Manchester United 5 RB Leipzig 0
Red-hot Manchester United stormed to a brilliant 5-0 victory at Old Trafford in the Champions League against RB Leipzig.
Mason Greenwood set the Reds on their way to a sensational night in Group H, and a 100 per cent start to the European campaign, with an opener after 21 minutes.
But it was the second half when United really went to town and super-sub Marcus Rashford was the story of the evening as he grabbed a terrific hat-trick against a German side who were semi-finalists in the competition, just two months ago, and lead the Bundesliga.
Anthony Martial also notched his first of the season from the penalty spot on a night when United were in devastating form.
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FIRST HALF - Greenwood gets Reds off to a flyer
It was a perfect start for United, carrying on where we left off in France last week with that excellent 2-0 win against Paris Saint-Germain.
Back on home territory, after Fred had had an early shot well saved by Leipzig keeper Peter Gulacsi, we took a 21st-minute lead against the Bundesliga leaders.
Paul Pogba slid a superb ball through to Greenwood and you always know what is likely to come next, when the young striker gets in the end of such passes. Our no.11 drilled in a left-foot shot but then had an agonising wait as VAR checked whether he had strayed into an offside position. Thankfully, the goal stood and the Reds had a precious lead.
The Germans hadn’t had a shot prior to United’s goal but Christopher Nkunku forced David De Gea into his first save, minutes after the Reds went ahead.
Harry Maguire and co were comfortable at the back and easily kept Leipzig quiet as they searched for an equaliser. The Reds couldn't find a further opening against a German defence, also well drilled by centre-back Dayot Upamecano. But it was a deserved 1-0 lead after the opening 45 minutes.
SECOND HALF - Rashford makes hay
United began on the front foot in the second half and had a shout for a penalty after 51 minutes when Ibrahima Konate fell in his own area and the ball caught his arm. However, Slovenian referee Matej Jug judged that the defender’s arm wasn’t in an unnatural position.
Leipzig began to have their say with De Gea thwarting Konate in the 65th minute as his strong header needed attention at the near post. But the Reds simply turned on the power.
Bruno Fernandes came on as a sub for Donny van de Beek and almost made an instant impression with a clever chipped free-kick over the German wall that Martial just couldn’t quite connect with properly in the six-yard area.
Fernandes's next touch had a greater reward as he swept a first-time pass to another sub Rashford. The striker ran through and put the ball away as the assistant-referee flagged. The VAR check showed our striker was in his own half as he raced onto the ball and gave the goal to make it 2-0 after 74 minutes.
Rashford had his second when again burst behind the German defence to cleanly strike home four minutes later. with a low drive. The Rampant Reds made it 4-0 after Martial was brought down by Marcel Sabitzer and the France striker scored his first goal of the season from the spot.
Edinson Cavani had also been brought on as a sub in the 81st minute but his attempt to get on the scoresheet was rubbed out for offside. So it was the Rashford show as the Mancunian clinically claimed the match-ball in stoppage time, from a Martial pass, to complete a goalfest on the big stage.
United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka (Tuanzebe 81), Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; Matic (McTominay 63), Pogba (Cavani 81), Fred, van de Beek (Fernandes 68); Greenwood (Rashford 63), Martial.
Subs not used: Henderson, Fosu-Mensah, Mengi, Williams, James, Mata, Ighalo.
Goals: Greenwood 21, Rashford 74,78,90, Martial 87 (pen)
RB Leipzig: Gulacsi; Upamecano Konate, Halstenberg; Nkunku (Sorloth 65), Kampl (Kluivert 74), Forsberg, Henrichs (Sabitzer 63), Angelino; Olmo, Poulsen.
Subs not used: Orban, Hwang, Hee-Chan, Tschauner, Adams, Samardzic, Martínez, Borkowski, Martel, Wosz.
Bookings: Henrichs, Kluivert, Sabitzer.
Highlights: United 5 RB Leipzig 0Video
Reds manager Solskjaer told us after the game that it was a team effort, despite Rashford stealing the headlines with his superb treble.
“Marcus came on, did well – the impact, of course, we want that from the subs. That’s only possible though when the others have laid the groundwork and what a shift they put in. Because they do make you work Leipzig, the high press, the counter press, the intensity and we had to really dig deep and work hard for each other. Spaces open up when you’re winning, of course, and we knew that today was a day that we had to rest a few because this season is relentless, so we could use the squad. This group is coming together, of course we’ve added a few quality players and the more quality you have and spirit you have, the better chance you have of a performance.”
“We got Bruno [Fernandes] on the ball, Paul [Pogba] on the ball and Anto [Anthony Martial] running forward and we look dangerous and looked like we could score every time we went forward."
Ole's verdict on five-star winVideo
MAN OF THE MATCH
Unsurprisingly, Rashford won by a landslide in our Official App vote for the star man.
The substitute picked up 73 per cent of the total, with Fred next best on 11%.
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