Manchester United took another step forward in their Champions League campaign with a vital 2-0 victory over Villarreal. Cristiano Ronaldo opened the scoring in the 78th minute before Jadon Sancho scored his first goal for the club in injury time to seal the deal.
Former Red Devils defender Rio Ferdinand reacted to the performance. The Englishman noted that it wasn't a beautiful display from the Premier League giants but praised their discipline and effort to get the job done.
It was the first time Manchester United kept a clean sheet in the Champions League this season. Ferdinand believes the motivation would've certainly come from the dressing room.
"There’s no doubt in my mind that in that dressing room they would have been pushing the clean sheet message and that comes from a team performance," he said on BT Sport (via Express).
The Englishman singled out Fred and David de Gea for praise following their spectacular outing. He also lauded the team's overall performance in a match that was more about effectiveness and discipline instead of beauty.
"Fred played a part in both goals, pressing really well. [David] de Gea pulled off two or three great saves, but this game was about no thrills and discipline and had a plan.
"They’re the things we’ve been asking for and this wasn’t a beautiful performance. It was roll your sleeves up, get in your positions and be hard to beat. When you have the players up front who are opportunistic and can score goals you’re in with a chance."
With the Villarreal win, Manchester United have now sealed their spot in the knockout phase of the Champions League. The Red Devils currently lead the Group F table with 10 points, having recorded three victories, one draw and one defeat in their five outings so far.
What next for Manchester United?
Manchester United will conclude their Champions League group stage campaign with a clash against Young Boys on December 8.
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But before then, the Red Devils will return to Premier League action with a vital clash against Chelsea on Sunday, November 28. They will also face Arsenal and Crystal Palace in the English top flight before playing their next game in Europe.