FC Astana 2-1 Manchester United: 5 Hits and Flops from the game | UEFA Europa League 19/20
Manchester United travelled to Kazakhstan for their matchday 5 fixture against FC Astana. The former came into this encounter having already booked their spot in the knockout stages of the UEFA Europa League, on the back of a win on matchday 4 when they beat Partizan Belgrade at Old Trafford.
Having already landed a spot in the qualifiers, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer named a relatively young side, with academy players forming the core of the squad.
Jesse Lingard, Axel Tuanzebe along with Mason Greenwood and Luke Shaw were the only players from the squad who have played a part in the Red Devil's Premier League campaign this season, while the rest of the playing XI consisted of young players such as Ethan Laird, Dylan Levitt, and Dishon Bernard.
The opening 25 minutes of the game were dominated by the visitors as Manchester United began on the front foot with crisp passes and good co-ordination. The relentless approach from Manchester United soon led to a goal from skipper Jesse Lingard, who scored with a shot from outside the box in the 10th minute.
However, after the 25th minute, Astana found their bearings and started to have more of the ball. The hosts constantly tried to score the equalizer with some attacking football, before Dmitriy Shomko finally delivered the equalizer for the home side.
The left-back scored at the conclusion of a counter-attack of the home side with a sweet left-footed shot and post that, Astana's players made the most of the momentum they had in hand and put in a better show than their performance from the opening half.
The second goal came from an unlikely source for the hosts as Dishon Bernard's attempt to block a cross saw the ball deflect off the youngster and thud into the net in the 62nd minute.
Yet, even though Astana took the lead, Manchester United enjoyed quite a lot of the possession. Despite the visitors' best attempts to cut through Astana's defensive unit, the home side held on well enough to seal a thrilling 2-1 win in the end.
On that note, here are 4 players who made a good impression and 1 player who was not at his best in the game.
#5 Hit: Jesse Lingard
Jesse Lingard was handed the captain's armband for this game and assuming the No.10 role for this game, Lingard's energy was one of the biggest driving factors behind Manchester United's opening goal of the game in the 10th minute.
The England International gave his side the lead in the game with a beautiful finish in the 10th minute. Lingard was instrumental in carrying the ball forward from midfield to attack and kept the ball moving, despite some good defending from the hosts.
The attacking midfielder had one shot on target, 97 touches of the ball and two key passes in the game, apart from a 91% passing accuracy. Although Manchester United lost the match, Jesse Lingard did a brilliant job of leading the young squad throughout the game, and his welcome return to form can only be good news for The Red Devils.