Mason Greenwood

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Man United cruise to 5-0 lead in Europa League last-16 (video)

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Manchester United all but sealed their place in the Europa League quarterfinals — should the competition continue over the coming days and weeks — with a 5-0 demolition of LASK in the two sides’ round-of-16 first-leg clash in Linz, Austria, on Thursday.

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The game was played in an empty stadium due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Five different Red Devils scored on the day, including a pair of forwards in January signing Odion Ighalo and 18-year-old Mason Greenwood.

Ighalo tallied his fourth goal (all competitions) since joining Man United on transfer deadline day, with his second in the Europa League. While he is still awaiting his first Premier League goal for the club, he appeared to be in fine form with his left-footed strike to open scoring in the 28th minute.

Daniel James and Juan Mata made it 2-0 and 3-0, respectively, before Greenwood pinged the ball off both posts before sneaking over the goal line in the 91st minute. Andreas Pereira added a fifth for good measure just seconds after the restart.

United are tentatively scheduled to host LASK for the second leg at Old Trafford next Thursday.

More coronavirus connections to soccer:

Fernandes runs the show as Manchester United crushes Watford

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Bruno Fernandes scored a goal and helped set up two as Manchester United beat Watford 3-0 at Old Trafford on Sunday.

Anthony Martial recorded United’s second goal with a magical finish off his own rebound after Fernandes sent him through on goal, while Mason Greenwood added a late goal after a 1-2 with the Portuguese.

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United is now fifth with 41 points, three points back of fourth-place Chelsea.

Watford had a goal chalked off by VAR, and remains in the bottom three with 24 points. That’s one point off 17th and two off 16th.


Three things we learned

1. Bruno as advertised: There was no question Fernandes addressed a need for the Old Trafford set, but few would’ve seen the Portuguese revolutionizing the team’s attack so quickly (and also underlining how badly United has missed Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba). It’s not silly to say Fernandes could’ve had four assists on the day. Magnificent stuff from the 25-year-old. No surprise he has Cristiano Ronaldo’s endorsement.

2. Greenwood shows another glimpse: The Mason Greenwood hype train hasn’t been as pronounced as Marcus Rashford’s of years past, and we’re grateful for that. But his shoulder move and sick cut before dribbling 50 yards to combine with Fernandes on the third goal of the game was gorgeous stuff. More hope for the future.

3. This: It’s easy to forget the heights of which somewhat-mercurial Anthony Martial is capable.

Man of the Match: Fernandes had four key passes and was perfect in his take-ons and ground duels. Incredible show.


Poor communication between Harry Maguire and Nemanja Matic sprung Troy Deeney toward goal, but United left back Luke Shaw saved his teammates further blushes with a block.

Abdoulaye Doucoure then ran onto a dummied Gerard Deulofeu pass but found himself closed down by David De Gea.

United should’ve been up through Wan-Bissaka when Foster parried a cross onto his path, but the English back struck the ball tamely into the outside of the goal.

Bruno Fernandes led a terrific 38th-minute move, and Daniel James eventually teed up Fred for a shot that curled wide of the goal.

The January signing danced past Ben Foster and hit the deck when the Watford goalkeeper went to ground. VAR stayed with the call on the field, and Fernandes finished well with a little hop step.

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Deeney looked to have made it 1-1 in the 52nd minute, thumping a. ball into the top of the goal when a corner kick was turned off the post by Craig Dawson‘s arm. It was attached to his body, but that does not matter in the attacking box.

Martial instead made it 2-0 off a Fernandes feed, collecting his own rebound before dribbling Watford dizzy and spinning a chip into the goal.

Fernandes spotted Maguire with a seeing-eye cross in the 69th, but the defender’s header was poor.

Greenwood scored his goal in the 75th, carrying the ball 50 yards before working a 1-2 with Fernandes and finishing with aplomb.

Odion Ighalo came close to getting on the board for his new club against his old one, but Adam Masina deflected his shot off the post.

Man Utd, Wolves split spoils at Old Trafford

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There was nothing to separate Manchester United and Wolves in a scoreless draw at Old Trafford on Saturday.

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It was a terrific advertisement for Portugal, with Joao Moutinho, Ruben Neves, and Bruno Fernandes all putting together performances on the day.

The points earned move both to 35 points, one behind fifth-place Sheffield United.


Three things we learned

1. Fernandes the real deal: Bruno Fernandes didn’t get on the score sheet on debut, but the big money January signing showed United fans what they already knew they were missing. The Portuguese had over 100 touches, three shots on target, and a penchant for finding dangerous spaces. As much as any player can be worth the big prices thrown around these days, Fernandes showed signs of being worth his.

2. Wolves run the midfield, still: While Fernandes was pretty good and plenty promising, Wolves’ midfield duo of Ruben Neves and Joao Moutinho were the momentum merchants over 90 minutes. United had most of the ball, but Neves and Moutinho were sure to make sure the spaces to make plays were mostly well outside the danger areas.

3. Red Devils defend well: The Wolves back line wasn’t your proverbial chopped liver, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s men had a day. Even in moments when they were skinned, like Diogo Jota dicing up Victor Lindelof, the others were there to deal with the danger. Both Luke Shaw and Aaron Wan-Bissaka had key moments out wide, and Maguire was strong in the middle.

Man of the Match: Moutinho posted 89 percent passes and connected on five of six long passes while winning seven of 10 duels, making six tackles and three interceptions.


Both clubs had chances early, the best an Andreas Pereira arrow well wide of the goal.

Wolves star Raul Jimenez was his influential self, and United needed Luke Shaw and Harry Maguire interventions in the first 23 minutes.

Adama Traore rocketed a 35th minute shot just over the goal.

Juan Mata laid off for Bruno Fernandes to rifle at Rui Patricio in the 40th, and Fernandes mishit another bid within 45 seconds.

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Diogo Jota cooked Victor Lindelof in one of two early second half moments of promise without end product for Wolves.

Fred had a penalty call go unheard when his shot struck Joao Moutinho’s arm, and Fernandes hit a hopeful ball to Patricio as the match neared its final 20 minutes.

Substitute Mason Greenwood smashed a shot that took two turns before Patricio collected it in the 79th.

Maguire was denied off a set piece when Patricio raced off his line to close down the big back.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka sent in a beautiful cross in the fourth minute of stoppage time, but Diogo Dalot‘s stooping header bounded wide of the frame.

Solskjaer begs for hard-nosed striker at Man United

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is pleading with Manchester United ownership for a striker with character, drive, and a fearless style of play.

Following Manchester United’s 1-0 win over Manchester City that wasn’t enough to secure advancement to the Carabao Cup final, Solskjaer was clear about what his team needs as the January transfer window comes to a close in the next few days.

[ RECAP: Man United wins, but Man City advances ]

“We need more goalscorers, more goals, someone who wants to break their nose or toe to score,” Solskjaer said after the match. “It doesn’t always have to be nice goals. I need to challenge them more.”

The need comes in the absence of starting striker Marcus Rashford who is out two to three months with a double stress fracture in his back. Solskjaer had Rashford playing through injury due to the lack of options at the club, and that seemed to backfire.

Midfielder Nemanja Matic scored the lone goal for Manchester United in the win over Man City, but the Red Devils could not get enough production to overcome an eventual 3-2 aggregate loss over the two legs, with Solskjaer admitting that Manchester United’s “quality wasn’t great.” In fact, Man City probably should have scored on at least two or three occasions, and Pep Guardiola said – somewhat fairly – after the match that “we were better.”

Manchester United does have young academy product Mason Greenwood at the ready up front, having performed incredibly well in domestic Cup competition. However, at just 18 years old and with very minimal top-flight experience he would be tough to rely on for an entire half-season. Greenwood started against Man City, but was hauled off at halftime in favor of winger Daniel James, with Anthony Martial moving into a more central striker role.

Manchester United smashes Norwich City

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Marcus Rashford scored twice and Juan Mata had two assists as Manchester United blasted Norwich City 4-0 at Old Trafford on Saturday.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood also scored for the Red Devils, who pull into fifth with 34 points.

Norwich City remains dead last with 14 points and a league-worst 45 conceded goals.


Three things we learned

1. Rashford’s arrival unquestioned: The hype surrounding United’s 22-year-old forward beat him to stardom by at least two years, but he’s here now. Rashford goes to the dirty places to get goals, but is also capable of conjuring the sublime. He now has 19 goals across all competitions including 14 of 35 in league play. It’s a marvelous season as the Englishman has justified United’s willingness to sell Romelu Lukaku.

2. No Pukki, no party: Teemu Pukki hasn’t been as electric as his early season showings, but the Finn brings a threat. United didn’t need to account for that with prospect Adam Idah leading the line, which allowed the defenders to worry more about Emiliano Buendia and Todd Cantwell out wide. Norwich remains very much in for it and will finish the weekend at least seven points clear of safety.

3. Williams takes another step toward long-term left back spot: Brandon Williams isn’t consistently starring at left back for Manchester United, but the 19-year-old has been average on his worst days. Believe it or not, we wrote this before he run a penalty with a surging run into the box.

Man of the Match: Rashford.


United wanted a penalty when Christoph Zimmermann and Anthony Martial had a moment, but VAR saw the Frenchman stumble and nothing more.

A rare start for Juan Mata was a wise choice, the Spaniard setting up Rashford for the match’s first goal with a delightful cross.

[ MORE: Premier League stats ] 

The Red Devils broke open the dam with quickfire goals from Rashford and Martial, as Norwich City’s basement status was reinforced via goal differential.

Greenwood came off the bench to round out the scoring, United successfully continuing its pursuit of the Top Four.