On Thursday nights in the Europa league so far United’s resolve has been questioned up until now after a loss to Feyenord in their opening game and a relatively unconvincing 1-0 win over Zorya last time out. Well that certainly was not the case on this Thursday night as Paul Pogba stormed to the fore with a fine brace including a penalty (that Rooney generously allowed him to take) and then his second was a thing of beauty – a fine long range effort from outside the box which ended up in the top corner.
Martial got his penalty on 34 minutes just 3 minutes after Paul Pogba had scored his and Pogba’s 2nd goal cracker went in during first half injury time to give the Red-Devils a convincing 3-0 lead at the half. After Lingard completed the United scoring on 48 minutes with their fourth goal the second half was played with less intensity and was almost like a friendly in some respects but when Robin van Persie scored with a late consolation from a good cross he received a standing ovation from the fans out of respect for his superb contribution to the last United title win as he returned to his former side with a goal.
Jose Mourinho was understandably happy on the night and had this to say after the game as reported by the BBC ,
“Paul Pogba needs time. I was in Italy, I know Italian football. To be in Italy for four or five years and come back I was not expecting it to be a click of the fingers for intensity. He needs time.
“They came with a good defensive plan and stopped us for the first period but then after the first two goals, both clear penalties, it opened the door for quality.
“With the fourth goal we stopped and they tried to have a reaction which they did. I am never happy to concede a goal. We lacked a bit of concentration but that is the nature of the players and lots of changes, it is acceptable.”
On a night where there were a few surprising selections, Martial, Mata, Carrick and of course Pogba looked particularly good for their manager but it was a shame not to see Mkhitaryan at least on the bench.