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′, Anthony Martial ; 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′
Written by John Walker