With the help of a hat-trick from Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Manchester United recorded a commanding 3 – 0 win against Saint-Etienne.
Equally, Juan Mata and Anthony Martial on-target shots were peculiarly saved by Ruffier as Paul Pogba’s header shot hit the crossbar.
The two will meet again on 22nd February.
Zlatan is back!
When Jose Mourihno signed the veteran striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, many questioned the move but the Swedish has proven himself this season. He currently has under his name 23 goals for the season.
The 35-year-old’s latest hat-trick is the 17th in his football career, having done so for Juventus, Barcelona and AC Milan. It is his first at Old Trafford and his second in the European competition.
While commenting on his third hat-trick against Saint-Etienne, Ibrahimovic said that every time he plays against the team, he has to score a couple of goals. “I have scored a couple of goals tonight and hopefully I can do the same next week.”
Ibrahimovic has managed to win 11 titles and 3 domestic cups but what is conspicuously missing from his illustrious career is a major European trophy.
Is it the time for Man-U?
Manchester United has equally never won this competition but their performance may have just raised their hopes high this season. They are scheduled to play against lackburn in the FA Cup fifth round on Sunday and Southampton in the EFL Cup final the following week.
Having worked for just one season at Old Trafford, Jose Mourihno has managed to push his side two points off a Champions League spot in the league. Victory in the Europa League will see his boys automatically qualify for Europe’s elite club competition.
Paul Pogba, the world’s most expensive brother, played against his brother Florentin, who joined the French side in 2012 for 500,000 euros.
The two were watched by their mother Yeo and third brother Mathias from the stands. They exchanged a warm embrace before kick-off after which Florentin took sport at number 19 on side and the younger of the two sporting at 6 on the other side.
The United player said that he enjoyed playing against his brother, considering it is something that doesn’t happen every other day.
He dominated the midfield, effectively proving why United cared to spend £89m on his move from Juventus.