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Greenwood scores first Man United goal.

Mason Greenwood (number 26) is the first player born in the 2000s to score a senior goal for Manchester United

United fail to sparkle despite win

Greenwood’s goal was the highlight on an otherwise scrappy night for United, who were far from convincing against a team that had come through qualifying to make the group stage.

Rashford, one of two survivors from the side that started last weekend’s win over Leicester, wasted enough chances to have walked away with the match ball.

At the other end, Astana were worryingly able to get behind United’s defence on more than one occasion.

Axel Tuanzebe partnered Phil Jones in the centre of the backline and, with the game goalless, the visitors should have taken the lead when Marin Tomasov found space to float a cross to the back post which went unpunished.

Man of the Match – Mason Greenwood

Mason Greenwood celebrates scoring for Manchester United in the Europa League
Mason Greenwood does not turn 18 for another two weeks but he deserves the man-of-the-match accolade for his quality finish alone

‘We made it hard for ourselves’ – what they said

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: “Games like these, you want to make sure you win the game in the first 20 minutes and you can enjoy it.

“We made it hard for ourselves.

“You could see some of our lads needed games but it’s pleasing we got the three points.”

On Mason Greenwood scoring: “We always know that in and around the box he is one of the best finishers we have got. We wouldn’t throw them in if they weren’t ready.”

Teenage kicks – the stats

  • United handed starts to three teenagers – Greenwood, Tahith Chong and Angel Gomes – their most in a Europa League/Champions League game since November 2009.
  • United are unbeaten in their last 12 games in the Europa League, keeping eight clean sheets in this run.
  • Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team have recorded back-to-back wins in all competitions for the first time since March 2019.

What’s next?

United head for London this weekend for a match against West Ham in the Premier League on Sunday (14:00 BST) while their next Europa League group game is in the Netherlands against AZ Alkmaar on 3 October (17:55 BST).

About Oluwadamilare Funsho

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