Given such a poor start to the season and the opening day loss to Real Sociedad, that is another sign of progress from Erik ten Hag’s side and naturally makes life easier when club football resumes after the World Cup.
With qualification for the Champions League places fierce in a Premier League context, perhaps Europe’s secondary club competition should be taken seriously.
Winning it, after all, was how Jose Mourinho ensured he took United back into the big time during his first season in charge of the club.
Then there’s the simple fact of winning a trophy being something to build on. It has been five years since United lifted silverware of any kind and something to show for ten Hag’s maiden campaign in charge of the club would be most welcome.
What do Manchester United need to do to win Group E?
Heading to Real Sociedad, ten Hag’s side must win by two clear goals. Should United win by two or more goals, they will top Group E. If United win by one goal, draw or lose, Sociedad will finish as group winners.
Further down the group, Sheriff Tiraspol can still make it into the Europa Conference League should they avoid defeat to Omonia by three goals or more.