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As it happened: Man United v Zorya Luhansk, Europa League

Manchester United got their Europa League campaign back on track with a 1-0 win.

  • Manchester United Z. Ibrahimović 69'
  • Zorya
Image : Nigel French
20,660 Views 35 Comments

Good evening and welcome to our live updates of the Europa League encounter between Manchester United and Ukrainian side Zorya Luhansk. Yep, me neither.

And the visitors….

Zorya: Shevchenko; Sivakov, Chaykovsky, Kamenyuka, Petriak, Kulach, Forster, Karavaev, Ljubenovic, Grechyshkin, Sobol.

Subs: Chuvayev, Sukhotsky, Gordiyenko, Lipartia, Paulinho, Opanassenko, Chercher

Zorya finished fourth in the Ukrainian league last season and are making their debut in the group stages of a European competition, and claimed a very credible draw at home to Fenerbahçe on the last matchday.

These two boys are on show this evening, so hopefully they can shower us with a bit of stardust at Old Trafford.

Manchester United v FC Zorya Luhansk - UEFA Europa League - Group A - Old Trafford Source: Nigel French

Very early days but here is how Group A looks after the first matchday, after United lost away to Feyenoord:

Europa League Group

The teams are walking out to a far from full Old Trafford, but with United naming a strong team. Anything but a win will do this evening for the Premier League side, you feel.

United have a monopolised the ball in the early stages, but are only passing it from right to left in midfield.

Zorya look happy to soak up the pressure for now, at least.

Warning for United as the visitors cut the ball back on the edge of the box but shot goes clear of Romero’s crossbar.

Judging by the early shape it looks like Fellaini sitting back with Mata and Pogba having more of an attacking role. Rashford is currently down the right of the attacking three, Ibra in the middle, with Lingard to the left of him.

WIDE: A Mata corner finds Fellaini but the Belgian can’t direct his header goalwards.

The home side look that bit quicker, sharper and faster than their opponents but Zorya will be more than happy with the way the first 10 minutes have gone. Still goalless.

A good break by the away side with Karavayev getting past Rojo down their right side, but the winger can’t find Kulach in the box with Smalling heading clear at the near post.

United have had 80% of the ball so far, but Zorya have looked menacing on the counter. If the Ukrainians were to get the first goal of the game, things would get very interesting.

Ibrahimovic has acres of space from about 30 yards out, but has last-gasp tackle reduces the amount of power the Swede could produce in his shot. The resulting corner is cleared.

CROSSBAR! Rashford rattles the bar after a Mata corner falls perfectly for the young forward. His strike hit the underside of the woodwork but bounces clear.

I can tell you the score in Tallaght is also 0-0, but Dundalk can consider themselves very unlucky not to get a penalty.

One man IS here tonight, amongst a relatively sparse crowd by United’s standards:

Britain Europa League Soccer Source: AP/Press Association Images

Grechyshkin’s free-kick from a clumsy foul by Bailly is easily dealt with in the United box.

There is no real intensity in tonight’s game as of yet, but we should see some goals.


United have a free-kick from 30 yards after a foul on Ibrahimovic. Can imagine Pogba fancies a bang.

It was Ibrahimovic who won the battle to take the free-kick but his low attempt is blocked by the Zorya wall.

No breakthrough looks likely at the moment. At times, United are strolling around the park. No hint of Mourinho’s men trying to raise the tempo.

OVER! Pogba and Mata link up nicely on the right flank, the Spaniard darts in to the box but can’t adjust his body to direct the ball on target.

Pogba in the action again this time. He hits a diagonal ball to Ibrahimovic, but Lingard can only fling a leg at it, and it’s cleared.

OVER! Fellaini again from a corner, the Belgian is found by Mata at the near post, but his header is directed downwards and goes over the bar.

We’re one minute away from half-time. And we’ve had a grand total of zero shots on target. That stat is actually rather faltering to this match.

Please come back to us in the second-half, it honestly couldn’t be that bad again.

These are the options Mourinho has on the bench:

Subs: Johnstone, Carrick, Schneiderlin, Martial, Young, Memphis, Rooney.

You’d expect to see at least a couple of the last four names to be brought off the bench at some stage.

OFFSIDE: Zorya found themselves with four against three, but somehow make a mess of the situation with a misplaced pass, but the attacker had already strayed offside.

Cameras have focused on Carrick and Rooney and they seem to be in deep conversation as to what is going wrong here.

CLOSE! Ljubenovic just can’t reach a deep cross after Fosu-Mensah mistimes his his clearance. The away side have made a positive start to the second period.

Ibrahimovic is very deep at the moment, and he tries to find Mata in the box, but he can’t find the inch-perfect pass required.

Zorya break, but it is stopped by Fellaini who commits a deliberate foul – but doesn’t see yellow.

BREAK! Another break from Zorya, but again poor decision-making costs the away side not getting a shot on goal.

Karavayev tries to find Ljubenovic but the ball is intercepted and cleared in a two-on-two situation.

Pogba tries to create a one-two with Rashford by the ball from the Frenchman goes needlessly out for a throw to the Ukrainians.

You feel if Zorya just showed a bit more belief in their attacking quality, they could sneak a goal here tonight, but so far yet to test Romero.

SUB: Kulach is off for the away side with Paulinho coming on in his place.

TACKLE: Pogba shows some initiative and tries to find Rashford who was making a clever run in the box, but a last-ditch sliding tackle ends the attack.

YELLOW CARD: A reckless tackle from Bailly on Paulinho sees the defender in the book.

Wayne Rooney is getting some instructions – and is about to enter the fray.

SAVE: Romero saves well after Paulinho curls a shot from the edge of the box. In truth, it was a nice height for the goalkeeper, but he did well to push it clear.

Finally, a shot on target at Old Trafford!

He’s had a quiet game, but we know the Swede is so deadly in the box.

It’s ends up being quite a bizarre goal.

Mata finds Fosu-Mensah down the right flank, he then picks out Rooney in acres of space in the box, but the England striker awkwardly hits the shot into the ground and into the air, but Zlatan was there to head the ball in from close range.

CLEARED: A teasing cross from Rashford from the edge of the box is cleared by Shevchenko in the Zorya goal. United going through the gears here.

DOUBLE CHANGE FOR UNITED: Young on for Fosu-Mensah and Martial replaces Mata.

Here is a picture of Zlatan’s close range header that gave United the lead:

Manchester United v FC Zorya Luhansk - UEFA Europa League - Group A - Old Trafford Source: Nigel French

OVER: Zorya’s free-kick from 25 yards right in from of the United goal goes well over the bar from Lipartia. Poor attempt.

CHANCE! Good skill from Petryak in the United box, but the winger just can’t find one of the on-rushing attackers in the box, with Bailly managing to divert the cross out of danger.

OVER! Another out-swinging United corner finds Fellaini, and the Belgian has the space and time to adjust his body, but his acrobatic volley goes high and wide.

5 minutes to go at Old Trafford. United look comfortable, but don’t rule out an equaliser yet.

In case you’re not aware, Dundalk lead 1-0 against Maccabi as the sides enter the closing stages in Tallaght.

SAVE: Karavayev’s header from the penalty spot, following a Paulinho cross is easily gathered by Romero.

Three minutes added time here. Full-time can’t come soon enough, it has been that bad.

It’s all over at Old Trafford and it was a hard watch.

It was truly awful.

United win, but there are few other positives for Mourinho to take tonight.

We’ll have all the reaction from Manchester, throughout the night.

UEFA Europa League
Manchester United 121 Fans
1 - 0
Full Time
Zorya 45 Fans
Thursday, 29 September, 20:05
Z. Ibrahimović 69'
Yellow Cards
E. Bailly 63'
M. Kamenyuka 90'
Red Cards


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