able to field a much younger team in the second leg at Old Trafford next week, should the game not be postponed because of the Coronavirus which has postponed many leagues across the world already.

Solskjaer made his third and final substitute in the 82nd minute of the game with Mason Greenwood replacing Ighalo, who had scored the opening goal, assisting the second in the match, giving the manager a headache ahead of the trip to London to face Spurs on Sunday afternoon. United scored their fourth goal in the game, seemingly ending LASK’s time in the competition with Greenwood scoring his 12th goal of the season, assisted by Tahith Chong. What a game.

That was not it though. Andreas Pereira scored a fifth goal on the night, assisted by Fred, who got his second assist of the match. United have literally blown away their opposition in this game, not allowing them a shot on target, despite their good run in the competition and their domestic league this season. United seem in a good position to reach the quarter finals of the competition with Solskjaer seeking Champions League football.

Goals: Odion Ighalo 28′, Daniel James 58′, Juan Mata 82′, Mason Greenwood 90+1′, Andreas Pereira 90+3′

Assists: Bruno Fernandes 28′, Odion Ighalo 58′, Fred 82′, 90+3′, Tahith Chong 90+1′

Manchester United: Romero; Williams, Bailly, Maguire, Shaw; Fred, McTominay; Mata, Fernandes (Pereira 78′), James (Chong 71′); Ighalo (Greenwood 85′)

Substitutes Not Used: De Gea; Lindelof, Tuanzebe; Matic

Bookings: Gernot Trauner 33′, Klauss 38′, Christian Ramsebner 59′, Dominik Reiter 89′; Luke Shaw 47′

2019/20 – UEFA Europa League – Club Brugge – Home

Manchester United beat Club Brugge 5-0 at Old Trafford in the UEFA Europa League round of 32 second leg, winning 6-1 on aggregate over the two legs – almost the same aggregate scoreline from the last time the two teams met in the Champions League qualification round. Bruno Fernandes was the MOTM for his performance, scoring a penalty and having involvement in Odion Ighalo and Scott McTominay’s first half goals. Fred scored a brace in the second half. Round of 16 here we come.

United started on the front foot in the second leg clash, seeking to find an early lead with eight attempts on goal, four on target in the opening half hour. In the 22nd minute, United won a penalty after Simon Deli became the goalkeeper, making a save with his hand. He was immediately sent off but VAR had to check, after a near four minute delay. Bruno Fernandes took the kick beating Simon Mignolet from the spot to put United 1-0 up.

United doubled their lead in the 34th minute of the match with Odion Ighalo, on his first start for the club, scoring this first golfer the club. Fernandes turned Hans Vanaken sending the ball to Juan Mata at the back post. The Spanish magician then squared the ball to the Nigerian who buried his shot past Mignolet with a rousing celebration from the Old Trafford faithful.

A third goal was not that far away from United with Scott McTominay United’s third of the game, putting them 4-1 up on aggregate in the tie. It was Fernandes who set up the play again taking on two opposition players sending Fred into the area. The Brazilian then set up McTominay, who was unmarked curling his finish to put United 3-0 up in this fixture. It was a great half of football and probably another MOTM for Fernandes.

United were not finished. In the 82nd minute Fred got his name on the scoresheet, already getting an assist for McTominay goal which put United 3-0 up. Jesse Lingard filled in for Fernandes, after replaced him in the 65th minute, after a hustle from Luke Shaw to get the ball forward. Lingard was away down the left, skipping past Matej Mitrovic before cutting the ball in for Fred who was waiting for it. United made this look easy with some great football.

United scored a fifth at the death of the game. Fred struck for the second time putting United 5-0 up, winning 6-1 on aggregate over the two legs. Tahith Chong made the cut back picking out the Brazilian at the top of the area with the midfielder thundering his effort into the back of the net. Mignolet will not have been a happy chappy as United secured their place in the draw for the round of 16 on Friday. Well done United, now onto Everton on Sunday at Goodison Park in the Premier League.

Goals: Bruno Fernandes 27′ (pen), Odion Ighalo 34′, Scott McTominay 41′, Fred 82′, 90+3′

Assists: Juan Mata 34′, Fred 41′, Jesse Lingard 82′,

Manchester United: Romero; Wan-Bissaka, Bailly, Maguire, Shaw; McTominay (Greenwood 72′), Fred; Mata, Fernandes (Lingard 65′), James (Chong 46′); Ighalo

Substitutes Not Used: De Gea; Lindelof, Williams; Matic

Bookings: Simon Deli 22′

2019/20 – UEFA Europa League – Club Brugge – Away

Goals: Dennis Bonaventure 15′; Anthony Martial 36′

Assists: Simon Mignolet 15′

Manchester United: Romero; Dalot (Fernandes 81′), Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw, Williams; Mata, Matic, Andreas (Fred 71′); Lingard, Martial (Ighalo 67′)

Substitutes Not Used: De Gea; Bailly, Wan-Bissaka, James

Bookings: Eder Balanta 39′, Hans Vanaken 53′, Brandon Mechele 90+3′; Andreas Pereira 69′

2019/20 – UEFA Europa League – AZ Alkmaar – Home

Manchester United beat AZ Alkmaar 4-0 at Old Trafford in the final group stage match of the UEFA Europa League. Ashley Young opened the scoring eight minutes into the second half before Mason Greenwood doubled the lead five minutes later. A penalty scored by Juan Mata came in the 62nd minute with Greenwood scoring the fourth goal of the match, ten and a half minutes after the opening goal. United have won their group.

The game had many similarities of the one which was played in the Netherlands back in October. It was a fraught first half with little to write home about. United started off the blocks in the second half and eight minutes later had their first goal of the game scored by Ashley Young and assisted by Juan Mata. United needed to keep their lead in the game ensuring that they topped the group.

United doubled their lead in the 58th minute through Mason Greenwood which showed the talent that the academy graduate has in his locker. He brought the ball under control on the edge of the box before smashing his effort into the back of the net. United then won a penalty through Greenwood four minutes later which Juan Mata took and buried to put United 3-0 up in the match. A great second half so far.

That was not it for United though, who scored a fourth goal, the second of the evening for Greenwood. Mata slotted the ball into the forward who then dropped as shoulder before firing into the back of the net at the near post. It was a great finish for the striker, who has scored six first team goals this season. Solskjaer will be proud of his toughly team this evening, who certainly did the club proud.

Goals: Ashley Young 53′, Mason Greenwood 58′, 64′, Juan Mata 62′

Assists: Juan Mata 53′, 64′

Manchester United: Romero; Young (Laird 68′), Tuanzebe, Maguire (Jones 68′), Williams; Matic, Garner; Pereira, Mata, Greenwood; Martial (Chong 60′)

Substitutes Not Used: Grant; Fred, McTominay; Rashford

Bookings: Ethan Laird 82′; Jordie Clasie 28′, Fredrik Midtsjø 58′

2019/20 – UEFA Europa League – FC Astana – Away

Manchester United were beaten 2-1 by Astana at the Astana Arena in Kazakhstan. It was a game that saw United ahead in the tenth minute of the match through Jesse Lingard, who scored his first goal of 2019. However, second after Tahith Chong missed a sitter, Astana were level and seven minutes after that, they were winning.

United took the lead in the tenth minute of the match after a good start in the game, despite the number of teenage players in the starting XI. Luke Shaw was involved in the build-up, driving the ball into the box before laying the ball to Jesse Lingard, the captain during this game, who then fired into the back of the goal to put United ahead.

United had the chance to take a 2-0 lead around ten minutes into the second half by Tahith Chong, yards from a seemingly open goal, missed the target which was costly for United as Astana equalised seconds later through Dmitry Shomko. Seven minutes later, the Kazakhstani champions took the lead after the ball was deflected off Di’Shon Bernard.

Goals: Dmitry Shomko 55′, Di’Shon Bernard 62′ (og); Jesse Lingard 10′

Assists: Roman Murtazaev 55′; Luke Shaw 10′

Manchester United: Grant; Laird, Bernard, Tuanzebe, Shaw; Garner (Ramazani 84′), Levitt; Chong (Bughail-Mellor 65′), Lingard, Gomes (Galbraith 89′); Greenwood

Substitutes Not Used: Kovar; Mengi, Taylor; Puigmal; Bughail-Mellor

Bookings: Runar Mar Sigurjonsson 39′, Yuri Logvunenko 69′, Abzal Beysebekov 81′, Dmitry Shomko 83′; Dylan Levitt 59′, Jesse Lingard 88′

2019/20 – UEFA Europa League – Partizan Belgrade – Home

Manchester United beat Partizan Belgrade 3-0 at Old Trafford in the fourth group stage match of the UEFA Europa League. Goals from Mason Greenwood, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford saw United reign supreme leaving Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side two points clear at the top of the group with two matches remaining.

United started well and could have scored at least twice before they finally found the net. After lacking composure in the early stages, United started to take their chances. Mason Greenwood opened up the scoring in the 22nd minute of the match, assisted by Marcus Rashford, scoring his second goal in the competition this season.

Just 11 minutes later, after peppering the Partizan goal a few times, United doubled their lead through Anthony Martial, who scored his fifth goal of the season, his third in five matches since returning from injury. Greenwood charged down a clearance with Martial receiving the ball putting his finish underneath the goalkeeper for a 2-0 lead.

Just four minutes into the second half, United scored their third goal of the evening, the third time they had scored this many goals in a match this season. Rashford, assisted by Ashley Young fired his rasping drive with his left foot which was not going to be stopped by the Partizan goalkeeper. United cruised to victory at Old Trafford.

Goals: Mason Greenwood 22′, Anthony Martial 33′, Marcus Rashford 49′

Assists: Mason Greenwood 33′, Ashley Young 49′

Manchester United: Romero; Wan-Bissaka, Maguire, Rojo, Young; McTominay (Lingard 75′), Fred (Garner 63′); Greenwood, Mata, Rashford (Pereira 67′); Martial

Substitutes Not Used: Grant; Jones, Williams; James

Bookings: Ashley Young 71′; Bibras Natkho 32′, Strahinja Pavlovic 58′

2019/20 – UEFA Europa League – Partizan Belgrade – Away

Goals: Anthony Martial 43′ (pen)

Assists: 

Manchester United: Romero; Jones, Maguire, Rojo; Wan-Bissaka (James 60′), McTominay, Garner (Andreas 81′), Mata, Williams; Lingard, Martial (Rashford 60′)

Substitutes Not Used: Grant, Lindelof, Fred, Greenwood

Bookings: Phil Jones 46′

2019/20 – UEFA Europa League – AZ Alkmaar – Away

Manchester United were unable to get a shot on goal, let alone score in a poor away match against AZ Alkmaar in The Hague on Thursday evening. It has shown Ole Gunnar Solskjaer that he has a lot of work to do with his team in order to drive them to the glory days. This season has shown that this club is on the decline faster than an ice cube in the Sahara.

The Dutch side had four shots on goal, all of them on target with United having three shots, none on target. It ended with both teams having 50% of the ball with United having an 89% passing accuracy with AZ Alkmaar having 88%. United made four blocks in their area with the Dutch side making three. There really was not much more to say about the match.

Marcus Rashford replaced Daniel James in the 63rd minute of the match, to try and seek the elusive goal, unable to do so. Jesse Lingard came on for Mason Greenwood in the 77th minute, possibly having the best chance of the game and not hitting the target from close range. Scott McTominay replaced Juan Mata with seven minutes remaining, unable to drive his team to victory.

This is a worrying sign for United, who are left with little quality in the team at this moment in time. Luke Shaw and Anthony Martial could well be nearing full fitness after long-term injuries, Paul Pogba needs to overcome an ankle injury and both Eric Bailly and Tim Fosu-Mensah need to overcome knee injuries. Aaron Wan-Bissaka is ill with tonsillitis.

Solskjaer will need to go back to the drawing board, otherwise he could be in deep trouble. The style of play is high pressing, which is not working. There needs to be a massive rebuilding plan with the club seeking to bring in players of quality in the areas lacking, which so far seems to be outfield players with the defence the strongest attribute.

Manchester United: De Gea; Dalot, Lindelof, Rojo, Williams; Matic; Mata (McTominay 83′), Gomes, Fred, James (Rashford 63′); Greenwood (Lingard 77′)

Substitutes Not Used: Romero; Maguire, Tuanzebe; Chong

Bookings: Diogo Dalot 90+1′

copyright: JW