UEFA Europa League 2016/17: Manchester United 4-1 Fenerbahce - 5 talking points
Manchester United took a huge stride towards qualifying for the knockout rounds of the UEFA Europa League as they dispatched a poor Fenerbahce side at Old Trafford. After a fruitless half an hour, United were gifted a couple of penalties in the space of two minutes, after fouls on Juan Mata and Anthony Martial, respectively.
After converting the two penalties, Jose Mourinho’s side completely controlled the game and added another two goals to the scoreline thanks to screamers from Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard – who scored his first European goal for Manchester United. Ex-United hero Robin van Persie scored a late goal against his former employers, but the damage was already done.
Here are the talking points from a one-sided affair at Manchester:
#1 United not pretty, but get the job done in the first half
Manchester United once again attracted boos from their fans owing to a lacklustre performance in the opening 30 minutes. The domination of possession without any end product brought back memories of Louis van Gaal’s ill-fated second season, where United were guilty of the same tactics.
However, the frustration died down once United were awarded two penalties in the space of minutes – both of which were converted. United’s player were able to express themselves after going two goals to the good and were more dynamic with the ball, feeding the wingers and putting crosses into the box to test Fenerbahce’s centre-halves, who looked pretty comfortable in the early periods of the game.
The game was well and truly wrapped up in first-half stoppage time, when world-record signing Paul Pogba drilled the ball into the top corner after Simon Kjaer gave away possession. It was not the best 45 minutes of football one will ever see, but Jose Mourinho’s side got the goals they needed to see the game out in the second half.