Five things we learned as Manchester United beat Partizan 3-0
Manchester United eased to a win over Partizan Belgrade at Old Trafford in a one sided game.
This was our fourth Europa League game and the result books our place in the knockout phase with two matches to spare.
Here are five things we learned from the 3-0 victory…
Mason Greenwood really might be United’s best finisher
Marcus Rashford could have had a hat-trick in the first 15 minutes but just like against Astana, he snatched at his chances.
It took Greenwood just one opportunity to show him how it was done.
Greenwood showed poise, took a couple of touches, and gave the goalkeeper no chance as he sent him the wrong way to stroke the ball into the net.
Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said in the summer that he believed Greenwood is United’s most natural finished and tonight we saw why once again.
Manchester United can attack and create chances
This was a total change for United after two dour away games against Alkmaar and Partizan.
In those matches we didn’t manage a single shot on target from open play.
Solskjaer set the team out tonight to attack and his players responded.
This was the first time attacking trident of Greenwood, Martial and Rashford started together and they looked good, with some lovely interplay.
There’s something remarkably simple about picking the best three goalscorers in the squad and watching them go.
We scored two goals in the first half at Old Trafford for the first time this season and the atmosphere carried us home from there. It made for an easy night.
Juan Mata can still be useful
Mata started in both away games against Alkmaar and Partizan and didn’t create a chance in either.
He was much better this evening, setting up an opportunity within the opening few minutes.
With the three strikers around him this was a simpler evening for the Spaniard.
He still had some sloppy touches and didn’t take the game over, but he at least showed he can still be a useful squad player in these circumstances.
This was a big game for him as he hadn’t played a minute since the last Partizan game. It was a small improvement, enough to be quietly satisfied.
Solskjaer might regret McTominay gamble
It was a surprise to see Scott McTominay selected rather than rested for this fixture.
Solskjaer chose to keep McTominay on in the 62nd minute when he brought on James Garner, and take Fred off instead.
That might prove costly, with McTominay picking up an injury 13 minutes later.
He pulled up and limped off down the tunnel before being substituted.
At this early stage it would seem the young Scot faces a race against time to be passed fit for Sunday’s game with Brighton.
Possible opportunity missed
United won this easily, scoring the third goal in the 49th minute to wrap up the game.
Solskjaer might have wished he had picked more young players on the bench.
James Garner got half an hour which was good to see, but there weren’t other options, instead we saw Andreas Pereira and Jesse Lingard brought on.
It would have been better to have had Tahith Chong and Ethan Laird available for the last half hour of what was effectively a training game, such was United’s dominance.
They will probably get chances in the remaining two games, but they would have benefitted from the experience tonight.
- Erik ten Hag's first five signings as Ajax manager including two former Premier League stars
- Five players Manchester United had very lucky escapes on including '£50m-valued midfielder'
- Long-serving Manchester United academy coach set to leave as behind the scenes changes continue
- 'We are going to win trophies'… Manchester United star optimistic about silverware next season
- 5 free agents Manchester United could sign this summer including Rangnick's international DM and '£85m' Italy striker