In past games when United have been, to put it kindly, poor, and with no player really making an impact, it had been difficult to decide which player, if any deserved the Man of the Match. Following yesterday’s Europa League Match, the same problem has arisen, but for a different reason. This being that all players played their part in this match to give United the handsome victory they richly deserved. Scott McTominay showed great energy in midfield, and scored a cracker. Fred made a great contribution to 3rd goal and thoroughly deserved fourth and fifth. Bruno Fernandes once again had an incredible influence on the United side. Juan Mata showed he still has a quick brain even though the legs have slowed. However I would give my Man of the Match Award to Luke Shaw who was excellent again at left-back, going forward or defending, and hardly put a foot wrong all night.
Brugge’s goalscorer from the first leg Emmanuel Dennis was absent at Old Trafford (injured), while central midfielder and captain Ruud Vormer was also out for the visitors, with a knee injury. Colombian midfielder Eder Balanta, had picked up a one-match European suspension after being booked in the first leg. Moreover the Belgians certainly did not help themselves, as United got off to a bright start when Bruno Fernandes converted a penalty after Simon Deli blocked Daniel James’ shot with his hand. Not quite clear how Deli thought he could get away with such a blatant dive for the block, considering also that VAR is nowadays in operation. He got deservedly sent off.
In the end it was only thanks to ex-Liverpool Keeper Mignolet that United did not equal or better their best ever score of 10 to nil against another Belgian side, Anderlecht (September 1956) . This was only the second time United have scored five at Old Trafford since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement.
Solskjaer’s side have now gone seven games unbeaten in all competitions – with only Brugge scoring against them in the first leg during that run The only concern will be the absence of Martial, who was sidelined after picking up a muscle injury in training. United’s next opponents in the Europa League last-16 are LASK from Austria.
Article contributed by Contributor Kenneth. Comments are appreciated on our Facebook page.
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