Talking points as United ease past Partizan
Manchester United overcame Partizan Belgrade 3-0 to make it three wins from our first four games in the UEFA Europa League this season.
As with all United games, there was plenty for fans to mull over after the final whistle, so we’ve rounded up some of the major points of interest from the clash.
MASON AT IT AGAIN
Mason Greenwood got us underway against Partizan, when he opened the scoring in the 21st minute. The forward has now found the back of the net in all three starts he’s had at Old Trafford this campaign. The youngster also linked up superbly with fellow forwards Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial, in particular, for our second goal when his hard work helped tee the ball up for the Frenchman, who dribbled past three defenders and squeezed the ball past Partizan goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic. It was the first time the attacking trio have started a game together for the club and their interplay bodes well for the future.
The three up front really were electric tonight, especially in the first half. Greenwood, Rashford and Martial interchanged positions effortlessly at times and, if not for some great saves from Stojkovic, the scoreline could have been even higher. Juan Mata, who occupied the no.10 role against Partizan, also played his part in our fluid attacks. He often dropped deep and allowed the attackers to bomb past him, while slipping some excellent through balls into their paths.
In keeping a clean sheet against Partizan, United equalled a Europa League record. The Reds have now prevented the opposition from scoring in our last five games in the tournament - all four Group L matches in 2019/20, as well as the 2017 final against Ajax, which we won 2-0. That haul equals the record set by four other sides in the competition: Arsenal, Napoli, Salzburg and Villarreal. We're also the only side yet to ship a goal in the competition this season.
United v Partizan gallery
Swipe through the standout images from our latest Europa League victory at Old Trafford.
The three points means United have secured our spot in the knockout stages of the Europa League with two games to spare. As a result, it means Ole could opt to rest and rotate his squad in the last two games, away to Astana and at home to AZ Alkmaar. The Reds will now definitely be in the last 32 of the competition, which starts in February. The draw for the next stage of the tournament will take place on Monday 16 December in Nyon, Switzerland.
James Garner made his first senior appearance at Old Trafford in Thursday’s victory. Prior to the match, he had played three times for the Reds, all of which came away from home. Garner was introduced in the 63rd minute against Partizan in a central midfield role, and managed to prevent the Serbians grabbing a goal in the second period. His job became even more crucial after Scott McTominay was replaced after picking up an injury with 15 minutes to play.
Our no.39 was withdrawn late on in the match after he appeared to go over on his ankle. The midfielder attempted to carry on but was forced to come off within a few minutes of picking up the problem. Ole will likely give a further update on his fitness before the weekend’s match against Brighton and Hove Albion.
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