A comprehensive win for Mourinho's men... well deserved after that brilliant second half performance and although Saint-Etienne made a fist of it, their old foe Zlatan Ibrahimovic had one of those nights where everything he touched turned to 'goal' (pardon the pun)
This should give United an unassailable lead going into the second leg, but in football, you never quite know.
It was a pleasure covering this game, thanks for reading!
94' Free kick for United just outside the box - prime territory. Zlatan has graciously allowed Pogba to take it - it looks like. The Frenchman curls it just wide - a foot hither and Ruffier would have seen it inside the net.
He almost takes the net clean off with a hammer shot into the bottom corner. UFF!!! That's the great Swede's first hattrick for United... and for those keeping count. it's 17 against his favourite opposition.
87' United break quickly with the ball but seeing no opening revert to passing it around. Herrera slips in Rashford - and zlatan is TAKEN DOWN BY THEOPHILE-CATHERINE. PENALTY - clear as day. And the ref gives it.
78' That looks like that for Florentin Pogba - he goes down clutching his caf, making the universal "please get me out of here" substitution sign. He gives one of those manly one-armed hugs to his younger brother - and Galtier takes the chance to make an attacking substitution and get Beric ON
It was all Rashford. The young Englishman got the ball and did what he does best... ran straight at, through, and away from three St. Etienne defenders before smacking it at goal. Ruffier saves it, but can only palm it to the feet of Zlatan. The Swede doesn't miss those.
73' Lingard has up the pressing game of United from Allardyce to Klopp - and he almost forces St. Etienne to lose the ball. They don't though and move forward with purpose. Selnaes plays in Roux with a beautiful through ball and the French striker teases Romero off the line before lifting it just over the bar! UFF! THAT WAS CLOSE!
70' Mata tries to wriggle his way into the box, but he brings down Vertout in the process, and the visitors have the free kick. Mourinho, meanwhile hooks Mata for Rashford. There is some serious pace in the United side now.
64' Valencia bombs forward and skins Florentin Pogba before lifting the ball into the box... it's too high for Zlatan!!! United come right back and Martial plays in Pogba with a delicious reverse ball, but the latter gets confused and sends a shot/cross into row Z.
62' Saivet shrugs off Herrera's attentions before playing in Monnet-Paquet but his square ball is easily cut off... then Florentin Pogba loses the ball and Lingard breaks. He holds the ball up and passes it to Paul. The younger Pogba twirls around Vertout in a display of sumptuous skill before curling a ball just wide of the post. That would have been some goal.
61' Martial gives the ball away meekly inside his own box, and St. Etienne work the ball out to Malcuit. His deep cross is chested down by Hamouma (his first touch of the half, I think) but under extreme pressure from Tony Valencia, he can do nothing with it.
57' United come in waves again - Zlatan holds the ball up exceptionally well before setting up Antonio Valencia, but the Ecuadorian's shot is deflected wide. From the corner, Zlatan has Ruffier on his toes, but it is a goalkick.
56' Martial is toying with Malcuit here. He goes, he stops, he goes again and leaves Malcuit (and Pajot for good measure in his wake) before laying a ball off to Paul Pogba. His compatriot is not on the same page, though, and Perrin clears.
53' UFF! Martial is on fire! He beats Malcuit with a turn of pace that has the right back clutching thin air but his shot at the near post is well saved by Ruffier. United's no. 11 has - as they say on TV - looked very much in the mood tonight.
52' Perrin is off the field for treatment, but thankfully for St. Etienne, Malcuit jogs back on after getting his nose set. United move threateningly forward - but Pogba sends an effort sailing into row Z... and soon Perrin jogs back on.