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What We Learned: Lukaku breaks goal drought, Shaw is back, and Pogba will be missed

Manchester United beat CSKA Moscow 2-1 at Old Trafford to win the group in the UEFA Champions League, sealing a place in the round of 16 draw on Monday. United fell behind after Santos Vitinho scored, with an Alan Dzagoev deflection, which was an offside shout but not given, to take the lead at the end of the first half. Come the second half, United were seeking a leveller, which came through Romelu Lukaku, from a Paul Pogba assist in the 64th minute, United taking the lead two minutes later through Marcus Rashford, assisted by Juan Mata, which won the game.

United did all they needed to do, well they did not need to win, but they did, which is a good thing and increases the confidence ahead of the Manchester derby. It was a night where United made it 40 matches undefeated at Old Trafford, the Theatre of Dreams turning into that fortress once again. It will all be for nothing if they do not get a result against Manchester City in the first Manchester derby of the season on Sunday. Jose Mourinho’s side, without Pogba, will be fired up for the match.

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Romelu Lukaku was going to scored soon, said Mourinho, and he did

So-called United supporters were calling for Romelu Lukaku to be dropped after he failed to score goals, seemingly failing to see what he had to offer with his work-rate during each match, which continued into this match. The Belgian was unlucky not to find himself on the scoresheet much earlier with United starting the match with chance after chance. In the 64th minute, Paul Pogba sent a stunning kick into the box with Lukaku head to head with his man, winning and beating the goalkeeper. Drought over, confidence increased and gunning for Manchester City on Sunday.

Mourinho had stated his striker will start scoring again soon, and guess what, he was right. Perhaps instead of trying to make themselves Twitter famous, these fickle fans who seem to want to complain all the time should learn patience and show the values of the word. Since the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson and the rise of social media, fans who were unheard of before are not seen and heard, making the digital world a fickle place when United don’t beat their opposition with double-figure goals. What a pathetic world we now live in. Sorry if you are offended, snowflake.

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Paul Pogba will be a big miss for the Manchester derby, but United will have to persevere

Paul Pogba will now miss the next three domestic matches; Manchester City (H), Bournemouth (H) and West Bromwich Albion (A). He will be available for the Carabao Cup fifth round clash with Bristol City on the 20th December 2017. The Manchester derby would have been a big occasion for the Frenchman, and for Manchester United, who will be seeking to overturn the noisy neighbours dominance in the Premier League this season, currently sitting eight points clear in the league.

Pogba would have offered creativity, pace, that push for more, but United will have to seek that from other players. Ander Herrera was back in action against CSKA Moscow, so will probably have an opportunity against City, all depending on whether Nemanja Matic is fit, as he missed the final Champions League fixture through injury, so Herrera may have to stand in for him. Marouane Fellaini could be fit, but Mourinho has said nothing about the Belgian midfielder, so right now, we will have to wait and see what United pull out of the bag against their bitter rivals.

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Luke Shaw seemed raring to go against CSKA Moscow and should have forced himself into contention to face City

Set to be named Manchester United Man of the Match on his first return to action since coming on as a substitute in the carabao Cup against Swansea City in October, Shaw was ready to stake his claim to the left-back position. There has been a lot of talk that United were interested in offloading Shaw and bringing in Danny Rose from Tottenham Hotspur, but right now that is just hearsay. Shaw could make the left-back position his own and seemed determined to do so from kick off against CSKA.

Shaw had two shots on goal and was unlucky not to score or get an assist in the first half of the match. The English defender seemed capable of making the Russian side fear him everytime he ran up the flank. United playing with three at the back, which turns the fullback into a wing-back seems to work with the players United have and with Eric Bailly and Phil Jones back in contention, after injury, United will have a very strong defence which could cope with similar formations for the remainder of the season, as long as it does not get to predictable.

The point is that Shaw seems to have battled with his demons and this restart to his career could be the one that makes him. Against CSKA, he showed the signs of the player United signed from Southampton, a good sign on the player standing up and making himself counted.

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Conclusion

Manchester United have continued their fine start to the season. The knockout stages of the Champions League are in the bag. The first Manchester derby is days away and United will be seeking to win the battle of Manchester. The festive period is one where United will play matches days apart and rotation will be key. United have plenty of players to do this and it can work. Knocking City off their (slight) perch will be key at the Theatre of Dreams on Sunday. United got the better of Arsenal and City are not beatable. Mourinho needs to continue this momentum into the New Year.

Ratings: Luke Shaw impressed on his return to action; a shoe in for the derby?

Manchester United beat CSKA Moscow 2-1 in the final UEFA Champions League group stage match at Old Trafford. Santos Vitinho put his side ahead in the last minute of the first half, Alan Dzagoev deflecting the ball into the back of the net, which seemed like an offside goal. United hit the Russian side with two goals in two minutes through Romelu Lukaku and Marcus Rashford to win the match. United will be happy to have won the group, but could still play some of Europe’s big guns.

United won the match, also winning the group with Basel the runners-up, amassing 15 points out of a possible 18 with Pogba making his last appearance for three matches. The draw will be made on Monday at 11:00 GMT. United eventually got the result they wanted, not necessarily needed, but to win five out of six matches is a big improvement after playing in the UEFA Europa League last season and sitting out of the Champions League for around 18 months. Jose Mourinho will be happy with his side’s progress, looking forward to see the challenge that will come next year.

Goals: Romelu Lukaku 64′, Marcus Rashford 66′

Assists: Paul Pogba 64′, Juan Mata 66′

Manchester United: Romero; Lindelof, Smalling, Blind; Valencia (Tuanzebe 72′), Herrera (McTominay 67′), Pogba; Shaw; Mata; Lukaku (Martial 74′), Rashford

Substitutes Not Used: Pereira; Darmian; Lingard, Young

Bookings: Scott McTominay 73′

Manchester United

22 Sergio Romero

The Argentinian did not have much to do. Had to make two saves to deny the Russian side. Was unable to stop the goal at the end of the first half though.

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2 Victor Lindelof

A confident performance from the Swede. 86% passing, three interceptions, three clearances and three blocks. A confident performance. Great to see the real Victor Lindelof.

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Chris Smalling

Won all three tackles and the aerial duel. Made two clearances and one block. Did all he could do defensively. Unlucky not to score a header.

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17 Daley Blind

The Dutchman had a shot on goal, which was blocked. Took a flurry of set-pieces, which were cleared away. Made one interception and did what he needed to do defensively.

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25 Antonio Valencia

Had two shots against CSKA; one blocked and one saved. Used his pace to break forward for much of the game, trying to get the better of his man on the right flank. Replaced by Tuanzebe in the 72nd minute, keeping him fresh for Sunday.

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21 Ander Herrera

Played in place of Matic and did what he needed to do. The Spanish midfielder was lively alongside Pogba and got stuck into the game. Replaced by McTominay in the 67th minute in view of his fitness ahead of Sunday.

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6 Paul Pogba

His last appearance for three matches. 81% passing, won his tackles and assisted Romelu Lukaku's equaliser. Will be a big miss against City, but United will have to do without him.

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23 Luke Shaw

Will probably be named the Man of the Match for his performance. In the first half, he broke forward at pace and generally looked like a bat out of hell. Unlucky not to score or get an assist. Had two shots; one was saved and the other was blocked. Made one interception, four clearances and two blocks. Foot in the door?

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8 Juan Mata

An impressive performance from the Spaniard who showed his tricks against the Russian side. Got the assist for Rashford's winner, created two other chances and gave the Russian's something to deal with on each attack.

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Romelu Lukaku

Scored the leveller for United in the 64th minute of the match, beating his man with his strength and finding the back of the net. Played well and posed a challenge for his opposition. Replaced by Martial in the 74th minute.

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10 Marcus Rashford

Nearly scored in the opening few minutes, but his effort came off the post. Tried to cause a problem for the opposition on each attack. Struggled with his final ball at times, but it will come. Has come a long way in less than two years.

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Substitutes

39 Scott McTominay

Replaced Herrera 67'. Was booked in the 73rd minute. Did what was asked of him. It all adds to his experience.

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38 Axel Tuanzebe

Replaced Tunzebe 72'. Didn't really see much involvement but rarely stepped a foot wrong.

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9 Anthony Martial

Replaced Lukaku 74'. Made an appearance on his birthday. Did not have much time to get stuck in but will be ready for Sunday.

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Report: Lukaku and Rashford put Manchester United into the knockout stages of the Champions League

Manchester United beat CSKA Moscow 2-1 in the final UEFA Champions League group stage match at Old Trafford. Santos Vitinho put his side ahead in the last minute of the first half, Alan Dzagoev deflecting the ball into the back of the net, which seemed like an offside goal. United hit the Russian side with two goals in two minutes through Romelu Lukaku and Marcus Rashford to win the match.

Jose Mourinho made six changes from his side with beat Arsenal 3-1 in the Premier League on Saturday evening. Sergio Romero, Daley Blind, Ander Herrera, Luke Shaw, Juan Mata and Marcus Rashford replaced David De Gea, Marcos Rojo, Nemanja Matic, Ashley Young, Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial. Shaw not only made his return to the starting XI but also made his 50th appearance.

United started well at the start of the match launching a counter-attack in the fourth minute of the match after Romelu Lukaku threaded a clever ball into Rashford who steadied himself and shot across Igor Akinfeev but the ball bounced back off the upright. United were on the attack again with Lukaku breezing up the right flank and put a lovely cross into the box, missing everyone.

In the 15th minute of the match, three minutes after Alan Dzagoev tried to put his side ahead from distance, Romero collecting the shot comfortably, Rashford was again denied by Akinfeev after Juan Mata played the 20-year-old on. United were so far looking like the better team but still needing a goal. At this stage, Basel were already 1-0 up against Benfica.

United had yet another chance in the 19th minute of the match after Antonio Valencia broke forward and both Shaw and Lukaku had the chance to put United ahead, Akinfeev thwarting both attempts. In the 22nd minute, United were through again with Shaw rushing into the box, receiving the ball from Pogba, teeing up a chance but Mata could not get on it to find the back fo the net. Shaw was looking sharp.

Shaw was looking sharp tonight. Seems to have earned his appearance so far in the game and should be playing more football this season. In the 26th minute of the match, Santos Vitinho saw his effort from long-range soar over the crossbar. In the 34th minute, Pogba sent a terrific ball from United’s half up to Lukaku, who was cutting into the box from the left, the Belgian could not find the net.

In the 37th minute, CSKA had another chance on goal through Vitinho, his shot being fired over the crossbar again just after Shaw dispossessed Dzagoev with a sliding challenge which saw a penalty claim but nothing was given. On the reply, Shaw played the ball so it was the right decision. United won a corner in the 40th minute, taken by Blind but nothing came of it.

CSKA Moscow took the lead in the 45th minute with Dzagoev seemingly getting the final touch, the ball coming off his back, possibly from an offside position, Vitinho getting the goal, putting United under pressure in the tie, well they only needed six more goals to see United knocked out of the competition. United had chances that should have resulted in goals, but they ended the half trailing 1-0.

There were no changes for either side at the start of the second half as United looked to get a goal back to make the game level. It was CSKA who came out with the intent, seeking to get forward and press to find a second goal. United got on the counter with Rashford on the ball but Akinfeev thwarted his effort and pushed his side forward on the counter.

United won a corner in the 52nd minute, taken by Blind but came to nothing with the Russian side breaking forward and United regaining possession and pressing on the advance. United won another corner after Shaw’s cross into the box was deflected. Blind took it again, it was cleared by CSKA, United regaining possession and Mata crossing with Chris Smalling heading off target.

United won a free-kick in the 58th minute after Pogba was fouled by Vasili Berezutski, Blind lining up to take the kick, running across it and Rashford smashing his effort, which was deflected by the wall and over the crossbar. The resulting corner was nothing special with United still on the attack, crossing into the box and Akinfeev clearing his area, with United still on the ball.

United levelled the score in the 64th minute after Pogba fired a passing into the box for Lukaku, who was too strong for his man, putting the ball into the back of the net. United were not finished there, they were on the attack again with Rashford slotting his shot across the goal into the far corner, putting them 2-1 up.

In the 67th minute, Mourinho made his first change with Scott McTominay replacing Herrera. CSKA made a change too with Astemir Gordyushenko replacing Fedor Chalov. In the 72nd minute of the match, Mourinho made his second change with Axel Tuanzebe replacing Valencia. United made a third change in the 74th minute with Anthony Martial replacing Lukaku.

CSKA made their second substitution with Timur Zhamaletdinov replacing Vitinho in the 82nd minute. United had a few chances to create something in the final eight minutes of the match, exciting the crowd at times, but not getting a hint of the goal. Rashford had a chance to create something but Berezutski cut out his pass. Three minutes were added at the end of the second half.

CSKA made their final change of the match with Khetag Khosonov replacing Kirill Nababkin in the first minute of stoppage time. United had to defend a set-piece after the change, the ball going out of play for a goal kick. The game continued with United winning the match, amassing 15 points out of a possible 18 with Pogba making his last appearance for three matches.

Goals: Romelu Lukaku 64′, Marcus Rashford 66′

Assists: Paul Pogba 64′, Juan Mata 66′

Manchester United: Romero; Lindelof, Smalling, Blind; Valencia (Tuanzebe 72′), Herrera (McTominay 67′), Pogba; Shaw; Mata; Lukaku (Martial 74′), Rashford

Substitutes Not Used: Pereira; Darmian; Lingard, Young

Bookings: Scott McTominay 73′

Confirmed Starting XI: Luke Shaw starts for Manchester United

Manchester United will host CSKA Moscow this evening at Old Trafford in the final UEFA Champions League group stage match. United currently top the table with 12 points and a healthy goal difference. In the last match, a 1-0 defeat to Basel, United failed to secure their place in the knockout stages of the competition, needing a point to make that happen this evening. This is not a must-win match for United, avoiding a high-scoring defeat will be enough for the Old Trafford club to make it through to the round of 16 next year. CSKA Moscow have never beaten United in any of the five previous matches played, so it could be a big ask of the Russian side, to win at the Theatre of Dreams.

Manchester United:

Romero;

Lindelof, Smalling, Blind;

Valencia, Herrera, Pogba; Shaw;

Mata;

Lukaku, Rashford

Substitutes:

Pereira; Darmian, Tuanzebe; Lingard, Young, McTominay; Martial

Manchester United and CSKA Moscow have played five matches in the competitive history of both clubs. United have not been beaten by the Russian side. United have beaten CSKA Moscow three times and drawn twice. The first match was played on the 21st October 2009, a 1-0 victory played at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow with Antonio Valencia scoring the only goal of the game just over a year after the Red Devils won the UEFA Champions League in the stadium.

The next two matches were draws; 3-3 on the 3rd November 2009 and a 1-1 draw around six years later on the 21st October 2015. United then won 1-0 at Old Trafford on the 3rd November 2015. Earlier this season, United won 4-1 at the VEB Arena in Moscow with Romelu Lukaku scoring a brace, with Anthony Martial and Henrikh Mkhitaryan scoring the other two goals. The match at Old Trafford this evening will be the sixth match between the two sides.

How Manchester United could line up against CSKA Moscow in the UEFA Champions League

Manchester United take on CSKA Moscow in the UEFA Champions League at Old Trafford tonight. It is not a must-win match for United, a point will see the club win the group. Avoiding a high-scoring defeat will keep them in the competition. CSKA Moscow have not beaten United in five attempts with United winning three times and the pair drawing twice. Earlier this season, United won 4-1 and it could be another high-scoring match at the Theatre of Dreams tonight. David De Gea has been rested, Nemanja Matic is injured and Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been given time to continue his rehabilitation from the knee injury he sustained in April. Jose Mourinho will have a side capable of winning the match though.

Starting XI Formation and Prediction

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Goalkeeper: Sergio Romero

The Argentinian has been in good form when called upon this season and was the go-to guy in the UEFA Europa League last season, which United won to get into the Champions League this season. Sergio Romero is a capable goalkeeper and a great stand-in for David De Gea, who will be given a rest ahead of the Manchester derby at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon.

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Back Four: Matteo Darmian, Victor Lindelof, Marcos Rojo, Luke Shaw

United have some very competent defenders in the squad this season but with Phil Jones only returning to training on Monday and Eric Bailly still on the sidelines, using Victor Lindelof and Marcos Rojo in the centre of defence could be key to winning this match. Obviously, with the Manchester derby coming up, using both of these defenders tonight could be a risk, one which Mourinho may need to take in order to get his side the point they need to win the group. Matteo Darmian could come in for Antonio Valencia, who will need to be rested ahead of Sunday’s fixture. Luke Shaw has been putting in the work in training and could earn a recall this evening.

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Midfield: Ander Herrera, Scott McTominay, Paul Pogba

The midfield is an area with a lack of depth at this present time. Michael Carrick is still returning to fitness after his heart problems, could be fit to face CSKA this evening, but I was not sure so have left him out. Ander Herrera, Scott McTominay and Paul Pogba could play a midfield three, Pogba is definitely starting as confirmed by Mourinho in his press conference on Monday afternoon. As far as I know, Marouane Fellaini is still injured and Nemanja Matic has been ruled out of this match through injury, hopefully, he will be fit for Sunday’s match.

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Forwards: Juan Mata, Romelu Lukaku, Marcus Rashford

Manchester United have a great forward line. Zlatan Ibrahimovic will not be part of the squad this evening. Juan Mata could return to the starting XI ahead of the derby on Sunday, with Marcus Rashford playing on the left, allowing Anthony Martial, who started against Arsenal, some time to recover ahead of the derby. Romelu Lukaku, still needing to end his goal drought, could lead the line in a bid to find his goalscoring form ahead of Sunday’s clash with Manchester City.

Preview: Manchester United out to win UEFA Champions League group with CSKA Moscow victory

Manchester United -v- CSKA Moscow

UEFA Champions League 2017/18

Old Trafford, Manchester

Tuesday 5th December 2017; KO 19:45 GMT

Live on BT Sport 2HD in the United Kingdom

Manchester United will host CSKA Moscow this evening at Old Trafford in the final UEFA Champions League group stage match. United currently top the table with 12 points and a healthy goal difference. In the last match, a 1-0 defeat to Basel, United failed to secure their place in the knockout stages of the competition, needing a point to make that happen this evening. This is not a must-win match for United, avoiding a high-scoring defeat will be enough for the Old Trafford club to make it through to the round of 16 next year. CSKA Moscow have never beaten United in any of the five previous matches played, so it could be a big ask of the Russian side, to win at the Theatre of Dreams.

Basel could win the group with a victory over Benfica, who have not won a single match or earned a single point in the competition this season. CSKA Moscow are guaranteed a place in the round of 32 in the UEFA Europa League unless they beat United and Benfica earn a victory or a draw with Basel. Jose Mourinho will be without a host of stars with David De Gea given an evening off with Sergio Romero and Joel Pereira as the two goalkeepers, the Argentinian starting the match. Paul Pogba will start ahead of his three-match ban for the red card shown against Arsenal at the weekend. Luka Shaw could be in contention for a start in this game, which could be good for him. Phil Jones and Eric Bailly are both expected to miss out due to injury despite Jones’ return to training.

Previous Matches: Manchester United unbeaten by CSKA Moscow in five matches – could it be six?

Manchester United and CSKA Moscow have played five matches in the competitive history of both clubs. United have not been beaten by the Russian side. United have beaten CSKA Moscow three times and drawn twice. The first match was played on the 21st October 2009, a 1-0 victory played at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow with Antonio Valencia scoring the only goal of the game just over a year after the Red Devils won the UEFA Champions League in the stadium.

The next two matches were draws; 3-3 on the 3rd November 2009 and a 1-1 draw around six years later on the 21st October 2015. United then won 1-0 at Old Trafford on the 3rd November 2015. Earlier this season, United won 4-1 at the VEB Arena in Moscow with Romelu Lukaku scoring a brace, with Anthony Martial and Henrikh Mkhitaryan scoring the other two goals. The match at Old Trafford this evening will be the sixth match between the two sides.

Form: Manchester United in great form ahead of important match in the UEFA Champions League against Russian side CSKA Moscow

Manchester United have played 15 matches in the Premier League this season, winning eleven, drawing two and losing two. In total, United have scored 35 goals in the league, conceding nine, which leaves them with a goal difference of 26. At this stage last season, United had won five, drawn six and lost three matches in the league, only scoring 19 goals and conceding 16, leaving them with a goal difference of three. This season has seen a dramatic improvement in the league for United. In the Carabao Cup, United are in the fifth round, scoring six and conceding once so far. In the UEFA Champions League, United have been as consistent with four wins and one defeat, scoring ten goals and conceding two.

CSKA Moscow have played 19 matches in the Russian Premier League this season, winning ten matches, drawing five and losing four times. The Russian side have scored 28 goals, conceding 15 goals – a goal difference of 13. At this stage last season, CSKA Moscow has played only 17 matches, winning nine, drawing five and losing three times. In the Russian Cup this season, CSKA were knocked out after a 1-0 victory, after extra time, at the hands of Avangard Kursk. In the UEFA Champions League, CSKA have played five matches, winning three and losing twice. The club are guaranteed a place in the UEFA Europa League this season, but Basel will have to draw or lose to Benfica – who have not won a game this season, and CSKA Moscow will need to win at Old Trafford.

Team News: Sergio Romero and Paul Pogba will start; David De Gea, Zlatan Ibrahimovic will miss the UEFA Champions League final group stage match

Jose Mourinho spoke to the media during his press conference on Monday afternoon and confirmed that Sergio Romero and Paul Pogba would both start with Joel Pereira on the bench with David De Gea being rested for the fixture, ahead of the Manchester derby. The Portuguese manager also confirmed that Nemanja Matic was injured and out of the match, saying:

“We have problems, we have injuries. Matic is injured and when I say he is injured, he is injured. I am not going to make him play so Matic is out. A couple of others guys are playing every match and they also need a rest. More importantly, the other guys deserve an opportunity to play.”

Zlatan Ibrahimovic will not be involved in the match either with the Swedish striker needing time out to work on rehabilitation on his knee injury – this was also why he missed the Arsenal match at the weekend. Mourinho said:

“He is okay but he needs, now and again, specific work on the muscle that supports that knee that went through such a difficult surgery. When he works really hard on that, he gets fatigue and you cannot play with fatigue. It is something that we knew would happen now and again, that he needs to stop playing to become ready for harder work for prevention.”

Phil Jones and Eric Bailly, despite the former back in training, will most likely miss this game after the manager confirmed none of the injured players will be back. Luke Shaw was asked about by the media, with Mourinho saying:

“He’s working to have an opportunity and sooner or later, the opportunity will arrive. Because he deserves that opportunity. Selected for tomorrow, yes, for sure. To start or to be on the bench, I cannot answer.”

Predicted Starting XI: Manchester United to field strong side against CSKA Moscow to win UEFA Champions League group

Match Prediction: Manchester United too strong for CSKA Moscow…

Manchester United 4-0 CSKA Moscow

What Was Said: Manchester United made it look easy against CSKA Moscow, says Jose Mourinho

Manchester United put on a great display in Moscow in the UEFA Champions League, beating CSKA Moscow 4-1 at the VEB Arena on Wednesday evening. Romelu Lukaku scored the opening goal in the fourth minute of the match, a second coming from the spot in the 18th minute through Anthony Martial, a penalty awarded after Henrikh Mkhitaryan was fouled in the box. Lukaku scored against before the end of the first half, Martial assisting both of his goals with the Red Devils heading into the break 3-0 to the good.

In the 57th minute, Mkhitaryan scored the rebound after Martial had a fierce shot on goal, putting United 4-0 before the hour mark. That was where the scoring had finished for United, despite Lukaku and other attempting to score more goals, the Belgian missing out on a hat-trick. The home side scored in the 90th minute, beating David De Gea, who had kept the Russian side out of his goal for much of the game, despite not having to do much. It was a great result on the road for United, two matches played, six points in the bag, top of the group, for now at least.

Speaking after the 4-1 victory in Moscow, Jose Mourinho, primarily speaking to BT Sport, but reported by the official Manchester United website, the Portuguese manager spoke about various hot topics from the victory, starting with how his United team made the victory look easy…

“I think we made it look easy. We started so strongly, I think we surprised them with our attitude and we were really strong. We killed the game. They didn’t look as good as they are, but I think because of us.”

Mourinho then spoke about how the result was unexpected, especially after United’s previous trips to Russia, the match last season against Rostov in the UEFA Europa League being just one of them, but also United’s previous encounters with CSKA Moscow, despite them not being played in the same stadium. The manager said:

“It was unexpected, 3-0 at half-time was unexpected. But we started strongly, we were really strong, we pressed them, we recovered the ball and our counter-attack was always fast and dangerous. In the first 30 minutes we had four shots, three goals and the goalkeeper made a phenomenal save from Mkhitaryan’s first-post shot. So we started really strongly and by winning 3-0 we had the game in our hands. [Then] it was just control, so it was really good.”

The Portuguese manager then praised start striker Romelu Lukaku, who scored his ninth and tenth goals of the season, bearing in mind this was his ninth match of the season. The Belgian opened the scoring, finding another in the 27th minute with United playing like it was just a walk in the park. Mourinho said:

“He’s having a great record. We know that he’s a very good player, he can score lots of goals and playing in a team surrounded by quality players, [it is] even easier to do that. But I have to admit that he’s scoring really important goals and almost every game. For me, the important thing is not that [how much he costs] but the important thing is two matches, six points and a good position in the Champions League. Four more matches to play but we start really strongly and we are almost there.”

Anthony Martial, the Man of the Match for me, received some praise from the manager also. The Frenchman was involved in all four goals, scoring from the penalty, assisting both of Lukaku’s goals and his shot in the 57th minute was parried and scored by Henrikh Mkhitaryan, showing a commanding performance up front for the Frenchman, which is something the Manchester United supporters will be proud of. Mourinho, speaking about the prolific Frenchman, said:

“Yes, he is understanding and appreciating what I want. I think the game also adapted to his qualities, the way we played adapted to his qualities too. He had lots of freedom and lots of support, lots of quality around him too and I’m happy.”

On the subject of PlayStation football, Mourinho had something to finish with, saying:

“I didn’t see that [PlayStation football] as much, just a little bit of relaxation, a reaction by the home team with the normal pride to try to score, to try to have a different result and we just relaxed a little bit. We had a couple of good chances but I think it’s normal. We have a game on Saturday. Liverpool are luckier than us, they play Tuesday and Sunday, we have to play on Wednesday and on Saturday at 3pm. So I think it’s normal, a little bit of relaxation.”

Manchester United have another Premier League match at Old Trafford on Saturday, against bottom of the table Crystal Palace who had lost all six matches played in the league this season, failing to score a single goal. It could be a dangerous time to play Palace, reeling from a 5-0 humiliation against Manchester City last weekend and seeking improvement. The United who beat CSKA Moscow should give Palace nightmares, more of the same they have suffered in the six matches played in the league, only winning the two matches played in the Carabao Cup this season, which is not a good place to be in. Relegation could be something Palace suffer this season, which would be a shame for Timothy Fosu-Mensah, but it is experience he is there for, not results – he cannot play on Saturday anyway. Come on United!

MOTM: Martial the standout player, Mkhitaryan and Lukaku both shone on Moscow

Manchester United beat CSKA Moscow 4-0 in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday evening. Jose Mourinho played three at the back, which made his team more potent in attack, it working that well that United broke the deadlock in the fourth minute with Romelu Lukaku scoring goal number nine of the season. Anthony Martial, the provider of Lukaku’s opening goal, scored a penalty in the 18th minute after Henrikh Mkhitaryan was found in the box.

Lukaku put United 3-0 up in the 27th minute, Martial assisting again, the Belgian’s tenth goal of the season. The home side had a few chances, David De Gea being the difference. Mkhitaryan hit United’s fourth of the game, latching onto Martial’s shot, deflected by the keeper, just before being replaced by Jesse Lingard. Lukaku had a few chances to complete his hat-trick, it not working in his favour. Matteo Darmian replaced Ashley Young in the 66th minute with Mourinho using his squad depth to maintain freshness.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan

Henrikh Mkhitaryan had a great match against CSKA Moscow, punishing the Russian team with the space they allowed him, The Armenian had four shots on goal, scoring once, seeing another saved, the two other shots blocked. Mkhitaryan’s passing was great too, an 85% pass accuracy which saw United dominate with the ball. The Armenian was floating throughout the midfield, helping his team create chances and helping with the fluidity. Mkhitaryan won the penalty in the 18th minute of the match, scored by Martial, scoring United’s fourth goal in the 57th minute, just before being replaced by Lingard. Mkhitaryan won two in three tackles, and other than that did not need to get involved defensively as United had this in the bag from the first goal in the fourth minute.

Anthony Martial

Anthony Martial played a cracking game of football in Moscow on Wednesday evening. Two assists, one goal – a penalty and a dominating performance for United in the Russian capital. The Frenchman played 72 minutes before being replaced by Marcus Rashford, with United 4-0 up at the time and still seeking more goals, which failed to come. Martial had two shots on goal, his penalty which was scored and the shot in the 57th minute, which was saved, Mkhitaryan striking the rebound from Igor Akinfeev into the back of the net. Martial is having a great second season under Jose Mourinho, showing his true potential. 84% of his passes were successful, he created five chances, two being turned into goals by Romelu Lukaku. Martial had nine take-ons, winning six of them, also winning one of four aerial duels in the match.

Romelu Lukaku

Romelu Lukaku continued his goalscoring exploits in Moscow in the Champions League on Wednesday evening, scoring the opening goal in the fourth minute of the match, completing his brace in the 27th minute with Anthony Martial providing both, the Frenchman scoring a penalty in between the two goals. Lukaku did not get his hat-trick, but it will come, in time at least. The Belgian had four shots on goal, all on target, scoring twice and seeing two saved. Lukaku’s passing was good at 82%, showing how dominant Manchester United were against the Russian side. He created two chances, neither turning into a goal, but they kept United pressuring their opposition. Lukaku won 50% of hie aerial duels, expecting him to win more because of his height and build, but he did enough to get United the all important three pointss

Conclusion

Manchester United have dominated this season, scoring goal aplenty, dominating in a number of matches, yet still not tested in the Premier League by a team in the top six last season – the first chance of that could be against Liverpool next month. United dominated CSKA Moscow, which was not expected in the lead up to the match, based on previous visits to Russia with United heading home largely frustrated. Four goals scored, again, another goal conceded – the first in the Champions League this season, six points out of six in the elite European competition and a double-header against Benfica in Lisbon and Manchester coming up before the end of October, which cold see United well-placed to reach the knockout stages of the Champions League this season, if Benfica continue to frustrate, losing two in two with everything to play for when United rock up in town on the 18th October.

Report: Martial and Lukaku sink the Russian’s with Manchester United reigning supreme in the Champions League

Manchester United beat CSKA Moscow 4-1 at the VEB Arena in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday evening, with Romelu Lukaku scoring a brace, Anthony Martial scoring a penalty and Henrikh Mkhitaryan scoring a close-range rebound after the Frenchman saw his attempt saved. Martial assisted for both of Lukaku’s goals, the Belgian scoring his ninth and tenth goals for United. Konstantin Kuchaev scored a late consolation for the home side.

Jose Mourinho made a few changes against CSKA Moscow, his formation being the biggest with three at the back. United started well, drawing first blood in the fourth minute of the match with Anthony Martial setting up Romelu Lukaku with a cross, the Belgian striker glancing his header into the back of Igor Akinfeev’s net, scoring his ninth goal in nine games for his club. The home side tried to get level again minutes later, forcing a save from David De Gea, a corner being given away to the home side – which came to nothing.

In the thirteenth minute of the match, after some good interplay, United had broken forward, playing passes across the pitch. Ashley Young played a pass, Daley Blind receiving the ball on the left flank, playing a pass into the box for Henrikh Mkhitaryan to force a save from Akinfeev, which was close to becoming United’s second goal of the evening. United won a penalty in the 18th minute of the match, the assistant behind the goal line giving the penalty after Mkhitaryan was fouled inside the box. Martial took the penalty, 2-0 to United.

United won a corner in the 22nd minute of the match, which Blind took, Chris Smalling getting a good head on the ball but the home side gaining ground and taking possession, trying to string some attacking play together to pressure United, getting a shot, through Aleksandr Golovin, which was wide of the target. On the 26th minute, United scored again, Lukaku against after a defensive error, the Belgian striker pouncing on the ball and beating Akinfeev from close-range. United were 3-0 up and in command of this fixture.

CSKA Moscow broke forward in the 37th minute of the match, getting a shot on goal with De Gea putting in a great save, sending the ball over the crossbar for a corner. Mkhitaryan has had the freedom of the pitch s far this evening, rarely challenged, other than the penalty, showing his pace, flair, and ability to turn anything into a credible attack. De Gea had to make another save at the end of the first half, nothing testing though. At the end of the first half United led 3-0 with Lukaku scoring his ninth and tenth goals this season.

At the start of the second half, Golovin had a chance to get his side back into the game, sending his shot over the crossbar. Minutes later, Lukaku had the chance to seal his first hat-trick for United, having five hat-tricks during his career, four for clubs and one for Belgium, Akinfeev denying the Belgian from taking home the match ball (so far) this evening. Daley Blind had a chance to get something in the 51st minute, a cross from Young, heading inside the box, the keeper ready with the save, the ball going over the bar.

In the 57th minute of the match, United were playing with the Russian side. Romelu Lukaku had chances to complete his hat-trick, failing to do so but this time Martial broke into the box, firing at goal and Mkhitaryan running in and clearing up from the rebound putting United 4-0 up and cruising to victory. This was Mkhitaryan’s 50th match for United. In the 60th minute, Mourinho made his first change with Jesse Lingard replacing Mkhitaryan. Lingard had a chance immediately, it not going to plan for United’s fifth.

Mourinho made his second change of the evening in the 66th minute of the match with Matteo Darmian replacing Young. In the 72nd minute, Mourinho made his third and final change with Marcus Rashford replacing Martial. After the change, CSKA broke through, getting something together at the edge of United’s box, not causing any real danger for the Red Devils who avoided (so far) conceding a goal in their second Champions League match. A clash of heads saw Lingard needing some treatment heading into the last 15 minutes.

CSKA Moscow scored in the 90th minute of the match, not giving up despite being 4-0 down since just before the hour. It was United’s first conceded goal in the Champions League this season, De Gea unable to do anything to keep Konstantin Kuchaev’s effort out. The supporters, or those left at least showed excitement with the goal after what would have been a tough night in Moscow for them. A 4-1 victory for United, another three points in the Champions League, now the side will look ahead to Crystal Palace on Saturday.

Goals: Romelu Lukaku 4′, 27′, Anthony Martial 18′ penalty, Henrikh Mkhitaryan 57′

Assists: Anthony Martial 4′, 27′

Manchester United: De Gea; Lindelof, Bailly, Smalling; Young (Darmian 66′), Matic, Herrera, Blind; Mkhitaryan (Lingard 60′), Martial (Rashford 72′); Lukaku

Substitutes Not Used: Romero; Tuanzebe; Mata, McTominay

Starting XI: 3-4-3 for Manchester United in Moscow; Lukaku leads the line – goals are coming…

Manchester United face CSKA Moscow in the UEFA Champions League in Moscow, Russia on Wednesday evening, the second group stage match in the elite European competition this season. United beat FC Basel 3-0 at Old Trafford a fortnight ago, with the Russian side beating Benfica 2-1 in Lisbon. CSKA will be seeking a good start in Europa this season after having played 17 matches so far this season. Jose Mourinho’s side will be seeking just as good a start, aiming to have six points on the board by the close of play. United have had a great start to the season, sitting second in the Premier League after five wins, three of them 4-0 scorelines, and one draw in the league, a win in the Champions League a fortnight ago and a 4-1 victory over Burton Albion in the Carabao Cup last week.

Manchester United:

De Gea;

Lindelof, Bailly, Smalling;

Young, Matic, Herrera, Blind;

Mkhitaryan, Martial;

Lukaku

Substitutes:

Romero; Darmian, Tuanzebe; Mata, Lingard, McTominay; Rashford

Manchester United and CSKA Moscow have played four competitive matches in the history of both clubs – the first match being played on the 21st October 2009, resulting in a 1-0 victory for United, courtesy of an Antonio Valencia strike in the last four minutes of the match. United have won twice and drawn twice, not losing to the Russia side, which is some good form, despite only four matches played. At Old Trafford on the 3rd November 2009, it was a 3-3 draw between the two sides with Michael Owen (29) and Paul Scholes (84) scoring goals which saw United come from behind, still 3-2 down with six minutes remaining, Georgi Schennikov scoring an own goal in the 90th minute to level the score. Back in the 2015/16 season, United were drawn with the Russian side in the group stages of the Champions League again, drawing 1-1 in Moscow, Anthony Martial scoring the goal, winning 1-0 at Old Trafford, Wayne Rooney scoring that goal.

copyright: JW