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Europa League: Man Utd progress in dismal encounter

With a 5-0 first leg lead from the clash in Austria Manchester United eased into the last eight with a 2-1 win against LASK.

Utd's 7-1 aggregate success ended the Linz outfits longest European campaign in their history, yet without ever looking too impressive on the night, but then all the hard work had been done in the away leg.

In the first period LASK tried to attack at all times which meant the hosts looked more dangerous on the break without really looking threatening.

LASK almost had the early goal they needed when Utd failed to clear a corner and Andres Andrade rose highest to head against the crossbar. From the resulting scramble Philipp Wiesinger dragged his shot wide.

Whilst the visitors pressed and created half chances Utd relied on the quick break but lacked the final pass to cause problems what was a scrappy opening half.

The half was summed by Utd forward Odion Ighalo who hesitated inside the six yard box and was tackled as effort was not matched by skill.

Harry Maguire twice had decent heading opportunities to put Utd on the scoresheet but failed to keep his efforts down. Neither keeper was particularly worked hard although home custodian Sergio Romero had to make a smart diving save from Marko Rauz's snap shot.

Ighalo should have opened the scoring at the beginning of the second half, but after turning his marker his weak shot was easily saved.

Brandon Williams then made a driving run down the left into the penalty area but his hard low cross evaded three onrushing Utd players.

But the goal when it came was of a quality which was against the general pattern of play. On 55 minutes Utd thought they had cleared a corner but the ball fell to Wiesinger whose first time 25 yard effort gave Romero no chance.

But that slight glimmer of hope lasted just a couple of minutes as Utd quickly levelled through Jesse Lingard with the aid of a deflection following a lightening break.

LASK continued to press and a fierce shot from Dominik Frieser was beaten away by Romero but it was Utd who were looking the more dangerous on the counter attack as the game drifted into mediocrity.

Substitute Anthony Martial ensured the Utd win on the night with a late effort from close range following another assist from Juan Mata.

The last time United reached the quarter finals of the Europa League they won the tournament back in 2016-17, when Jose Mourinho' was in charge.

Full Time

Man Utd: (5) 2 (Lingard 57, Martial 88)

LASK: (0) 1 (Wiesinger 55)

Man Utd go through 7-1 on aggregate

Att: Played behind closed doors

Ian Ferris
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Ian Ferris

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