Manchester United have qualified for the last 16 of the Champions League after beating Villarreal 2-0 at the El Madrigal in Michael Carrick’s first game in caretaker charge.

Second half goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Jadon Sancho ensured United bounced back following the sacking of club legend Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on Sunday.

With back-to-back games against Chelsea and Arsenal to come, United got some priceless confidence with a win against Unai Emery’s side.

Here were are our four best players in the win against the Yellow Submarine.

David de Gea

Villarreal CF v Manchester United: Group F - UEFA Champions League
(Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images)

United’s number one was at his best when called upon, but it was his second save to deny Manu Trigueros which gave United the opportunity to go on to win the game.

The Spaniard showed his lightening reflexes to deny his compatriot after the ball had travelled through Harry Maguire’s legs.

On a night when United needed their big players to step up to the plate and take responsibility, de Gea did exactly that.

With United heading to the league leaders Chelsea on Sunday, de Gea will have to be at his best to thwart to Thomas Tuchel’s side.

Victor Lindelof

Villarreal v Manchester United - UEFA Champions League
(Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)

The Swede like many of his team mates will acknowledge his recent performances haven’t been good enough.

But United’s number two produced a composed and dominant performance against the reigning Europa League champions.

Not playing against a physical striker benefitted the 27-year-old, but no player made more clearances (8) from either side than the former Benfica man (WhoScored).

His positioning was spot on through the clash and he also made two tackles and blocked two shots.

 

With there being no Maguire or Raphael Varane for the clash against Chelsea, Lindelof will have to stand up to the potential challenge of former team mate Romelu Lukaku.

Fred

Villarreal CF v Manchester United: Group F - UEFA Champions League
(Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images)

Despite Ole Gunnar Solskjaer no longer being in charge, Carrick still entrusted in Scott McTominay and Fred to be his midfield pairing.

The Brazilian international was brought back into the starting line-up after being an unused substitute in the Norwegian’s last game in charge at Watford.

It was the 28-year-old’s pressing and winning possession that allowed United to score both of our goals.

His pressure on Etienne Capoue resulted in Ronaldo breaking the deadlock after he lifted the ball of Geronimo Rulli.

Although we were in the lead and the job looked to be done, Fred was still hassling and harrying the Villarreal and that’s where our second goal came from.

Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes combined which allowed Sancho to lash home his first goal for the club.

Jadon Sancho

Villarreal v Manchester United - UEFA Champions League
(Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)

This was the game that Sancho finally announced himself as a Manchester United player.

He looked bright from the get go and every time he was in possession he was looking to interchange quickfire passes with the likes of Donny van de Beek, or whip in a tantalising cross towards Ronaldo.

It wasn’t just Sancho’s performance with the ball that was impressive, no Manchester United player made more tackles than the England international (4).

This was the perfect response from United which was rounded off by Sancho’s first goal for the club.

Getting off the mark could help unlock the former Dortmund man and see him nail down the right-wing spot in United’s attack.

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