Three things we learned from Manchester United – RB Leipzig

Manchester United - RB Leipzig
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Manchester United – RB Leipzig: Super sub Marcus Rashford scored a hat trick as Manchester United gave its manager another hugely impressive win in the UEFA Champions League, the Red Devils beating RB Leipzig 5-0 at Old Trafford on Wednesday.

Leipzig leads the Bundesliga and had allowed three goals through five matches. Whoops.

Mason Greenwood made a fine run and finish off a terrific Paul Pogba set-up to give United a halftime lead, then his replacement Rashford put the ball in the goal despite a raised AR’s flag and saw the goal count before converting another breakaway chance.

[ UCL: Full lineups, stats, box scores ]

Anthony Martial scored a late penalty before assisting Rashford’s hat trick goal.

United hosts Arsenal on Saturday before a midweek trip to Turkey to meet Istanbul Basaksehir and maybe, just maybe, more or less ice a place in the knockout rounds.

Manchester United – RB Leipzig was an even game that saw the hosts show better finish than the visitors before running away with the result.

USMNT midfielder Tyler Adams was an unused sub for Leipzig in his return from injury.


Three things we learned from Manchester United – RB Leipzig

1. Ole makes a claim: Raise your hand if you thought Julian Nagelsmann was going to seriously outfox under-fire Ole Gunnar Solskjaer? We need to put our hand down in order to continue typing. Pogba on the left was a smart move and Donny van de Beek showed that he’s capable of pulling the strings when Bruno Fernandes needs to be rested (though we’d love to see them together).

Solskjaer pushed the right buttons with his starting lineup and then put Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford into the match in a pair of luxurious substitutions that wouldn’t have lifted the Leipzig spirits. It’s not like Nagelsmann was overrun by Solksjaer’s genius but the match was a good one and United’s defense held firm. When it didn’t, David De Gea was there though he wasn’t nearly as necessary as he was against PSG last week.

2. Pogba on the left: On the latest ProSoccerTalk Unfiltered, PST lead writer Joe Prince-Wright asked why Paul Pogba hasn’t been tried on the left. He had plenty of success there for Juventus, after all, and has done some good things for France, too.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer clearly watched the show and put the Frenchman on the left side of a diamond. Pogba showed his elite class in setting up United’s opener, a dribble that can only be described as powerful leading to a nice touch pass to send Greenwood on goal.

 

3. Upamecano audition? While the world is well aware of Dayot Upamecano’s quality, the big center back will have won even more admirers as he was certainly Leipzig’s best player at Old Trafford. Most of the goals came as Leipzig chased a result, Upamecano finishing the day with four tackles, an interception, 9-of-13 duels won, and a crazy 13-of-17 completed long balls. Any club with resources has been linked with the 22-year-old French defender and United’s said to be near the top of his most active suitors.

Man of the Match

Rashford. Easy. He now has nine goals and two assists in 20 UCL appearances.

Follow @NicholasMendola