Opinion: Manchester United must maintain their relentless attitude to guarantee a top-four finish in the Premier League
- Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men now have the cushion of five away goals in the Europa League Round of 16.
Goals from Odion Ighalo, Daniel James, Juan Mata, Mason Greenwood, and Andreas Pereira ensured that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side will have the cushion of five away goals when they take on the same opponents in the second leg on March 20.
Mata, in particular, needs to be singled out for praise. Scoring his second goal in eight Europa League matches this season, the Spaniard was highly influential in setting up play and motivating his teammates to go on the offensive.
The 31-year-old pulled the strings in the right-hand side of attacking midfield and allowed the likes of Ighalo and James to go forward and attack with no pressure. His goal in the 82nd minute capped off a brilliant personal performance.
Brazilian midfielder, Fred, who played the central catalyst in United's midfield on the night, was quite exceptional too. He had a pass completion rate of 89 percent as 55 of his passes found the right owner out of the 62 he made in total. He also set up Mata and Pereira to end the game with two assists to his name.
New signing Bruno Fernandes continued his excellent form on Thursday as he bagged the assist for Ighalo's opening goal. The former Sporting CP player made six key passes which were essential in the Red Devils' relentless approach.
New loanee Ighalo, however, stole the show with his otherworldy opening goal and the assist to James' goal. He was strong on the ball and dispossessed the LASK defenders plenty of times. The Nigerian has provided a lot of cushion to manager Solskjaer and has given the manager the freedom to pick a complete side even when Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford are out with injuries.
United are now unbeaten in eleven games and their strong showing in Linz will surely give them a lot of confidence. They are now set to take on their former manager Jose Mourinho's Tottenham Hotspur at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in the Premier League and they will have to keep this attitude to guarantee a spot in the top four by the end of the season.
Published 13 Mar 2020, 11:14 IST