An outstanding solo goal from Henrikh Mkhitaryan gave Manchester United the Europa League victory against Zorya Luhansk that their dominance deserved. Here's how the Armenian and his team mates rated.
GK: Sergio Romero (7/10) - An impressive save after nine minutes to deny Ihor Kharatin from 20 yards. Ten minutes later, Romero has a flair thrown into his six-yard box from the Zorya crowd. Eventully called upon in the 72nd minute – producing a smart reaction save to deny Zorya an equaliser.
RB: Ashley Young (7/10) - The 31 year-old retuned to the side at right back – but Young did not have to focus on defensive responsibilities too much, and his subsequent performance was one of attacking intent along United’s right flank.
CB: Eric Bailly (8.5/10) - Looked confident and solid upon his return from injury. Bailly attempted the spectacular in the form of an overhead kick towards Zorya’s goal following a corner. Executed a number of vital tackles during the match and battled through a rough knock to complete an outstanding performance.
CB: Marcos Rojo (7/10) - Largely untroubled against Zorya and even managed to provide a decent looking strike on goal just before the half time whistle. After his horror show against Everton last time out, Rojo will have taken comfort from this display - albeit against a poor Ukrainian outfit.
LB: Daley Blind (7/10) - Complained about the use of a laser pen during the first period, but remained his usual composed self throughout. Hardly threatened by any of the Ukrainian side’s forwards - but lacks the pace to infiltrate as well as the likes of Young, Valencia or Shaw.
CM: Ander Herrera (7.5/10) – Kept the ball moving with an impressive range of passing on a far from ideal playing surface. Herrera worked well in tandem with Pogba and was instrumental in dictating the tempo of Manchester United’s plethora of possession. Herrera’s performance was only tempered by a caution in the 83rd minute.
CM: Paul Pogba (8/10) - Two outstanding long-range efforts in the early stages of the match, combined with a headed attempt at Zorya’s goal, did not tell the full story of Pogba’s display. The French international was masterful in central midfield and assisted Ibrahimovic's strike to make the score 2-0.
AM: Juan Mata (6.5/10) - The diminutive Spanish midfielder saw plenty of possession but failed to make too much of an impact in the final third. An easy 65 minutes for Mata, before the 28-year-old was replaced by Jesse Lingard (6/10) - perhaps with one eye on the weekend’s Premier League encounter with Tottenham Hotspur.
AM: Wayne Rooney (6.5/10) - A clean strike from the edge of the area just before half time was well saved by Zorya’s goalkeeper Ihor Levchenko. Faily anaonymous in the second half before being replaced by Marouane Fellaini (6/10) just before the 70 minute mark. The hard surface would not have helped Rooney’s preparation for an important league fixture at the weekend.
AM: Henrikh Mkhitaryan (9/10) - The Armenia international midfielder is growing in confidence with every United appearance. Against Zorya, Mkhitaryan found himself on the ball on numerous occasions and was a creative force throughout. The 27-year-old glided through Zorya’s midfield with apparent ease for his (outstanding) first United goal at the start of the second half. Withdrawn in the closing stages, to a standing ovation, for Timothy Fosu-Mensah.
FW: Zlatan Ibrahimovic (7.5/10) - A relatively quiet 90 minutes from Ibrahimovic – who had a clean strike easily saved by Levchenko mid way through the second period. The 35-year-old forward was often seen dropping deep or wide to get involved in United’s plentiful build up play. Sealed the win with a cool finish in the 87th minute.
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