Manchester United 3 Sheriff Tiraspol 0
Manchester United recorded a comfortable 3-0 win over Sheriff Tiraspol at Old Trafford in the Europa League.
In a match dominated by the Reds, headed goals from Diogo Dalot and Marcus Rashford in each half were added to by a late Cristiano Ronaldo strike to settle the victory.
The result, our fourth win of the group stage, means there will be a showdown at Real Sociedad next week to decide who takes top spot and avoids having to play off against a third-placed side from the Champions League. United must win by two goals to topple the San Sebastian outfit on the head-to-head, after their 1-0 victory at Old Trafford.
What was Dalot's celebration about?Article
Diogo Dalot has now scored twice for the Reds, after his header against Sheriff.
FIRST HALF - LATE BREAKTHROUGH
Virtually from the moment United kicked off, the visitors sat into a robust defensive shape with all 11 players behind the ball, inviting the Reds to come at them. With a firm grip on the play, Erik ten Hag’s side enjoyed a steady stream of chances.
Among the first of them, Antony on the turn with a right-footed effort from the edge of the box. But his strike, created following a neat Alejandro Garnacho run and Ronaldo lay-off, was saved.
Ronaldo saw a header go over the bar, before a finessed Bruno Fernandes strike curled narrowly wide and then Ronaldo couldn’t quite poke in Fernandes’s header back across goal from a floated Victor Lindelof ball forward.
But the Sheriff defence were unable to prevent Dalot’s header just before the break as he latched onto Christian Eriksen’s in-swinging corner on the edge of the six-yard-box to nod the Reds into a deserved lead.
SECOND HALF - REDS CRUISE
The boss decided to make two changes at half-time, including introducing Harry Maguire following his recovery from injury. The skipper came on in place of Lisandro Martinez, while Rashford swapped with Antony.
There was a familiar pattern to the play following the resumption, with the away side once again doing all the defending. Eriksen had an early opportunity to double the advantage when Moussa Kyabou hauled him down just outside the area, but the Denmark international put the resulting free-kick over the bar.
Shortly after the hour mark, Ronaldo struck the ball past keeper Maxym Koval and into the net, but ,frustratingly, the flag went up for offside. Moments later, the lead was two, when Rashford linked up with fellow sub Luke Shaw to plant in a firm header.
Ten minutes from time, Ronaldo did get his goal. Fernandes picked out his countryman with a wonderful cross and although our no.7 saw his header saved by Koval, he was quickest to the rebound to tuck away the goal which put the result beyond doubt. Donny van de Beek, Ronaldo and Rashford could have added to the scoreline late on.
90 in 20: United v Sheriff
Extended highlights | Watch 20 minutes of highlights from United's final home game of the Europa League group stage...
United: De Gea; Dalot (Shaw 62), Lindelof, Martinez (Maguire 46), Malacia; Casemiro (McTominay 62), Eriksen; Antony (Rashford 46), Fernandes (c), Garnacho (van de Beek 79); Ronaldo.
Subs not used: Dubravka, Heaton, Fred, Iqbal, Elanga, Pellistri, Sancho.
Goals: Dalot 44, Rashford 65, Ronaldo 81.
Sheriff: Koval; Renan Guedes, Kiki, Radeljic, Kpozo; Badolo (Gliga 93), Diop (Hatman 79), Kyabou, Mudasiru, Akanbi (Pernambuco 79); Atiemwen (Covali 89).
Subs not used: Celeadnic, Pascenco, Heron, Ignatov, Vizeu.
Booked: Akanbi, Renan Guedes.