Manchester United cemented their place as winners of Europa League Group L by hammering their nearest rivals AZ Alkmaar 4-0 tonight at Old Trafford.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer brought several of the clubs academy graduates into his starting XI, resting the likes of Marcus Rashford and Scott McTominay.
Manchester United‘s mix of reserves and youngster would struggle during the opening period, with the Dutch outfit by far the better side throughout the opening 45 minutes.
However, United would spring to life during the second-half with Solskjaer’s side putting four past the visitors in a breathtaking 11-minute spell, the first one of which coming from veteran Ashley Young, who steered home a Juan Mata cross at the back post.
Highly-rated youngster Mason Greenwood would then further enhance his burgeoning reputation with two impressive finishes, which were sandwiched at either side of a Mata penalty.
Speaking after the game United midfielder Mata admitted his side started poorly, but he was delighted with the second-half display.
6 – Only Marcus Rashford (13) has scored more goals than Mason Greenwood (6) in all competitions for Manchester United this season. Lethal. pic.twitter.com/9dkN0iBo0T
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 12, 2019
“It feels good,” Mata told BT Sport.
”I think the second half was very good. AZ were good in the first half and we didn’t have rhythm.
”We started the second half much better and we changed our shape a bit. We have scored four goals, we are through and it is a happy night.”
Mata also revealed how happy he was for rising star Greenwood, praising the 18-year-old’s finishing ability.
“Every time he plays, he scores,” the Spaniard said.
”In training, he might not touch the ball a lot but he is a finisher and a killer in the box. He is a nice kid and I’m very happy for him.”
With their Europa League campaign now on hold until the knockout stages next year, United’s attention will turn to the visit of Everton on Sunday in the Premier League.
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