Manchester United cruised into the Europa League knockout stages following a routine 3-0 victory over Partizan Belgrade at Old Trafford.
Mason Greenwood’s well-taken opener and a brilliant solo effort from Anthony Martial put United in control at the break. This is the first time United have scored two first-half goals at home this season.
Marcus Rashford continued his scoring streak when he rifled home his fifth goal in six appearances within four minutes of the restart. And, barring the loss of Scott McTominay to injury late on, it was comfortable from there on for United. They now consolidated the top spot in Group L and a place in the round-of-32.
Partizan fought fire with fire in a frenetic start that saw Martial and Umar Sadiq’s efforts ruled out for offside in the opening five minutes. But that was as close as Partizan would get as their strategy backfired and United strode towards the next round.
Rashford wasted two chances to open the scoring inside the opening quarter of an hour. However, he made amends on 22 minutes when his through ball reached Greenwood in the area, and the 18-year-old brilliantly switched onto his left foot before firing past the wrong-footed Vladimir Stojkovic in the Partizan goal.
And, after that classy finish, Greenwood diverted the ball into the path of Martial. The striker then slalomed his way past three defenders before finishing off a fine solo effort with a toe-poke into the corner.
Second half begins
United entered the break in front and in control. It took just four minutes for them to assert their authority again as Ashley Young cushioned a long diagonal into the path of Rashford, who added the third goal. The Partizan goal was at the mercy of United, as Young and Fred went close with free-kicks.
With qualification secured, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer handed James Garner his first home senior appearance to close out the game at Old Trafford.