Europa League talking points- Manchester United 4-1 Fenerbahce

Europa League talking points- Manchester United 4-1 Fenerbahce

PAUL POGBA stole the show at Old Trafford as Manchester United ran riot over Fenerbahce, Pogba opened the scoring for Jose Mourinho's side before Anthony Martial doubled the lead from the penalty spot as the home side easily swept aside their Turkish opponents.

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Manchester United ran riot over Fenerbahce, Pogba opened the scoring for Jose Mourinho's side before Anthony Martial doubled the lead from the penalty spot as the home side easily swept aside their Turkish opponents.

PAUL POGBA stole the show at Old Trafford as Manchester United ran riot over Fenerbahce, Pogba opened the scoring for Jose Mourinho’s side before Anthony Martial doubled the lead from the penalty spot as the home side easily swept aside their Turkish opponents.

The £89m midfielder bagged a second just before the break and Jesse Lingard also found the net while ex-United frontman Robin van Persie poached a consolation goal late on.

Jesse Lingard struck the hosts’ fourth goal early in the second half, with Robin van Persie grabbing Fenerbahce’s consolation on his return to Old Trafford.

Mourinho was criticised for his defensive tactics in Monday’s goalless draw with Liverpool, but United fans were treated to a rather more goalmouth entertainment against Fenerbahce. It took them most of the first half to get going, but Pogba’s penalty sparked Mourinho’s men to life.
The Frenchman’s second goal and Lingard’s strike shortly after half-time were intricately worked and brilliantly executed, and with Juan Mata restored to the starting line-up, some of United’s incisive attacking play was a welcome sight after their laboured recent displays.
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Fenerbahce were hardly the most resilient opponents, but United’s performance showed they can trouble defences without the rested Zlatan Ibrahimovic. For Mourinho, it was a satisfying response to recent criticism.

Mourinho was criticised for his defensive tactics in Monday’s goalless draw with Liverpool, but United fans were treated to rather more goalmouth entertainment against Fenerbahce. It took them most of the first half to get going, but Pogba’s penalty sparked Mourinho’s men to life.
The Frenchman’s second goal and Lingard’s strike shortly after half-time were intricately worked and brilliantly executed, and with Juan Mata restored to the starting line-up, some of United’s incisive attacking play was a welcome sight after their laboured recent displays.

Fenerbahce were hardly the most resilient opponents, but United’s performance showed they can trouble defences without the rested Zlatan Ibrahimovic. For Mourinho, it was a satisfying response to recent criticism.
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However; let take a look at Some of Manchester United’s Key Players –
Where’s Mkhitaryan?

Mourinho declared Henrikh Mkhitaryan fit in the build-up to the game and said it was time for the Armenian to “go back to the levels we know he can achieve”, so it was curious that he wasn’t even among the substitutes at Old Trafford.

His £26.3m arrival from Borussia Dortmund was hailed as one of the signings of the summer, but two months into the season and he has only played 107 minutes of competitive action. He has not featured at all since he was hauled off halfway through the Manchester derby in September.

Mkhitaryan has been hampered by injury, but a Europa League group game at home to struggling opposition was surely a perfect opportunity to get him up to speed. As he watched from the stands, it was difficult to escape the feeling that he still has work to do to earn Mourinho’s trust.

Carrick still has something to offer?

Michael Carrick has hardly featured under Mourinho this season, but he returned to the starting line-up for only his third appearance of the season against Fenerbahce. The veteran midfielder does not bring the same energy to the holding role as Ander Herrera, but he showed he still has something to offer.

Carrick provided a defensive platform for Pogba to impress, breaking up Fenerbahce attacks with a game-high total of five interceptions, and he was typically efficient in possession, finding a team-mate with 71 of his 72 passes. Carrick will be back on the bench against Chelsea, but he may still have a role to play this season.

Pogba’s starring role

Pogba has made a stuttering start to life at Old Trafford, with Mourinho admitting he expected more from the 23-year-old after a muted display in United’s goalless draw with Liverpool on Monday. But while the Frenchman struggled to make an impact in the No 10 role at Anfield, he shone in a more withdrawn role against Fenerbahce.

Pogba had more touches and attempted more passes than any of his team-mates, and he also ranked first for shots and successful aerial duels. His driving runs from deep were a feature of United’s play throughout, and it was one such charge forward that enabled him to meet Lingard’s cut-back for his stunning second goal.

It remains to be seen whether Pogba will stay in a deeper midfield role against Chelsea after Ander Herrera and Marouane Fellaini combined so effectively against Liverpool, but Mourinho will have noted that his best displays have come in games when he’s started in the central midfield two. Sooner or later, he will surely make the position his own.

Mixed night for Rooney

With Ibrahimovic on the bench, Rooney was given a rare opportunity to lead the line. The 30-year-old provided the assist for Lingard’s goal and he was involved in the build-up to Pogba’s second, but there were also loose touches and a couple of moments when his lack of pace was exposed.

More troubling than that, however, was the sight of him passing up two chances to score from the spot. Mourinho played it down after the game, but Rooney has traditionally been United’s first-choice penalty-taker, and he only needs three more goals to equal Sir Bobby Charlton’s Manchester United scoring record.

The Rooney of old would surely have snapped up those opportunities to close the gap. It was tempting to wonder whether a lack of confidence put him off.

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