After a nervy start to their European campaign Manchester United boss Ole Gunner Solskjaer was happy with their performance as they guaranteed their place in the last 32 of the Europa League with a 3-0 win over Partizan Belgrade.
With a performance that Solskjaer referred to as providing a “template” of how they should play this season, first half goals from Mason Greenwood (pictured) and Anthony Martial along with a sunning finish for Marcus Rashford in the second half had Solskjaer describing the performance of his front three as “high Class” as they helped the Red Devils to their biggest home win since August and the opening premier league defeat of Chelsea.
Speaking about the performance after the game as he saw his side maintain their position at the top of group L, meaning victory against AZ Alkmaar on Dec 12th would ensure top spot and a strong seeding in the next round.
“Too many times we're 1-0 up and haven't got the second but these boys are learning and this will give them loads of pointers of how we play when performing well,” said Solskjaer.
“The opposition is not the same as in the Premier League but these are still good principles.”
Teenager Greenwood, who has had a lot asked of him already this season despite his age, opened the scoring in the 21st minute, receiving a neat pass from Rashford, before stepping inside the defender and slotting the ball under the opposition keeper Stojkovic.
With United now on the front foot and in a confident mood, French International Martial showed why he need’s to be one of United’s pivotal players this season with what his boss described as the “skill of the night”. Often described as hit or miss, Martial produced a bit of magic that started with a wonderful first touch, before showing grace and balance that took him past Strahinja Pavlovic and Bojan Ostojic and then a right footed finish to score.
The goal was all class and he should have doubled his account minutes later after out sprinting the Partizan defence he found himself one on one with the keeper who was way of his line in no mans land! The finish should have been bread and butter to a player that only minutes later had shown such skill, but unfortunately the ball somehow ended up sailing over the bar into the watching crowd.
Rashford’s goal five minutes after the restart was enough to finish the game for the home side, who seemed to slip into cruise control after that with the job done and Sunday’s Premier league clash with Brighton in mind.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t all smiles for the United camp as Scotland International Scott McTominay was forced off late in the game with a foot injury and replaced by Jesse Lingard after it was obvious he could no longer continue.
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