Manchester United put a splendid show inspired by Paul Pogba against Fenerbahce
Manchester United put a splendid show against Fenerbahce on Thursday night in their Europa League match to prepare for their Sunday clash against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. The Reds got a comprehensive 4-1 win at home against the Turkish side who played former Manchester man Robin Van Persie in their side. Paul Pogba braced himself, as well as Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard found themselves on the scoresheet.
Jose Mourinho made seven changes into the squad from Monday’s goalless draw against Liverpool at Anfield. Wayne Rooney returned to the starting line-up against the side he scored a memorable hat-trick on his United debut in 2004 and Luke Shaw came in for his first appearance in a month. Meanwhile, United fans gave former striker Robin van Persie a warm welcome back on his first appearance at the Theatre of Dreams since his successful three-year spell with the Reds came to an end last year.
But, performance wise it was best day for Paul Pogba who finds the net two times; one with a penalty and then with a stunning strike in first-half stoppage time. Pogba opened the scoring slotting the ball into the net from penalty spot when Juan Mata was fouled in the Fenerbahce box. Three minutes later Manchester United got awarded another penalty and this time Anthony martial converted the penalty to give United 2-0 lead. But, the most emphatic goal of the night was scored by Pogba in first-half stoppage time as he scored a sumptuous strike to value his 93 million tag. Jesse Lingard added fourth for the The Red Devils lshortly after the break. The night looked over for the visitors but former United man Robin van Persie scored the consolation goal for the visitors on his anticipated return to Old Trafford
United made a comprehensive start with plenty of early possession, but first effort on goal came at 15th minute, when Pogba got denied by ex-Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel, before Martial was inches away from converting Juan Mata’s delightful cross at the back post. Half an hour of the game didn’t bring any spark, but next minute game changed. Mata was brought down inside the box by Simon Kjaer, when he tries to control Michael Carrick’s pinpoint cross, and referee pointed towards penalty spot. Pogba calmly took the penalty and send Fenerbache goalkeeper Volkan Demirel the wrong way to give United 1-0 lead at 31st minute.
Three minutes later, French referee Benoit Bastien pointed to the spot again, when Martial was brought down by Sener Ozbayrakli. This time Martial took the responsibility from the spot and emulated Pogba to give 2-0 advantage to United. Fenerbahce almost responded immediately when Souza checked inside of Eric Bailly inside the box but his low shot was kept out by an alert David De Gea. United third was best of the night from Pogba in 45th minute when Rooney’s cross found Jesse Lingard, and he launched the ball to Pogba who made a sublime finish from 20-yard into the top corner for his second of the game.
United were already at front with 3-0 lead from the first-half, but Jesse Lingard make it 4-0 within three minutes of second-half play. Fenerbahce found the consolation goal in 83rd minute from none other than van Persie who was the key man for Manchester United in winning their 20th title in English Premier League. Van Persie got an standing ovation from the Old Trafford faithful marking his homecoming with the goal he craved, tapping in Emenike’s cross from close range. De Gea then had to be alert to push away Souza’s long-range effort as the Turks threatened again.
Manchester United will return to Premier League action on Sunday against Chelsea, when Mourinho makes his eagerly awaited return to Stamford Bridge. Jose Mourinho’s men earned a second win in Europa League Group A to sit second at the halfway point, ahead of facing the Turks again in a fortnight’s time at the Sukru Saracoglu Stadium.