Manchester United 2 LASK 1

Wednesday 05 August 2020 22:16

Anthony Martial hit a late winner at Old Trafford to send Manchester United into the Europa League quarter-final with a 7-1 aggregate victory over Austrian side LASK.

United triumphed 2-1 on the night with substitute Martial’s goal adding to Jesse Lingard's equaliser that came just three minutes after LASK had taken a shock lead through Philipp Wiesinger in the second half.

The scoreline sends the Reds to Cologne, Germany in confident mood for a last-eight tie against FC Copenhagen next Monday night, 10 August.
Having done all the real hard work in Austria, it was probably slightly inevitable that United didn’t have too much of a sense of urgency and LASK sensed a chance to at least come away with the feather in their cap of having won at Old Trafford, even in these surreal circumstances.

The visitors certainly were the team on the front foot, looking to make an impression and prove, as Solskjaer had said, the victory in Linsk wasn’t as comfortable as the scoreline suggested. However, it was the Reds who almost carved out a fourth-minute chance; Juan Mata's raid was blocked as he looked to find Odion Ighalo springing into space in the box.

From then on, LASK took the initiative. A header from Andreas Andrade struck the Reds' crossbar after nine minutes, Peter Michorl lashed a chance over into the empty Stretford End and then a glancing header from Marko Raguz floated just over.

United had two opportunities to stamp authority on the game but Scott McTominay and Ighalo both waited too long to pull the trigger and had their chances snuffed out by tackles. LASK ran out of steam late in the first half but although the Reds managed to gain some control, Solskjaer's men were unable to convert that into goalscoring opportunities in the remaining time before the break.

United produced the slickest and most dangerous attack of the match after 52 minutes with Mata sweeping a pass out to Brandon Williams and the left-back’s cross was inviting as it sped along just inside the six-yard area. However, both Daniel James and Lingard couldn’t connect as they slid in to try and poke in the opener.

It was LASK, rather than the Reds, who reacted to that near miss with a goal. The Austrians won a corner after 54 minutes and it was cleared but only to Philipp Wiesinger who curled a rocket past Sergio Romero into the top corner. That was arguably no more than our visitors deserved but despite the goalscorer going close again soon after, as he drilled a shot just wide, their dreams of a potential Old Trafford scalp didn’t last long.

Three minutes after going behind, Lingard latched onto a Fred pass and raced into the box to beat goalkeeper Alexander Schlager in a one-versus-one duel to neatly slip the ball home.

LASK weren’t going back to Austria without launching another attempt to snatch that win and substitute Dominik Reiter fired in a low shot that appeared to squirm away off Romero’s legs.

Just after McTominay went close with a shot in the 84th minute, Solskjaer gave Teden Mengi his first senior action as the 18-year-old Academy defender came on for Tim Fosu-Mensah.

Martial was introduced at the same time, for James, and three minutes later, our French hitman had put the Reds ahead. Mata and Martial slipped through the LASK defence with a neat interchange and the striker stroked the ball past the goalkeeper for United’s 87th-minute winner.

United: Romero; Fosu-Mensah (Mengi 84), Bailly, Maguire (C), Williams (Chong 71); McTominay, Fred (Andreas 63); Mata, Lingard (Pogba 63), James (Martial, 84); Ighalo.

Subs not used: Grant, Wan-Bissaka, Matic, Garner, Fernandes, Rashford, Greenwood.

Goals: Lingard (57), Martial (87).

Booked: McTominay

LASK: Schlager; Andrade (Filipovic 80), Trauner, Wiesinger (Sabitzer, 73); Renner, Michorl, Holland, Ranftl; Balic (Reiter 65), Raguz, Frieser.

Subs not used: Lawal (GK), Gebauer (GK), Ramsebner, V. Muller, Wostry, Haudum, Celic.

Goal: Wiesinger (54)

Booked: Michorl

Referee: Anastasios Sidiropoulos