Manchester United secured their first win in the UEFA Europa League this season with a 2-0 victory away to Sheriff Tiraspol.
Erik ten Hag’s Manchester United train keeps rolling, this time in the UEFA Europa League as the Red Devils romped home to a comfortable 2-0 win against Sheriff Tiraspol.
The Moldovan side caught the attention of Europe with some stunning victories over more illustrious opponents in last season’s UEFA Champions League group stage. The Red Devils were, however, unfazed by the prospect of a giant killing and went about their game with minimal fuss.
Jadon Sancho appears to have found his feet under ten Hag and opened the scoring on the night with a well-taken finish in the 17th minute. Cristiano Ronaldo got his goal tally going with a confident penalty in the 39th minute to put the visitors two up at the break.
The Red Devils took the foot off the gas in the second half and put up just one shot on target. It mattered little given that the game was more or less already decided. The Hard Tackle looks at how the Manchester United players fared on the night.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) September 15, 2022
David de Gea: 6/10
The Spaniard was not troubled much on the night and had little to do. Diogo Dalot put him in a pickle with a poor back pass but thankfully for Manchester United, there was no harm done.
Diogo Dalot: 6/10
The Portuguese international did not start off well and made a poor back pass that had de Gea scampering. He was also poor in possession and did not lack conviction in the first half. Dalot redeemed himself to an extent by winning the penalty that saw Manchester United go 2-0 up.
Raphael Varane: 7/10
The Frenchman used his experience to great effect and kept things simple at the back. He did not take any unwarranted risks and brought the ball out from the back when possible. Varane also linked up well with Lisandro Martinez, and the pair have the makings of a solid centre-back partnership.
Lisandro Martinez: 7/10
The Argentine was the best defender on the night and showed confidence while taking on the opposition. Martinez’s no-nonsense style meant Sheriff struggled to find a way past him on the night. He also made a few long passes that contributed to Man United’s breaks on the counter attack.
Tyrell Malacia: 7/10
An inspired performance from the youngster who bombed up and down the flank all night. He has formed a solid understanding with Martinez and was a bundle of energy that Sheriff found difficult to police.
Scott McTominay: 7/10
The Scottish international was a dominant presence down the middle of the pitch and did not yield an inch of space without a fight. He provided a solid defensive cover to the back four and also played a role in the buildup to Jadon Sancho’s opener.
Christian Eriksen: 8/10
The Danish ace connected the defence to the attack well and made use of his vision to craft several opportunities for the Manchester United attackers. Eriksen was among the standout players on the night and made sure his quality was visible for all to see. To call him the orchestrator of the Manchester United ballad would be an understatement.
Jadon Sancho: 8/10
The Englishman appears to have regained his best form and is now finding the back of the net on a consistent basis. Sancho was arguably Manchester United’s best attacker on the night and broke the deadlock with a well-taken finish early on.
— UEFA Europa League (@EuropaLeague) September 15, 2022
Bruno Fernandes: 5/10
The Portuguese international was far from his best on the night and failed to get going all game. While he did move to link up with Cristiano Ronaldo, it never quite came off. Fernandes will be keen to make up for his disappointing outing with decisive performances in the games to come.
The summer signing played a role in the buildup to the goal and also showed some nifty footwork. However, he is yet to get going and the final product is sorely lacking.
Cristiano Ronaldo: 6/10
The footballing legend will be glad to get his goal tally off the mark this season, but his overall performance left much to be desired. Ronaldo will certainly need to do better to become a regular under ten Hag.
124 – Tonight, Cristiano Ronaldo scored the 699th goal of his club career, with Sheriff Tiraspol the 124th side he’s netted against in all competitions – it was also the first time he has scored in the UEFA Europa League. Contribution. pic.twitter.com/NIEtdAR0PU
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) September 15, 2022
The Brazilian showed fight on the night but will need more to displace McTominay from the starting XI.
Luke Shaw: 6/10
Shaw replaced Diogo Dalot in the second half but enjoyed little joy down the flank.
Anthony Elanga: 6/10
The young Swede had an opening but failed to take full advantage of the opportunity.
Harry Maguire: N/A
The Englishman has certainly fallen down the pecking order and had little time to make a case for his inclusion into the playing XI.
Alejandro Garnacho: N/A
The youngster came on late in the game and had little time to make a difference.