Having beaten Partizan Belgrade in Serbia, United supporters were not expecting any surprises, and they were proved right with United getting the three points that now ensures qualification to the knock-out stage of the next round. AZ Alkmaara had played earlier and beaten Astana 5 – 0 to temporarily lead the group, so United knew that they could not afford any mistakes.
FK Partizan were looking to win consecutive away games in major European competition for the very first time (excluding qualifiers), with this being their 82nd match on the road.
United’s 3 – 0 win is also the first time since last August that United have scored more than one goal at home, and that had been against Chelsea on the first day of the season. One recalls that United had managed just one shot on target in their last two Europa League games, with that effort being Anthony Martial’s penalty against FK Partizan in the reverse fixture.
Manchester United are also now the only side yet to concede in the Europa League this season. The only other team with whom they had shared this ‘honour’ before the match, were Sevilla; the latter now conceded two goals in this game.
The Boss once again gave the youngsters the opportunity to gain valuable experience, with Paul Pogba, Axel Tuanzebe and Nemanja Matic and Victor Lindelof all still absent through injury. It was young Mason Greenwood who opened the score, thus returning the trust put in him by Ole. This in a first half which had so many clear scoring opportunities that United should have long closed the game.
My man of the match is Mason Greenwood, who not only scored with an opportunistic strike but also showed skill and vision throughout the whole game. Although yet to start a league match, he has now scored three goals in four starts.
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