Jose Mourinho‘s side begun gingerly, probing Fenerbahce’s goal with minimal end product.
Pogba’s cool finish from the spot after half an hour, which came after Juan Mata was bundled over in the box by Simon Kjaer, precipitated a period of sheer domination from the home side, with Anthony Martial, Pogba and Lingard adding further goals to seal a comfortable 4-1 win.
Speaking after the game, Lingard pointed towards the penalty when explaining the reasons behind Man United’s imposing display.
“I thought it was a solid performance by us,” he said.
“I think the early goal settled us down and gave us the confidence to score a lot more goals, which we did. I thought we dominated the game throughout.”
It was a complete performance from United. More importantly, though, it was a blueprint for what the 53-year-old demands of his side. Mourinho has always placed emphasis on the importance of the ‘killer pass’; the first 20 minutes – eerily reminiscent of last year – served as a perfect example of this exact strategy. The home side weren’t just aimlessly shifting the ball from side to side, looking to wear the opposition out.
No, they were looking for that killer pass – a pass that eventfully came through Carrick and his splendid ball through to Mata after half an hour. This was United’s catalyst to surge forward, to make further inroads against a side now wary of a defence splitting pass coming their way.
United fans saw the tip of Mourinho’s iceberg tonight, and will be hopeful to see his men continue in the same vein on Sunday.