Reuters

Paul Pogba bags brace as Manchester United thrash Fenerbahce

Pogba bags brace as United thrash Fenerbahce

20/10/2016 at 23:14

Europa League, Group A, Old Trafford - Manchester United 4 (Pogba 31, 45; Martial 34; Lingard 48) Fenerbahce 1 (Van Persie 83)

After enduring a tricky first half-hour, Manchester United wiped the floor with Fenerbahce, the passing of Michael Carrick and dynamism of Paul Pogba far too much for the visitors to handle. They now sit second in Group A, behind Feyernoord - who beat Zorya 1-0 - on head-to-head.

United did not start at all well, finding it difficult to locate space and passing much too slowly. But one pass from Carrick changed everything, lasered flat and 50 yards to Mata, who did superbly to control. Simon Kjaer tghen barged through the back of him and Pogba converted the resultant penalty.

Shortly afterwards, another brilliant pass - this time from Mata to Martial - led to another penalty, this one despatched by Martial. Nor were United finished there, Rooney crossing and Lingard's beautiful touch and lay-off setting Pogba to caress a violent, outswinging sidefooter into the top corner from outside the box.

Three minutes into the second half, United scored again, Pogba and Rooney combining for Lingard to larrup home another belter from outside the box, after which they eased off. This allowed Fenerbahce back into the game, and with seven minutes left, Old Trafford rose to applaud Robin van Persie's consolation goal.

Manchester United's Anthony Martial scores their second goal against Fenerbahce from the penalty spot

Manchester United's Anthony Martial scores their second goal against Fenerbahce from the penalty spotReuters

TALKING POINT - UNITED'S SHAPE AND STYLE

Michael Carrick has yet to start a league game this season, but has been United's best player in the two Cup games for which he has been picked. He passes the ball forwards quickly, positions himself well defensively and, most importantly, doesn't limit the team in the way that Marouane Fellaini still does. Tonight, he got the best out of Paul Pogba and should play at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

Manchester United's Paul Pogba celebrates scoring their first goal from the penalty spot against Fenerbahce with Anthony Martial

Manchester United's Paul Pogba celebrates scoring their first goal from the penalty spot against Fenerbahce with Anthony MartialReuters

MAN OF THE MATCH - MICHAEL CARRICK

Paul Pogba and Juan Mata played well too, but it was Carrick's pass that created the first goal when United were struggling. He makes the players around him play better.

PLAYER RATINGS

Manchester United: De Gea 6, Darmian 6, Bailly 6, Smalling 6, Shaw 7, Carrick 8, Pogba 8, Lingard 7, Mata 8, Martial 7, Rooney 7. Subs: Rojo 6, Depay 6, Fosu-Mensah 6.

Fenerbahce: Demirel 6, Sener 7, Skrtel 6, Kjaer 5, Kaldirim 6, Souza 6, Topal 7, Neustadter 6, Alper 6, Van Persie 6, Sen 6. Subs: Emenike 7, Koybasi 6.

KEY STAT

Paul Pogba hadn't scored twice in a game since November 2014 for Juventus against Lazio. United will be hoping he can do it again this week, never mind this season.

KEY MOMENTS

30 - PENALTY! Lovely long pass from Carrick, 50-odd yards and flat to pick out Mata on the left of the box. He extends a diddy leg, catches the ball, and Kjaer bundles into him as he slips. Silly penalty, but a penalty, and up steps Pogba...

31 - GOAL! MANCHESTER UNITED 1-0 FENERBAHCE (POGBA, PEN) The keeper wipes everything to put Pogba off, and he then does little pigeon steps, a sort of minimalist Zaza, waits for the keeper to dive left and curls right.

MATCH IN A TWEET

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