News, views and rumours relating to Manchester United in the past 24 hours.
Goals from Antonio Valencia, Johnny Evans, Chris Smalling and Nani as well as an own goal by Leverkusen’s Spahic ensured all three points went to the English champions.
Manager David Moyes hailed the win ‘special’ and praised the performances of Wayne Rooney and Shinji Kagawa in the absence of striker Robin van Persie.
"The link-up play was super tonight, I think Wayne Rooney got four assists. It’s a long season and we’re going to have to have different combinations for different games but, tonight, Wayne and Shinji Kagawa were very good,” he explained.
"Sometimes Wayne might need to play up front and Shinji will play behind. We have to make sure we have alternatives if Wayne or Robin [van Persie] are injured. Shinji was excellent tonight but he's also good on the left.”
"The goals will get the headlines but we defended well. It was an important game because we had to win to stay top of the group and we've now qualified,” he added.
Moyes said: "It was one of my best days as Manchester United manager but the best days are still to come. There will be better days to come. We won well, we played well, with some outstanding performances. To come to Germany and win 5-0, and they have a great record here in Leverkusen, puts it in perspective as well."
Veteran midfielder Ryan Giggs was delighted with the result and came in for praise for his individual contribution.
"I think our speed (was the difference)," Giggs told Sky Sports.
"The first goal was a good example; quick play. It was a pleasure to play behind our front four."
"We could have scored more," he added.
Giggs remains ‘keen’ to play beyond the age of 40. He told reporters:
"It can be hard sometimes but I am still enjoying it. As long as that is the case I will carry on."
In transfer news, United are ‘eyeing up’ Brazilian defender Alex Sandro of FC Porto according to The Mirror. The 22-year-old target could be the man to replace vice-captain Patrice Evra at left-back.
United are also linked with Sevilla duo Alberto Moreno and Ivan Rakitic by numerous sources.
Real Madrid midfielder Angel Di Maria continues to be linked with a move to Old Trafford in January after being rumoured to be leaving the Spanish capital for a several months.
Finally, United have allowed brothers Michael and Will Keane out on ‘emergency’ loan deals to Derby and Wigan, respectively.
image: © Jason Gulledge