Manchester United beat Istanbul Basaksehir 4-1 last night to get within a point of qualification for the Champions League last 16.

A commanding first half performance sent United in at half time 3-0 to the good, thanks to a brace from Bruno Fernandes and a Marcus Rashford penalty.

That was the first time United have been 3-0 ahead at the interval in the Champions League since the 7-1 thumping of Roma in April 2007.

That’s a gap of over 13 years since the last time it happened.

FBL-EUR-C1-MAN UTD-ISTANBUL
(OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

How much can be read into that?

It is an important step for Solskjaer.

In a perpetual churn of inconsistency, doubts and then strong performances, the manager needs relatively comfortable evenings like this along the way.

United took risks going forward and were clinical with the chances which came their way.

 

Solskjaer told BT Sport before the game that missed chances were the area of United’s game which had been most disappointing this season – but there was no profligacy on show in that first half.

It all but sealed the points and that ruthlessness is something we need to see more often.

Manchester United v İstanbul Basaksehir: Group H - UEFA Champions League
(Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Imperious at home

As per the BBC, United have won the past seven European home games 24-2 on aggregate.

United’s away league form has been better than it’s been at home, but in Europe, Solskjaer is overseeing strong displays at Old Trafford.

Those statistics do of course take in five games in last season’s Europa League, where United would be expected to sweep aside the likes of Club Brugge and LASK.

It’s an impressive record and one which should stand United in good stead when it comes to trying to get that crucial point to ensure qualification when PSG visit Old Trafford next Wednesday.

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