Review & Ratings: Five star United punish LASK; Ighalo, James, Mata, Greenwood and Pereira score, Fernandes key to starting the attacks

Review & Ratings: Five star United punish LASK; Ighalo, James, Mata, Greenwood and Pereira score, Fernandes key to starting the attacks

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.

22 Sergio Romero

Another clean sheet for the Argentinian – his 11th of the season. LASK did not have a shot on target with United not needing to do much heavy defending, which has not been the case in recent matches, against City especially in the second half.

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53 Brandon Williams

Started at right-back against LASK and help his position well. The fact LASK did not have a shot on target throughout the entire match will be telling, but at 2-0 down, their heads went down and United showed their strength.

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3 Eric Bailly

The Ivorian defender had little to do against the Austrian side in this match. United seemed to push them aside relatively easily, even with a much-changed lineup. Bailly seemed to suffer an injury late in the second half, recovering from it minutes later, which was great to see considering his injury record at the club.

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5 Harry Maguire

The captain played well, playing 90 minutes against the Austrian side. That might not need to be the case next week with the deficit between the two teams after this match. He will be relishing a showdown with Spurs on Sunday, providing the Premier League does not get suspended, like many other world leagues have iover the last day or so.

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23 Luke Shaw

The left-back was (harshly) booked in the first half of the game with United leading 1-0 at the time. He got forward for much of the game, helping to set the bar for United, which is something they did well, scoring five away goals on the night, possibly winning the round in one match.

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17 Fred

The Brazilian got himself two assists against LASK, providing for both Mata and Pereira with United scoring three goals in the last eight minutes or so. It was a good game for the Brazilian midfielder and his teammates. Fred has two goals and four assists this season so far, which is an improvement on his debut season.

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39 Scott McTominay

The Scottish midfielder player well against LASK, helping his team push their opposition aside, with United scoring five goals on the night. McTominay did not score or assist but he has a part to play in the match.

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8 Juan Mata

The veteran attacking midfielder added something to United attacking outlet against LASK but missed an early chance to get on the scoresheet. His footballing brain is an asset for United and his interplay with Fernandes was good to see at times. United seem to be a much better team at this moment in time. He got his goal in the 82nd minute of the game, assisted by Fred, seemingly ending the tie for LASK.

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18 Bruno Fernandes

The Portuguese magnifico has been a stand out performer at the club over the last nine matches; his desire on and off the ball is something that will bring out the best of his teammates. Fernandes started well and got himself another assist for Ighalo’s opening goal in the 28th minute of the match. Fernandes was replaced by Pereira in the 78th minute of the match, keeping hims fresh for the Spurs game on Sunday.

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21 Daniel James

The Welsh winger was playing with lots of confidence against the Austrian side, as he had in recent matches, especially against City. He ended his goal drought in the 58th minute of the match, assisted by Ighalo, scoring his fourth goal of the season. James was replaced in the 71st minute of the match by Chong, presumably keeping him fresh for Sunday’s match against Spurs.

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25 Odion Ighalo

The Nigerian scored his fourth goal for United against LASK, linking up with with Fernandes, who was the provider, having three touches of the ball before hitting the back of the net to put United ahead in the 28th minute of the match. In the second half, he got his first assist for the club, helping James double United’s lead in the match.

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Substitutes

44 Tahith Chong

Replaced James 71′. The Dutchman got his second assist in the competition this season, providing for Greenwood in added time. This came during the same week he signed a new contract at the club with Solskjaer suggesting he is rated by him and his coaches and will play a part in the future of the club.

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15 Andreas Pereira

Replaced Fernandes 78′. He might not be a popular player in the team but when he plays, he does give his all for the club. He can play a part, as long as he knows where is a big void between him and the likes of Fernandes, Pogba etc. Got himself on the score sheet as United scored twice in added time, winning 5-0 on the evening with the home leg to play.

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26 Mason Greenwood

Replaced Ighalo 85′. The teenager scored his 12th goal of the season, scoring the fourth against LASK in Austria. What a season ir has been for the young lad, who will be onto bigger and better things with the club soon. United have some great attacking talent in this team, which will cause (good) headaches for the manager and coaches in the future.

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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′

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