Home » Marcus Rashford rescues United after first-half fiasco

Marcus Rashford rescues United after first-half fiasco

Sancho, Malacia were poor which prompted Ten Hag to opt for the Mancunian and Shaw

by Ayantan Chowdhury

Manchester United survived a first-half scare to end up securing a 3-2 victory against Omonia Nicosia in the Europa League on Thursday.

After a humiliating defeat at the hands of Manchester City, Erik ten Hag wanted his side to show a statement of intent at the GSP Stadium in Cyprus.

However, the start was anything but as the hosts took the lead against the run of play through a fine counter-attack which was finished off by Karim Ansarifard.

Malacia, Sancho struggle

It was lax play by Tyrell Malacia which led to the Omonia goal. The left-back was poor in possession and was rightly hooked at half-time.

This was the second time in a week that Ten Hag decided to take off the Dutch full-back and Malacia will want to forget this week as quickly as possible.

He was not helped in the slightest by Jadon Sancho. The winger has been in clinical when presented with an opportunity inside the box but his wing play remains tepid at best.

Once again, he was not aggressive and chose to pick the safer option time and time again instead of taking on his man. The goal came after Sancho passed the ball back to Malacia who failed to shield it from the physically imposing Omonia players.

He was seen jogging back instead of sprinting for the goal. Ten Hag certainly had some words for him at the break.

The second-half was a completely different affair with Luke Shaw replacing Malacia and Marcus Rashford replacing Sancho.

Rashford, who had a poor derby day, made an immediate impact as he scored the equaliser and teed up fellow substitute Anthony Martial for United’s second.

Rashford saves the day

The Mancunian was not done as he coolly slotted home United’s third to guarantee the win. It was great to see him take on his man and beat him for pace down the line quite a few times.

He still has some way to go before becoming a centre-forward but his direct wing-play carries far more threat than Sancho.

Shaw was great as well as he bombed forward at will and constantly overlapped down the left in an effort to tee up one of the attackers.

The display will not have pleased the Dutch manager despite the three points. Conceding twice against Omonia was not the best way to silence critics after a Derby day thrashing.

The mental fragility shown by the team in the first-half was not the best sight and getting counter-attacked so easily will give Ten Hag food for thought ahead of Everton.

For now, he will be pleased with Rashford and Shaw’s second-half contribution and Martial’s goal-scoring run.

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