Greenwood sets new club record
Manchester United's 1-0 win over FC Astana, in our first Europa League game of 2019/20, will of course become synonymous with Mason Greenwood.
GREENWOOD BREAKS A UNITED RECORD
He may have played just nine matches for the Reds and made only his second start on Thursday, but Mason Greenwood is now a United record-holder. In scoring against Astana, the attacker became United’s youngster-ever goalscorer in Europe. Marcus Rashford had previously set the record - when also playing in the Europa League, in 2016 - but it’s an accolade that now belongs to Greenwood, aged 17 years, 11 months and 353 days.
A MAN-OF-THE-MATCH PERFORMANCE
As well as netting his first goal for the Reds, Greenwood was also selected as the Man of the Match. The youngster joined Axel Tuanzebe and Nemanja Matic in being nominated for the award by MUTV pundit Danny Webber, and grabbed the post-game prize with a staggering 74 per cent of the votes cast by our Official App users. Axel received 16 per cent and Nemanja 10 per cent.
Mason was selected in the starting XI for the first time this season, as were Sergio Romero, Diogo Dalot, Phil Jones, Axel Tuanzebe, Marcos Rojo, Fred, Angel Gomes and Tahith Chong. The game was a first-ever competitive start for both Gomes and Chong, while Tuanzebe began a senior match for the Reds for the first time since October 2017.
For long periods it looked like it could have been a frustrating night at Old Trafford for the Reds, as we struggled to break down a well-organised Astana defence. Despite that, our fans backed the team throughout the whole evening. In particular, the supporters in the South-East quadrant of the stadium were extremely vocal and didn’t stop chanting for a single minute during the game.
The story of United v Astana Gallery
Looking for an alternative view of the game? Check out these images from Old Trafford.
If a 1-0 scoreline suggests the game was tight, a deeper look at the stats tells a different story, a tale of Astana riding their luck at times. The Reds hit the woodwork on three occasions, firstly after just three minutes when Fred rattled a shot against the opposition crossbar from 25 yards out. Our match-winner, Mason Greenwood, hit the post with a second-half effort and Jesse Lingard did likewise in the closing stages after he was introduced as a substitute.
Since joining United, Marcos Rojo has mainly operated as a no-nonsense centre-back, but on Thursday he was deployed at left-back. From the full-back position, Marcos really excelled - particularly in the attacking areas of the pitch. Twice he put in superb crosses during the game: an early one that led to Rashford forcing a save, while the second was inches away from being converted by Chong at the back post, just after the break. The Argentina international also came close to scoring himself when his effort from outside the box flashed just wide in the second half. At the other end, he got a vital toe to a dangerous cross in the 69th minute which cleared a dangerous Astana attack.
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