Man Utd vs LASK – Man of the Match

This was the first-ever competitive meeting between Linzer Athletik-Sport-Klub, commonly known as Linzer ASK or simply LASK and Manchester United. It was also LASK’s first encounter with an English team. Although LASK – set up 111 years ago – are ranked 103rd by UEFA with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side 93 places ahead of them in placings, LASK are the leaders in the top flight of the Austria League and was unbeaten in their last six matches in the Europa League. LASK Manager Valerien Ismael had warned United not to take his team lightly.

In the end, it was a non-contest. Odion Ighalo put United ahead with a superb goal in the 28th minute, and Daniel James’ then scored his first goal in 32 games before Juan Mata slotted home the third.  The visitors were not yet done and substitutes Mason Greenwood and Andreas Pereira scored within seconds of one another in added time. No team has had more different goalscorers (excl. own-goals) in the Europa League this season than Manchester United (13).

The game was played behind closed doors due to concerns around coronavirus. The Austrian Interior Minister has said the country was banning outdoor events of more than 500 people. LASK Linz was set to miss out on around £1million due to this measure.

While United had their long term absentees through injury, LASK were without midfielder duo Thomas Goiginger and Marvin Potzmann due to knee injuries, while defenders Petar Filipovic and Philipp Wiesinger were both missing through suspension.

My man of the Match would be Ighalo. The LASK defence struggled throughout the match with his physical play and determination to get in front of the net. His goal in the first half was a thing of beauty and almost got another goal in the second but it just hit the far-side post. Also provided the assist for James for the second goal. He was sharp throughout and looks like being an inspired loanee.

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