Manchester United made a tricky Europa League assignment look easy with a 4-0 away win against Real Sociedad last night.
Bruno Fernandes netted either side of half time to set United on their way before Marcus Rashford and Dan James sealed the win.
It was a match which all but sealed progress into the last 16 although of course United need to do a professional job in the second leg.
It could have been even more if Rashford and James had been more clinical when set through one against one.
There wasn’t really a poor performance out there, which is impressive given Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made five changes to his team.
Here is a look at United’s best players last night, including two of the men Solskjaer brought back into the side…
Yet again, it was Bruno who set the tone for an impressive victory.
Three shots on target, two goals, three key passes and three tackles tell the story of another all-action performance.
He led the press from the front and found the composure Rashford was lacking in front of goal to open the scoring.
Perhaps Donny van de Beek would have started this game if fit, giving Fernandes the night off.
But Bruno didn’t play like a man needing a rest and was the star man on the night – once again.
It was an industrious performance from James, whose pace caused Sociedad problems on the break all night.
His performance earned praise from some United fans and it was fully deserved. It’s not easy to come into the side from the cold and do what he did against strong opposition.
He was fouled four times, which indicates that the Spanish outfit didn’t know how to deal with him.
A goal and assist was a deserved reward on a night when he offered Solskjaer a reminder of what he’s capable of.
He has now scored four goals in his last seven United games and Solskjaer said after the game the Welshman is always in his thoughts.
Bailly returned to the side last night for the first time since the 2-1 win at Fulham on January 20.
He took a little while to get into the game, with some signs of rustiness which offered a couple of hairy early moments for United.
But he soon settled down and produced a dominant defensive performance.
He made eight clearances, which was more than anybody else on the pitch and also won four headers.
An unexpected bonus was his late assist for James’s goal. His sumptuous curling pass set the 23-year-old free to race through and score.
Bailly tweeted after the game that he surprised himself by teeing up a goal – but it was the ideal way to cap a strong return to the team.
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