UEFA Europa League | 29 September 2016 | Old Trafford | Attendance: TBC | Scorer: Ibrahimovic 69
Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s close-range header secured Manchester United a much-needed win from a flat Europa League clash with Zorya Luhansk. I was not impressed with United as Ibrahimovic’s second-half goal near-saved United from humiliation – and was enough to secure a crucial Europa League victory over Zorya on Thursday evening at Old Trafford.
Photo: United striker, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, no. 9, headed the ball home into Zorya Luhansk’s back post.
United were frustrated for long periods of the game but found the all-important breakthrough 20 minutes from time, as Ibrahimovic headed home at the back post.
Possession: United 75% Zorya 25%
Shots: United 7 Zorya 3
On target: United 0 Zorya 0
Corners: United 7 Zorya 2
Zorya certainly played their part at Old Trafford and frustrated the United side for large parts of the game but Ibrahimovic’s close-range header would eventually secure a 1-0 win that may not have enthralled any United fan but kick-starts United’s Group A campaign in the UEFA Europa League.
United dominated possession from the outset but struggled disappointingly to translate that control into goals which seemed far away. Having kept the Red Devils at bay for so long, Zorya were visibly disappointed as well, and almost conceded again when Fellaini volleyed over with time running out. Zorya had a late chance through Aleksandr Karavayev, but goalkeeper Romero saved comfortably to ensure a vital victory.
Possession: United 72% Zorya 28%
Shots: United 15 Zorya 8
On target: United 2 Zorya 1
Corners: United 9 Zorya 4
United: Romero; Fosu-Mensah (Martial 73), Bailly, Smalling, Rojo; Fellaini, Pogba; Lingard (Rooney 67), Mata (Young 73), Rashford; Ibrahimovic.
Substitutes not used: Johnstone, Carrick, Schneiderlin, Memphis.
Zorya: Shevchenko; Sivakov, Chaykovsky (Gordiyenko 80), Kamenyuka, Petriak, Kulach (Paulinho 59), Forster, Karavaev, Ljubenovic (Lipartia 76), Grechyshkin, Sobol
Substitutes not used: Chuvayev, Sukhotsky, Opanassenko, Chercher.
It was a drab UEFA Europa League football match from the onset and United looked ordinary. However, we came away with a victory against Thursday’s relatively unknown Ukrainian opponents, albeit, in a drab way!
Up Man U!