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Three talking points from Manchester United's Europa League tie against Astana

Mason Greenwood

Kolkata, September 20: Apart from Manchester City, other three English sides competing at the UEFA Champions League did not hace a good time on the first matchday. Chelsea and Liverpool lost while Spurs only salvaged a draw.

However, in the second European competition, the UEFA Europa League, big fishes, Manchester United and Arsenal both registered wins while only Wolves lost against Braga.

Teenager Mason Greenwood rescued a much-changed Manchester United from an embarrassing start to their Europa League campaign with the only goal to beat Kazakh champions Astana 1-0 at Old Trafford.

Match report

The away side was quite mediocre throughout the game and Romero hardly had to make any saves. United, on the other hand, started well, putting together some smooth passing moves and enjoying plenty of possession, however, struggled to effectively break down the opponent.

But to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's relief, Greenwood was far more clinical when presented with his one real chance at the goal in the 73rd minute.

Here are the three takeaways from the game:

1) Greenwood shows his potential

Much has been said about the academy product who so far has been labelled as the next big star, not only by manager Solskjaer but also several team-mates. He has had got some minutes under his belt in Premier League as a substitute, but finally got his much-awaited start at European stage and he surely lived up to the hype with the type of goal a dull Europa League tie desperately needed. Solskjaer believes the 17-year-old is one of the best finishers he has ever seen – and his first senior goal was evidence of that. Despite as the left-footer, he put in a brilliant his right-foot finish, becoming United’s youngest ever European scorer, beating Marcus Rashford’s record set in 2016.

2) Wasteful Rashford

With Anthony Martial out injured leading the frontline was up to the number 10 of the side however he surely has had a night to forget. Plying through the middle first half he was twice denied from close range by Astana keeper Nenad Eric.

3) Fred, Tuanzebe impress

With so much competition in the backline and middle of the pitch, these two back-up players who got their first start of the season, certainly put up a strong case for their future selection.

Tuanzebe was composed and calm throughout the game and was not tested at all. Fred, on the other hand, was the main driving force in midfield. Even Greenwood's goal also came from his pass.

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Story first published: Friday, September 20, 2019, 16:22 [IST]
Other articles published on Sep 20, 2019
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