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Player Ratings: United beat LASK 2-1 (7-1 on aggregate); Lingard and Martial with the goals – squad depth poor

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.

Manchester United

22 Sergio Romero

The best second-choice goalkeeper in the Premier League was unfortunate to concede a goal against the Austrian side

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24 Timothy Fosu-Mensah

The Dutch fullback made a mistake for United's goal, heading the ball towards Weisinger only for his to pick his spot and put the ball past Romero to take the lead in the game. Defensively, this could be a problem for Fosu-Mensah. He was replaced by Mengi in the 84th minute of the match.

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3 Eric Bailly

It was good to see the Ivorian back after that head injury against Chelsea at Wembley. United conceded but it was not because of him. Defensively, he played well especially as United had the win in the bag and just needed to avert another conceded goal.

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5 Harry Maguire

The captain could have opened the scoring in the first half, sending his header off target, which he did not look happy with. It has been a long season and United will not play one more match, aiming to play three more and lift a trophy for the club.

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33 Brandon Williams

The academy graduate continued his good performances against LASK in the season that will be a massive learning curve for him. This team was not the best but there was talent in places. It shows the depth of this squad is not good enough with plenty of work needed. He was replaced by Chong in the 72nd minute of the match.

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17 Fred

The Brazilian did not seem to suit his role against LASK which is a worrying sign. The player was replaced by Pereira in the 64th minute of the match, not looking happy as he took to his seat in the stands.

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8 Juan Mata

The Spanish magician seems to have lost his magic. He was very slow against LASK and just did not seem to be the player he once was. However, in his defence, he has not played all that often since the restart so could just be lacking match fitness. He got two assists though.

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39 Scott McTominay

It was a hot and cold game for McTominay who was clearly lacking fitness but dug deep and tried to make the difference. He was perhaps unlucky at times but held his own.

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14 Jesse Lingard

The player who has been out of form for some time now has scored two goals in his last two matches. After United conceded, United got themselves back into the match with Lingard scoring less than two minutes later. He was then replaced by Pogba in the 63rd minute of the match.

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21 Daniel James

The Welsh winger needs to find some form. He has been dreadful since the restart. His decision making is poor more often than not and he kind of over thinks things, losing time and inevitably the ball. It has been a tough season for him and something to think about. He was replaced by Martial in the 84th minute of the match.

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25 Odion Ighalo

The Nigerian striker lacked pace against LASK and did not really impress all that much in all honesty. He's a decent player but in terms of reliability, questions will be asked after this match.

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Substitutes

6 Paul Pogba

Replaced Lingard 63'. The Frenchman came on for about 30 minutes or so. United were 1-1 as he came on and he did help United tick over in the midfield. It will be good for hims to keep his fitness up after sitting most of the season out with an ankle injury.

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Andreas Pereira

Replaced Fred 64'. The Belgian-born Brazilian showed some nifty skills against LASK and was perhaps unfortunate not to create something in the box after United levelled the score. There might be something in his locker after all.

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Tahith Chong

Replaced Williams 72'. The winger player the remaining 18 minutes of the match with the score level. He used his pace at times and tried to take advantage of the wide spaces.

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43 Teden Mengi

Replaced Fosu-Mensah 84'. The 18-year-old made his debut. Hopefully it will be the first of many appearances for his at this club during his career. He did not really get much involvement in the game but will be happy that he finally got onto the pitch.

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9 Anthony Martial

Replaced James 84'. The Frenchman cooly slotted in his 23rd goal of the season looking to be the difference in this match and picked the Austrian side apart to give United a final home win this season.

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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

Confirmed XI: Ighalo, Mata, McTominay, Lingard and James start Linzer ASK

Manchester United return to action in the UEFA Europa League this evening as they welcome Linzer ASK to the Theatre of Dreams for the round of 16 second leg fixture. United won the first leg back in March with a 5-0 scoreline with Odion Ighalo, Daniel James, Juan Mata, Mason Greenwood and Andreas Pereira scoring the goals, seemingly ending the Austrian sides participation in the competition. It could be a good month for United as they hunt a trophy.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be seeking to get the job done with the latter stages of the tournament being played in Germany with United’s first match to be played RheinEnergieSTADION in Cologne in which they will either face FC Copenhagen or İstanbul Başakşehir. If United win that match, they will stay in Cologne for the semi-final with the final also to be played in the German stadium. United have qualified for the UEFA Champions League next season, finishing third in the Premier League.

Manchester United:

Romero;

Fosu-Mensah, Bailly, Maguire, Williams;

Fred;

Mata, McTominay, Lingard, James;

Ighalo

Substitutes:

Grant; Wan-Bissaka, Mengi; Pogba, Pereira, Fernandes, Matic, Garner; Martial, Rashford, Greenwood, Chong

Linzer ASK:

Schlager;

Andrade, Trauner, Wiesinger;

Renner, Michorl, Holland, Ranftl;

Balic, Raguz, Frieser

Substitutes:

Lawal; Gebauer, Filipovic, Reiter, Ramsebner, V. Muller, Wostry, Haudum, Sabitzer, Celic

United and Linzer met for the first time back in March, which was the last match to be played before the suspension of world football because of the coronavirus pandemic. United on that match 5-0, which was played behind closed doors in the Linzer Stadion. The goalscorer in that match were Odion Ighalo 28′, Daniel James 58′, Juan Mata 82′, Mason Greenwood 90+2′, and Andreas Pereira 90+3′. In effect, this tie has already been decided ahead of the second leg to be played on Wednesday evening.

United have played Austrian teams in Europe. United beat SK Rapid Wien 3-0 on aggregate in 1969 in the quarter-final European Champions Clubs’ Cup, beating the same club 2-0 twice in the group stages of the UEFA Champions League in 1996. In 1999, United beat SK Sturm Graz 3-0 and 2-1 in the group stage one of the Champions League. Finally, beating Sturm Graz again in the Champions League, this time in the group stage two, winning 2-0 and 3-0.

Written by John Walker

Predicted XI: Solskjaer to rest many big names? Ighalo, Chong, Mata and Lingard to start?

Manchester United return to action in the UEFA Europa League on Wednesday evening as they welcome Linzer ASK to the Theatre of Dreams for the round of 16 second leg fixture. United won the first leg back in March with a 5-0 scoreline with Odion Ighalo, Daniel James, Juan Mata, Mason Greenwood and Andreas Pereira scoring the goals, seemingly ending the Austrian sides participation in the competition. It could be a good month for United as they hunt a trophy.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be seeking to get the job done with the latter stages of the tournament being played in Germany with United’s first match to be played RheinEnergieSTADION in Cologne in which they will either face FC Copenhagen or İstanbul Başakşehir. If United win that match, they will stay in Cologne for the semi-final with the final also to be played in the German stadium. United have qualified for the UEFA Champions League next season, finishing third in the Premier League.

How United have faired against Linzer ASK and other Austrian opposition in European competition.

United and Linzer met for the first time back in March, which was the last match to be played before the suspension of world football because of the coronavirus pandemic. United on that match 5-0, which was played behind closed doors in the Linzer Stadion. The goalscorer in that match were Odion Ighalo 28′, Daniel James 58′, Juan Mata 82′, Mason Greenwood 90+2′, and Andreas Pereira 90+3′. In effect, this tie has already been decided ahead of the second leg to be played on Wednesday evening.

United have played Austrian teams in Europe. United beat SK Rapid Wien 3-0 on aggregate in 1969 in the quarter-final European Champions Clubs’ Cup, beating the same club 2-0 twice in the group stages of the UEFA Champions League in 1996. In 1999, United beat SK Sturm Graz 3-0 and 2-1 in the group stage one of the Champions League. Finally, beating Sturm Graz again in the Champions League, this time in the group stage two, winning 2-0 and 3-0.

Here is my predicted starting XI to face Linzer ASK in the UEFA Europa League at Old Trafford on Wednesday evening…

Goalkeeper: Sergio Romero

The Argentinian goalkeeper should be given the nod for this match and possible the remainder of the competition, giving David De Gea some time to think about the 2019/20 season, his errors and the ways in which he can prosper and earn back his form shown in prior seasons. Sergio Romero should have played against Chelsea in the FA Cup, a competition he had played in throughout the season, showing good form as United’s number two goalkeeper. If he does well, he should keep his place in the team for the remainder of the competition, maybe rotated if needed, providing United reach the final later this month. Who knows what could happen this summer with Romero and you cannot blame him for asking questions as De Gea was making costly mistakes and he was not given. look in despite being able to make a difference at the club.

Defenders: Ethan Laird, Eric Bailly, Teden Mengi, Brandon Williams

United’s defence have had a hard packed few months playing at least two matches a week since mid-June. The fatigue has been visible with the back four and one of them may need to play in this match, at least for some of it so United can get through it and into the next round of the competition. Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire should all be rested which could allow Ethan Laird and Teden Mengi to earn some first team minutes which will benefit them. Eric Bailly could start after suffering that head injury against Chelsea in the semi-final of the FA Cup with Brandon Williams also starting at left-back with little cover in that position with Luke Shaw out of action.

Midfield: James Garner, Scott McTominay

In the midfield, the likes of Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic need to be rested as long as possible. Because of this James Garner should start, which would apply more interest to him this summer as a loan spell away from the club for the entire 2020/21 season is being touted, it might allow some clubs who have not seen what he can do, see exactly what he is capable of. Scott McTominay should be his partner in midfield as he has played very few minutes recently and could be ready to continue his season, being one of the experienced players starting in this match. United have in effect won the tie. An early goal could put it out of reach for the Austrian side.

Attacking Midfield: Tahith Chong, Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard

In this area of the formation, I have picked the players who have either not played at all since the restart or have played few minutes. With Jesse Lingard scoring against Leicester City in the last seconds of the match, he should start against Linzer ASK to see what he could do – which might also see clubs come in for him this summer as if Jadon Sancho arrives at the Old Trafford club, Lingard is going to be one of the casualties. Just Mata should also start, playing in the central role, which is a position that he has played well in the season giving Bruno Fernandes a well-earned rest until the next round of this tournament. Tahith Chong should start, giving him a chance to prove himself or perhaps earn a loan spell away from the club next season, which might allow him to shine.

Striker: Odion Ighalo

The Nigerian striker has played fewer than 200 minutes since the Premier League season resumed with United facing Tottenham Hotspur at their new stadium. The player started against Norwich City in the Emirates FA Cup, scoring a goal in the match. His last start before that came against LASK back in March where he played 85 minutes in that match. He will be due a start and could well find a goal or two in the game, which would end the tie meaning the younger players could be given run out to see what they are capable of in what seems like a dead rubber match.

Substitutes: David De Gea; Tim Fosu-Mensah, Victor Lindelof; Paul Pogba, Fred, Bruno Fernandes, Daniel James; Anthony Martial, Mason Greenwood

With five substitutions available for this match, Solskjaer could have many experiences players ready to come on should they be needed ahamnst Linzer ASK. With a 5-0 scoreline from the previous match, it would seem unlikely that United could be knocked out of the competition but you never know. In this case, David De Gea, Tim Fosu-Mensah and Victor Lindelof could be the replacement goalkeeper and defenders ready to be used if needed. In midfield, Paul Pogba, Fred. Bruno Fernandes and Daniel James could be brought on should they be needed with Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood as the attacking players on the bench.

Written by John Walker

Preview: Beating Linzer ASK at Old Trafford may just be a formality but Solskjaer will be up for it

Manchester United -v- Linzer ASK

UEFA Europa League

Old Trafford, Manchester

Wednesday 5 August 2020, KO 20:00 BST

Referee: Tasos Sidiropoulos Assistants: Polychronis Kostaras, Lazaros Dimitriadis 

Fourth Official: Anastasios Papapetrou

VAR: Paolo Valeri Assistant VAR: Maurizio Mariani

Manchester United return to action in the UEFA Europa League on Wednesday evening as they welcome Linzer ASK to the Theatre of Dreams for the round of 16 second leg fixture. United won the first leg back in March with a 5-0 scoreline with Odion Ighalo, Daniel James, Juan Mata, Mason Greenwood and Andreas Pereira scoring the goals, seemingly ending the Austrian sides participation in the competition. It could be a good month for United as they hunt a trophy.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be seeking to get the job done with the latter stages of the tournament being played in Germany with United’s first match to be played RheinEnergieSTADION in Cologne in which they will either face FC Copenhagen or İstanbul Başakşehir. If United win that match, they will stay in Cologne for the semi-final with the final also to be played in the German stadium. United have qualified for the UEFA Champions League next season, finishing third in the Premier League.

Form: United are in great form this summer, winning three, drawing two and losing one of their last six matches. Their unbeaten run was ended by Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-final. Linzer have lost their last four matches and could be looking to end the season with another loss on Wednesday.

Manchester United: WDLWDW

Leicester City 2-0 W, West Ham United 1-1 D, Chelsea 3-1 L, Crystal Palace 2-0 W, Southampton 2-2 D, Aston Villa 3-0 W

Linzer ASK: LLLLWW

FK Senica 2-0 L, Red Bull Salzburg 3-0 L, Rapid Wien 3-1 L, Wolfsberg 1-0 L, Hartberg 5-1 W, SK Sturm Graz 2-0 W

Top Scorers: Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial have both scored 22 goals in all competitions with Mason Greenwood scoring 17; João Klauss is Linzer’s top scorer with 20 goals this season.

Manchester United Goals: 22 – Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, 17 – Mason Greenwood, 10 – Bruno Fernandes, 5 – Odion Ighalo, Scott McTominay, 4 – Daniel James, 3 – Jesse Lingard, Harry Maguire, Juan Mata, 2 – Fred, Own Goal, Andreas Pereira, 1 – Diogo Dalot, Phil Jones, Victor Lindelof, Nemanja Matic, Paul Pogba, Luke Shaw, Brandon Williams, Ashley Young

United ended their domestic season well, finishing third in the Premier League, which saw them qualify for the UEFA Champions League next season, which was the task that needed to be completed. Solskjaer’s side took on Leicester City, who were 14 points ahead of them earlier this season, clawing that back and finishing four points above them. It was good to see United fight back and achieve something which will act as a step up on their journey to glory once again.

Linzer ASK Goals: 20 – João Klauss, 14 – Marko Raguž, 13 – Dominik Frieser, 9 – Thomas Goiginger, 7 – Peter Michorl, Reinhold Ranftl, Samuel Tetteh, 6 – Gernot Trauner, 4 – Husein Balić, 3 – James Holland, 2 – Petar Filipović, Own Goal, 1 – Stefan Haudum, Valentino Müller, Yusuf Otubanjo, Marvin Potzmann, Christian Ramsebner, Dominik Reiter, Philipp Wiesinger, Markus Wostry

Linzer finished top of the Austrian Bundesliga this season, winning 17 of the 22 matches played, drawing three and losing twice. Heading into the Championship stage, which meant a further ten more matches, they were not the best. The won three times, drew once and lost six matches, finished fourth in the six team format, which was not the best finish for them. The club has reached the round of 16 stage of the Europa League, also reaching the semi-final stage of the Austrian Cup. Next season, they will play in the Champions League from the playoff round.

Team News: Three injuries for United with Solskjaer likely to rotate his team to face Linzer ASK. The Austrian side have two injuries and two players whose loan spells have now ended.

Solskjaer will be without Axel Tuanzebe, Luke Shaw and Phil Jones with Tuanzebe and Shaw out until next season and Jones not yet returning to training which could see him out until whenever. The star players in this team could be rested for this match, with some on the bench should they need a run out before the later stages of this tournament. United will be able to look ahead to the next round, where they will face either FC Copenhagen or İstanbul Başakşehir.

Dominik Thalhammer with be without Thomas Goiginger and Marvin Potzmann are both out of action with knee injuries whilst both João Klauss and Samuel Tetteh have seen their loan spells with the club end, which suggests the Austrian club know that they are out of the competition now and seeking to end this season, starting the next in a matter of weeks. It should be a good run out for the fringe players, no less.

Predicted Starting XI: Solskjaer to rotate his team with many of his stars getting a break from this match, if they are not needed.

Solskjaer has had Teden Mengi, Ethan Laird, James Garner and Tahith Chong training with the first team ahead of Wednesday’s clash against Linzer ASK at Old Trafford. It is expected that the manager will rest a lot of his stars, although some may be kept on the bench just in case the Austrian side managed to break down United 5-0 lead from the first leg. This will be a big test for some youth players, if they end up starting.

Match Prediction: United beat Linzer 5-0 back in March and in all nine matches against Austrian opposition, they have won eight times, drawing once. It is a record United will extend this week.

United and Linzer met for the first time back in March, which was the last match to be played before the suspension of world football because of the coronavirus pandemic. United on that match 5-0, which was played behind closed doors in the Linzer Stadion. The goalscorer in that match were Odion Ighalo 28′, Daniel James 58′, Juan Mata 82′, Mason Greenwood 90+2′, and Andreas Pereira 90+3′. In effect, this tie has already been decided ahead of the second leg to be played on Wednesday evening.

United have played Austrian teams in Europe. United beat SK Rapid Wien 3-0 on aggregate in 1969 in the quarter-final European Champions Clubs’ Cup, beating the same club 2-0 twice in the group stages of the UEFA Champions League in 1996. In 1999, United beat SK Sturm Graz 3-0 and 2-1 in the group stage one of the Champions League. Finally, beating Sturm Graz again in the Champions League, this time in the group stage two, winning 2-0 and 3-0.

Manchester United 3-0 Linzer ASK

Written by John Walker

copyright: JW