Villarreal 0-2 Man Utd: Cristiano Ronaldo and Jadon Sancho fire Michael Carrick to first win

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 (AP)
(AP)

Michael Carrick guided Manchester United through to the Champions League round of 16 with a win over Villarreal on Tuesday evening.

Taking over a side who had conceded four goals away at Watford on Saturday, Carrick seemingly looked to keep things tight against a team who had caused United serious problems in their last two meetings.

While there had been suggestions from Paul Scholes that Carrick and his team should have left Old Trafford following the sacking of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the interim boss did make some big calls.

Bruno Fernandes was dropped in favour of Donny van de Beek while Jadon Sancho was also handed another start in what, during the first-half, was a disciplined performance.

It may not have been pretty but, frankly, United needed to prove they can stop leaking goals and resemble something approaching a coherent team. For large parts, they did, albeit a stunning save from David De Gea kept them level before the Villarreal intensity dropped off.

Indeed, that continued before goals from both Cristiano Ronaldo (a wonderfully improvised lob) and Sancho after good pressure from Fred helped them through to the next round.

Chelsea on Sunday will provide a tougher test but, for now, it’s certainly something to build on.

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