Manchester United thrash Partizan Belgrade to secure place in Europa League knockout stages

Tom HomewoodAssistant Producer
Yahoo Sport UK

Manchester United secured their place in the knockout stages of the Europa League with a comfortable 3-0 win over Partizan Belgrade at Old Trafford.

Teenager Mason Greenwood put the Red Devils in front midway through the first half, before Anthony Martial weaved his way in to make it 2-0 at half-time.

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READ MORE: Marcus Rashford: United happy with Partizan win but there's room for improvement

Rashford’s emphatic strike secured a comfortable 3-0 win for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side, meaning they are the only team in this season's competition to have not conceded a goal.

It’s United’s first win at Old Trafford in any competition since 19 September and sees them move back to the top of Group L on 10 points, two clear of AZ Alkmaar.

Martial celebrates consecutive goals in the Europa League (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Martial celebrates consecutive goals in the Europa League (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made four changes to the side that was beaten at Bournemouth at the weekend.

Sergio Romero replaced birthday boy David de Gea, while Marcos Rojo, Mason Greenwood and Juan Mata started in place of Victor Lindelof, Daniel James and Andreas Pereira.

Anthony Martial had the ball in the back of the net after just five minutes with a clinical finish, but he was ruled offside after Marcus Rashford's through ball.

Rashford had a great chance himself soon after, but the England forward dragged his effort wide from 10 yards out following good work from Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

The 22-year-old missed another opportunity, scuffing an effort after Mata put it on a plate for him six-yards out and Vladimir Stojkovic pounced on it.

After more lovely play from Wan-Bissaka down the right his cross again found Rashford, but again he wasted another chance to put United in front, blazing a first-time volley into the East Stand.

Greenwood showed the more experienced striker how its done in the 22nd minute putting the home side in front with his first effort on goal.

Greenwood scoring his third of the season (Photo by Martin Rickett/PA Images via Getty Images)
Greenwood scoring his third of the season (Photo by Martin Rickett/PA Images via Getty Images)

The 18-year-old picked up Rashford’s ball at the back post, turned onto his left foot and tucked it into the corner with a confident finish.

Partizan’s Seydouba Soumah was allowed to run a long way with the ball, got the edge of the penalty area before curling a right-footed shot a yard wide. United didn’t look interested in closing him down and it could have been 1-1.

Martial made it 2-0 in the 33rd minute with a delightful finish. The Frenchman picked up the ball on the edge of the area, skipped past the first challenge, nicked the ball away from a sliding Strahinja Pavlovic, saw Stojkovic coming and poked into the bottom corner.

He could have had a second minutes later after finding himself through again, but he screwed his effort over from the left-hand side with the keeper off his line.

United captain Ashley Young almost added a third before the break, but curled wide from the left edge of the box.

Anthony Martial (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Anthony Martial (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Rashford made it 3-0 four minutes after the restart with a rasping finish, making up for those missed opportunities early on.

Mata played a perfectly weighted ball over to Young, he cushioned it into the path of Rashord who hammered it home first time into the top left corner.

Fred was the next to be thwarted by Stojkovic, curling a free-kick over the wall and towards goal before the keeper tipped it over the crossbar.

A potential injury concern for United came with 15 minutes to go as Scott McTominay was replaced by Jesse Lingard after he overstretch trying to reach for a pass before Aleksandar Scekic came sliding in with a tackle. He’s been one of Solskjaer’s best performers so far this season.

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