Mason Greenwood is congratulated.

Why United are facing an unusual situation tonight

Manchester United head into tonight’s (Wednesday) UEFA Europa League second-leg tie with a huge advantage from the reverse meeting in March.

The Reds defeated LASK 5-0 in Austria before lockdown and means we’re favourites to book a place in the quarter-finals in Germany, against either Istanbul Basaksehir or Copenhagen next Monday.

That victory in early spring was a superb performance from Ole Gunnar’s Solskjaer’s men and only once in our history have we held a bigger lead going into a second-leg tie at Old Trafford.
Video
Andreas Pereira.
Watch highlights of United's 5-0 win in the first leg in Linz.

We had a six-goal advantage over Shamrock Rovers way back in September 1957, following a convincing European Cup success at Dalymount Park.

Liam Whelan and Tommy Taylor both scored twice with Johnny Berry and David Pegg adding two more in the final five minutes. 

The second leg at Old Trafford was closer but the Reds won 3-2, with Dennis Viollet (2) and Pegg on the scoresheet.

This is only the third time we have come back to Manchester with a five-goal lead from the first leg in any competition - European tournaments and the League Cup.

In 1964, Borussia Dortmund were beaten 6-1 in Germany before a 4-0 victory at home sealed an emphatic 10-1 aggregate triumph in the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup.

Bobby Charlton hit a hat-trick at the Westfalenstadion with the other members of the Trinity, George Best and Denis Law, also in on the act. Prior to that, David Herd opened the scoring after 12 minutes.

Back at Old Trafford, Charlton continued to inflict punishment with two more goals, while Law and John Connelly rounding things off.

Bobby Charlton.
Bobby Charlton was in red-hot form in the 1964/65 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup.

As part of the same tournament, in the May of 1965, Strasbourg were thumped 5-0 thanks to goals from Connelly, Herd, Law (2) and Charlton. The French side restored some pride with a goalless draw at the Theatre of Dreams in the return leg.

Hence, this is the biggest lead United have had going into a home game for over 55 years!

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