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, which is looking on target so far this season.
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′