Cristiano Ronaldo finally got his season up and running on Thursday night as Manchester United beat FC Sheriff 2-0 in Moldova. Jadon Sancho was also on the scoresheet as Erik ten Hag chosen a powerful side after losing last week’s Europa League opener against Real Sociedad. With the Red Devils heading into the international break, Express Sport takes you thru five things we learned…
Sancho makes his point
The 22-year-old mounted the proper response to being ignored of Gareth Southgate’s England squad on Thursday. All eyes were on the Three Lions announcement several hours before United’s tie kicked off and there was no room for the previous Borussia Dortmund star, despite places for the likes of Jack Grealish and Jarrod Bowen.
Sancho let his feet do the talking in Moldova as he took Christian Eriksen’s pacey pass under his spell, chopped back onto his left foot and beat Maksym Koval with a tidy finish.
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Ten Hag makes Europa League statement
United’s opponents were overmatched on Thursday, but manager Ten Hag was in no mood to take any probabilities and made it clear that he’s serious about this 12 months’s Europa League. Moderately than take the trip to Moldova as a possibility to provide run-outs to peripheral stars or kids, the previous Ajax boss plumped for seasoned heavyweights who proved greater than able to doing the job.
Ronaldo, Lisandro Martinez and Antony were all wheeled out by the Red Devils to fight for 3 points after losing their Europa opener at home to Real Sociedad last week. It stays to be seen if Omonia Nicosia get the identical treatment on October 6.
Antony yet to search out rhythm
United fans will invariably have desired to see more from Antony against FC Sheriff, together with his £84million price tag bringing lofty expectations. The Brazilian was a passenger for much of the sport, remaining isolated on the right-hand side and missing a possibility to indicate supporters what he’s all about.
That is to not say there have been no good moments. Antony’s quick free-kick to Ronaldo in the primary half put the hosts under pressure and the customary backheel passes drew cheers from the gang, but against opponents who he should, on paper, give you the chance to run rings around, viewers who tuned in specifically to see his talent can have been left somewhat upset.
United’s global reach on show
Despite travelling to about as far-flung a destination because the Europa League has to supply, United’s support wasn’t restricted to only the travelling fans. It appears that evidently not all of the native Moldovans were cheering for FC Sheriff as spots of red dotted all 4 stands of the Zimbru Stadium.
On one hand, the spectacle showed how far-reaching United’s fanbase stretches, but additionally it is partly explained by the undeniable fact that the match wasn’t played on FC Sheriff’s home turf. As a substitute, UEFA moved the match to Chisinau attributable to security concerns.