All credit to the Academy youngsters who repaid the faith put in them by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Taunzebe. Greenwood. Williams. Garner. Chong. Laird. Man of the match has to go to young Mason Greenwood, only 18 years of age, having become Man Utd’s youngest-ever scorer of a double in Europe with two goals. His fine, low strike from outside the penalty area was followed by winning a penalty and then another stunning strike, this time from inside the area. Even in the first half, a half in which United tended to concentrate more on possession and control, Greenwood played his part. Only Marcus Rashford (13) has scored more goals than Mason Greenwood (6) in all competitions for Manchester United this season.
United needed to beat our opponents AZ Alkmaar or at least hold on for a draw to be able to emerge as Group leaders and thus be seeded for Monday’s round of 32 draw. This was important as although United had already qualified for the knock out stages, finishing second would have meant the possibility of facing teams that had finished third in the Champions League.
Notwithstanding the Boss opted to play a totally different team that had beaten City last weekend, making nine changes in the starting lineup. The first half was mundane with United concentrating on possession and with AZ looking the hungrier, keeping Sergio Romero on his toes. The second half was however a different story, with United scoring four times in 11 minutes without reply.
When United had played AZ in Holland last October, the result had been a nil nil draw, meaning, incredibly, that United had still not won an away game since that magical victory over Paris Saint Germain at the start of March. This time this victory meant that United have won their last three games, including the away victory at City. Quite an encouraging turnabout.
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