Review & Ratings: Greenwood brace, Young and Mata’s penalty sank AZ Alkmaar; United win Europa League group

Review & Ratings: Greenwood brace, Young and Mata’s penalty sank AZ Alkmaar; United win Europa League group

Manchester United beat AZ Alkmaar 4-0 at Old Trafford in the final group stage match of the UEFA Europa League. Ashley Young opened the scoring eight minutes into the second half before Mason Greenwood doubled the lead five minutes later. A penalty scored by Juan Mata came in the 62nd minute with Greenwood scoring the fourth goal of the match, ten and a half minutes after the opening goal. United have won their group.

The game had many similarities of the one which was played in the Netherlands back in October. It was a fraught first half with little to write home about. United started off the blocks in the second half and eight minutes later had their first goal of the game scored by Ashley Young and assisted by Juan Mata. United needed to keep their lead in the game ensuring that they topped the group.

United doubled their lead in the 58th minute through Mason Greenwood which showed the talent that the academy graduate has in his locker. He brought the ball under control on the edge of the box before smashing his effort into the back of the net. United then won a penalty through Greenwood four minutes later which Juan Mata took and buried to put United 3-0 up in the match. A great second half so far.

That was not it for United though, who scored a fourth goal, the second of the evening for Greenwood. Mata slotted the ball into the forward who then dropped as shoulder before firing into the back of the net at the near post. It was a great finish for the striker, who has scored six first team goals this season. Solskjaer will be proud of his toughly team this evening, who certainly did the club proud.

22 Sergio Romero

The Argentinian goalkeeper did well against the Dutch side, keeping a clean sheet and not having a lot to do in the game, He is a safe pair of hands in rotation for David De Gea and should perhaps play against Colchester United next week.

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18 Ashley Young

The veteran winger-cum-fullback scored the opening goal of the game eight minutes into the second half. In the first half of the match, he was nearly caught in possession whihc could have been a costly goal to conceded, luckily United recovered. Young was replaced in the 68th minute by Ethan Laird.

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38 Axel Tuanzebe

The defender played well alongside Harry Maguire for much of the match and with Phil Jones for 22 minutes plus added time. He did well and helped keep a clean sheet, which will be good going forward.

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5 Harry Maguire

The experienced defender did alright against AZ and helped keep the defence ticking over in the first half, not that there was much going on. United were 4-0 up at the time he was replaced by Phil Jones in the 68th minute of the match.

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53 Brandon Williams

The left-back continued his rise into the first team. playing a good game and getting involved in the action. He might not be fully up to speed as a first team player this season, but next season, he will have a lot of experience which could see him make this position his own.

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31 Nemanja Matic

The Serbian midfielder was back in action following a period of injury. He seemed slow and rusty and despite the lack of experienced midfielders in the team, might not play too much football this month as he can be easily exposed.

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37 James Garner

The academy graduate did well in the centre of midfield and will be trusted going forward from this game. United need midfield additions in January but Garner could be a competant player to utilise if they do not sign a player or need more midfielders.

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15 Andreas Pereira

The Belgian-born Brazilian was rather careless in the first half but as United grew into the second half, scoring four goals in just over ten minutes, Pereira showed his skillset. I think he is definitely a better playing in the final third of the pitch.

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8 Juan Mata

The Spanish midfielder seemed a bit slow at times and perhaps a few years ago, could have run riot in a game like this. However, he scored from the penalty spot in the 62nd minute of the match.

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26 Mason Greenwood

The 19-year-old had a great game against AZ Alkmaar at Old Trafford. It was a fraught first half but in ten and a half minutes in the second half, United scored four goals, two of them from Greenwood, who has scored six first team goals this season. He won the penalty too, so could have been on a hat-trick. Solskjaer will be pleased with this lad.

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9 Anthony Martial

The Frenchman played an hour against AZ Alkmaar. He obviously needed the match fitness to be in the running to face Everton on Sunday. He did not score a goal or get an assist but played the game he needed to. United were 2-0 at the time Tahith Chong replaced him in the 60th minute of the match.

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Substitutes

44 Tahith Chong

Replaced Martial 60′. The winger played well for his 30-minute cameo and broke forward a few times, helping to get United ticking, which caught AZ a few times. A goo performance and one for his confidence.

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41 Ethan Laird

Replaced Young 68′. The right-back did well after his introduction. He was booked but was not a pushover for the Dutch side.

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4 Phil Jones

Replaced Maguire 68′. The central defender did well considering his lack of first team minutes this season.

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Goals: Ashley Young 53′, Mason Greenwood 58′, 64′, Juan Mata 62′

Assists: Juan Mata 53′, 64′

Manchester United: Romero; Young (Laird 68′), Tuanzebe, Maguire (Jones 68′), Williams; Matic, Garner; Pereira, Mata, Greenwood; Martial (Chong 60′)

Substitutes Not Used: Grant; Fred, McTominay; Rashford

Bookings: Ethan Laird 82′; Jordie Clasie 28′, Fredrik Midtsjø 58′

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