Manchester United 3-0 Sheriff: Europa League – live reaction | Europa League

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Marcus Rashford speaks to BT Sport. “They set up to defend and play on the counter. It took us a while. We got the first goal from a set piece, and it’s good to score from a set piece, so we’re happy with that. When we got 1-0 up, the game opened up, and created more chances, scoring a couple more goals. You have to be calm and clinical to create and take the chances. We looked for more goals, more spaces, and we found them in the end. It will be nice when [his 100th goal for the club] does happen, it will be a great achievement for myself and my family, but we just focus on the next game. We have to go to Real Sociedad and win by two goals. It’s going to be a tough game, but we look forward to the challenge.”

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presenting Antony’s Amazing 720 Degrees of Nonsense™ for your leisure and pleasure. It’s such a smooth spin, though it’s the pass subsequently clanked straight out of play that really makes it a work of art. The blustering indignation is just the cherry on the cake.

That’s a fine evening’s work for United. A promising debut for Alejandro Garnacho. A little bit of redemption for Cristiano Ronaldo. Qualification for the knockout-round play-offs at least. Even the social-media department will be happy, as Antony’s Amazing 720 Degrees of Nonsense™ is sure to become an internet sensation. United can still win the group, too, though they’ll need to beat Real Sociedad 2-0 in San Sebastian next week to make sure. (Sociedad won 2-0 at Omonia Nicosia tonight.)

FULL TIME: Manchester United 3-0 Sheriff

Manchester United are sure of at least second spot in Group E!

90 min +2: Four would have been unfair on Sheriff, who have put in a resilient shift, and nearly snaffled a goal themselves. But four wouldn’t have flattered United at all; they’ve done a professional number on their opponents tonight. Both statements can stand alone.

90 min +1: Shaw curls in low from the left. With red shirts lurking, Radeljic extends a leg to deflect over for a corner. Fine defending, and then from the resulting set piece, there’s a fine point-blank save from Koval, who denies McTominay’s header.

90 min: There will be three bonus minutes.

89 min: Atiemwen is replaced by Covali.

88 min: Fernandes, who has been quietly excellent in his prompting, curls in from the right. Van de Beek slides in at the far post, but can’t stop the ball slicing wide left.

87 min: Kyabou’s back up, and the corner’s no good. “He’s a patchy, patchy man when it comes to goalscoring, but Marcus Rashford is one goal away from the century for Man Utd, which is pretty good going for an academy lad,” writes Jamie O’Sullivan. “In an era of flux and inconceivably high wasted transfer fees by Man Utd, he’s often been one of the few sources of relief. I look forward to him scoring his 100th Man Utd goal sometime in January.”

86 min: Rashford works his way down the left and earns a corner. Before it can be taken, Kyabou needs some treatment.

84 min: Maguire is booked for sticking an arm across Atiemwen.

83 min: Old Trafford is in party mode now. Sheriff have made United work for this, but on balance the scoreline doesn’t flatter United. They’ve had 21 efforts to Sheriff’s zero, after all.

GOAL! Manchester United 3-0 Sheriff (Ronaldo 81)

… straight into the wall. But no matter! The ball’s recycled to Fernandes on the right. Fernandes curls onto his Portugal international team-mate’s head. Ronaldo heads towards the bottom left. Koval parries, but the ball breaks back to Ronaldo, who makes no mistake in lashing home from six yards. Old Trafford erupts! All is forgiven!

Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United scores his side’s third goal.
Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United scores his side’s third goal. Photograph: Phil Oldham/Shutterstock
Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring his side’s third goal.
That one was for you. Photograph: Jon Super/AP
Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring his side’s third goal.
Redemption. Photograph: Craig Brough/Reuters

80 min: Kiki is booked for bringing McTominay to the ground just in front of the Sheriff D. Ronaldo wants this free kick bad. He runs up and batters the ball …

79 min: Sheriff make a double change. Diop and Rasheed make way for Hatman and Pernambuco. Meanwhile the full debutant Garnacho’s evening is over. He’s replaced by Van de Beek, and wears a look of great frustration as he takes his place in the dugout, no doubt ruing the great chance he just snatched at. But he shouldn’t beat himself up too much. He’s had a fine match.

77 min: Rashford flippers a short-backlift shot towards the bottom right. Koval is forced to turn around for a corner. From the set piece, Garnacho has the opportunity of a dream full-debut goal, but leans back and hoicks over from 12 yards.

76 min: Maguire quarterbacks from deep. Easy for Koval to pluck from the sky. Despite that, it’s worth noting that Maguire has had plenty of support from the United fans tonight upon his return. Making a point of getting behind their man.

74 min: Play resumes. Koval all fixed.

73 min: Play stops with Koval in the Sheriff goal requiring some treatment.

71 min: The pace of play drops a little. United know the job is done, though another goal or two to entertain the Old Trafford faithful wouldn’t go amiss. Ronaldo will certainly still be in the market for one.

69 min: A cute spin by Atiemwen in the centre circle, and Sheriff are on the break. The ball’s sent wide right to Badolo, who makes it as far as the edge of the box before looking to find Diop in the middle with a low curler. Too close to De Gea, who reminds everyone that he’s here.

67 min: Rashford is this close to releasing either Garnacho or Ronaldo down the inside-left channel with an outrageous backheeled pass. But it’s blocked. Shame. Rashford full of confidence after his first goal in five.

GOAL! Manchester United 2-0 Sheriff (Rashford 65)

It doesn’t take long for Shaw to get involved. Eriksen finds Shaw down the left. Shaw scoops a cross towards Rashford, who powers a header into the top left from 12 yards. That’s a simple but very fine finish. Rashford had to generate all the power himself.

Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford scores their second goal.
Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford scores their second goal. Photograph: Peter Powell/EPA
Marcus Rashford of Manchester United celebrates scoring his side’s second goal.
Rashford celebrates his goal. Photograph: Phil Oldham/Shutterstock

64 min: Borges is booked for hanging out a late leg to stop an in-flight Garnacho.

62 min: Another double change for United: Shaw and McTominay come on for Dalot and Casemiro. Malacia will shift over to right back.

61 min: United ping it around a bit. Rashford shovels a diagonal pass into the Sheriff box. Fernandes, on the right-hand corner of the six-yard box, heads down to Ronaldo, who whips into the top right. Delight! But the flag goes up correctly for offside, and a frustrated Ronaldo drop-kicks the ball into the top tier of the Stretford End. No booking.

60 min: Sheriff string a few passes together. They don’t really go anywhere, but they’ve not had the chance to hog the ball that often, so.

58 min: The ball breaks to Ronaldo, 30 yards from goal. He drops a shoulder to send Radeljic off to the shops, then looks to curl one into the top right. High and wide, and you really expected him to do so much better. He looks miffed, but then the Stretford End awards him a warm round of applause. He might be out of the doghouse at last. There’s nice.

56 min: Another dribble down the left by Garnacho. Then Malacia and Rashford nearly open Sheriff up with a quick give-and-go. Not quite, but United are picking up the pace as they search for the cushion of a second goal.

55 min: Garnacho drops a shoulder to burn his way past Badolo on the left. Lovely skill, and what a burst of pace, but he then balloons his cross out of play on the other flank. On balance, though, the young man has enjoyed a very decent full debut.

53 min: Rashford battles his way down the inside-left channel and nearly breaks into the box, but is scuppered by a couple of yellow shirts. He fouls them both at once in frustration to release the pressure on Sheriff.

Manchester United's Marcus Rashford tussles with Sheriff Tiraspol's Moussa Kyabou and Renan Guedes.
Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford tussles with Sheriff Tiraspol’s Moussa Kyabou and Renan Guedes. Photograph: Craig Brough/Reuters

51 min: It’s Diop again, but up the other end. He clumsily brings down Eriksen, 25 yards out, in a central position. Ronaldo wants to take it, but Eriksen wins that debate, and hoicks it harmlessly over the bar. The look on Ronaldo’s face speaks volumes, and you don’t need me to describe it at all, or suggest what he’s thinking.

49 min: Rasheed crosses from the left and nearly finds Diop in the United box. Just too much pace on the ball.

47 min: There’s half a chance Antony was hooked for that ludicrous but admittedly very technical 720-degree spin. At half-time BT showed footage of Ten Hag’s reaction to the stunt, and you don’t have to be an expert on micro-tells to suspect he wasn’t wholly appreciative of it.

Sheriff get the second half underway. United are shooting towards the Stretford End in this second half. A couple of changes by the home side: Maguire for Martinez, and Rashford for Antony.

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The Knowledge bonus edition: Can You Help? “Is this the first time Manchester United have ever started with no UK or Irish players?” wonders Tim Stappard.

Also: was that United’s first goal from a corner this season?

Answers on a postcard to BBC Television Centre, Wood Lane, London, W12 8QT to me here.

HALF TIME: Manchester United 1-0 Sheriff

More than deserved on the balance of play, though it took a while, and Sheriff were inches away from taking the lead themselves just before Dalot’s breakthrough.

45 min: That will sicken Sheriff, who had defended staunchly. It’ll be interesting to see if they bother changing tack in the second half. There will be one added minute.

GOAL! Manchester United 1-0 Sheriff (Dalot 44)

Yessir! Eriksen whips the corner in with pace. Dalot rises at the left-hand corner of the six-yard box and guides the ball across Koval and into the bottom right. Textbook!

Manchester United's Diogo Dalot heads the home side ahead.
Manchester United’s Diogo Dalot heads the home side ahead. Photograph: Nigel French/PA
Manchester United’s Diogo Dalot celebrates scoring their first goal with team-mates,
Dalot (left) celebrates his goal in front of the ecstatic United fans. Photograph: Craig Brough/Reuters
Manchester United's Diogo Dalot celebrates after scoring their first goal against Sheriff.
And poses for the camera. Photograph: Peter Powell/EPA

43 min: Casemiro earns a corner down the left. Reward for all this possession and territorial advantage coming up?

41 min: Dalot has a dig from distance. Nope.

40 min: … and after all that’s happened, Sheriff nearly score the opener! Kpozo curls a sensational cross in from the left. Rasheed is inches away from heading home from close range at the far post, but arrives a nanosecond too late and can’t connect. Old Trafford hearts in mouths there!

Sheriff Tiraspol's Ibrahim Rasheed in action with Manchester United's Lisandro Martinez.
Sheriff’s Ibrahim Rasheed just can’t reach the ball to get a header on target. Photograph: Craig Brough/Reuters

39 min: An astonishing cameo from Antony, who takes up possession on the left flank, then hops on his right foot, spinning ever-so-smoothly in a full circle twice, dragging the ball with his left … then under no pressure clanking a dismal pass out for a goal kick. Full marks for showboating. That’ll be going viral all right.



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