MANCHESTER UNITED VS FC ROSTOV: 1-0
Juan Mata made Manchester United’s dominance count after scoring the only goal of the match. With this win, Manchester United progressed to the Quarterfinals of the UEFA Europa League with an aggregate win of 2-1.
Manchester united also known as Red Devils hosted the European minnows FC Rostov with an away goal advantage as their first encounter ended in a draw 1-1 in Russia two weeks ago. Jose Mourinho’s, the coach of United was in no position to take Rostov as minnows. Before the start of the match, Manchester United has been boosted by the return of their star Forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic who was serving a domestic ban. Although Wayne Rooney still out of the team due to suspension. Still, the United seemed quite strong with their French midfielder Paul Pogba in the line-up.
As the Match started in Old Trafford home ground of Red Devils, Jose Mourinho set a smart field strategy with 3-4-2-1 as they wanted to attack and score a much-needed goal but at the same time strong in defence. While on the other side Rostov largely depended on defensive strategy with 3-2-3-2. From the start of the match, it was quite evident that Manchester United was not going to let Rostov take advantage over them as they had 69% of Ball Possession compared to Rostov’s 39%. Manchester United although tried hard with 17 shots on target but was not benefited as only 3 of them were at Target. Surely they missed their star, Forward Rooney. Ibrahimovic was then kept out 11’minutes before the first half, drilling a fierce effort into the right-hand post after cleverly sidestepping Miha Mevlja in the area. At the end of first half, the score was 0-0 as both the team strong in defence.
Just after the start of second half Manchester United suffered a huge setback as their star midfielder Paul Pogba was injured and M.Fellaini was substituted in his place. The frustration of losing Pogba was quite evident over the face of the coach. It was 70’into the game when a united strike on counter-strike. It started when Mata winning the ball in midfield, then Mkhitaryan fired a low cross to his right were Ibrahimovic tried to flick it into the nett from yards but only managed to back post where again Mata was present, and Mata did it to perfection. In counter-attack Rostov almost snatched an equaliser in twice but ran out of their luck on both the occasions. So at the end of full-time, it was Red Devil’s who managed to win thanks to Juan Mata flick with Manchester united winning 1-0.
Manchester United are now unbeaten in their last 16 European matches played at home with 13-wins and 3-draws. The last time they lost to Real Madrid in March 2013.
Since the start of 2015, Russian cubs have faced English teams eight times in European League and have not won a single time with 3-draws and 5-lost.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been directly involved in a goal in each of his four Europa League appearance at Old Trafford this season with 4-goals and 2-assists shows his dominance.