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Dublin: 11 °C Wednesday 25 April, 2018


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Good evening and welcome to our live coverage of Manchester United’s trip to Zorya in the Europa League.

The teams are in.

First up the hosts:

Zorya: Levchenko; Opanasenko, Sivakov, Forster, Sukhotskiy; Karavaev, Kharatin, Chaykovskiy, Petriak; Ljubenovic; Bezborodko.

Substitutes: Shevchenko, Kulach, Lipartia, Paulinho, Grechyshikin, Bonaventure, Checher.

And the visitors.

Manchester Untied: Romero; Young, Bailly, Blind, Rojo; Herrera, Pogba; Mkhitaryan, Mata, Rooney: Ibrahimovic.

Substitutes: De Gea, Fosu-Mensah, Jones, Fellaini, Lingard, Martial, Rashford.

The welcome news for United fans is the sight of Eric Bailly in the starting XI with the Ivorian making his first start since coming off in the Premier League match against Chelsea in October.

It’s not immediately clear as to how Mourinho’s men will line up, with no natural left-sided winger in the team, but it looks as if it could be Rooney.

Mourinho was concerned that the match may not go ahead yesterday, but the match is definitely going ahead.

“The pitch is very hard, the pitch is very icy,” he said yesterday. ”They are putting warmth on the top of it, but the pitch is very difficult and people cannot make miracles. Let’s hope everything goes well.”

The Permutations:

Group A

- A win or a draw will guarantee United a place in the last 32.

- A defeat, and United will need Feyenoord not to beat group leaders Fenerbahce in the other group game to progress.



Kick-off in Ukraine is at 18:00. The temperature is expected to drop below freezing in  Odessa when the match kicks off.

As if you didn’t know, Zorya currently sit in third place in the Ukrainian Premier League after 17 games – a whopping 16 points behind leaders Shakhtar Donetsk.

The teams have taken to the field at the Chornomorets Stadium. Kick-off is moments away!

Before we start, we’ll have a moments silence for all involved in the Chapecoense air disaster.

Mkhitaryan has started on the left for United, Mata on the right. Rooney and Ibra are up top. I’m sure the four though will be pretty fluid in the next 90 minutes.


Mkhitaryan finds Mata on the edge of the box, but the Spaniard’s attempted through ball to Zlatan is cut out. Decent start by the away side.


Levchenko in the Zorya goal, is making his European debut tonight, expect United to test him from range early on.


SAVE! Kharatin’s driven shot on the edge of the box is pushed away by United goalkeeper Romero. The follow-up from Petryak only troubles the side netting.


SHOT! After several Blind crosses are half-clear by the home side, Herrera takes a shot from 25 yards but it is no trouble to Levchenko.


It’s all a bit scrappy at the moment from United after a relatively bright start. Attacks are not quite clicking, yet. More purpose in the passing needed.


WIDE! Pogba’s powerful attempt from 25 yards goes just wide.

Herrera’s cross-field ball finds Young on the right flank, he passes back to Ibrahimovic who tees the ball up for the Frenchman, but he can’t direct his shot on target.


A lovely darting run by Pogba sets Rooney free, but the England captain fails to control a simple ball as United looked to be in on goal.


There is good news from a United perspective in the other Group A game, as Fenerbahce take the lead in Holland, meaning as it stands no matter what happens in the Ukraine, Mourinho’s men will progress.


WIDE! Pogba takes a shot from distance in frustration and it’s a wild attempt. Dreadful.


WIDE: Chaykovskiy robs Mata in midfield and then goes on to make an inspired run, before the ball falls to Karavaev, but his shot goes just wide of Romero’s post.


CLOSE! Moments later an audacious chip by Mata from a difficult angle hits the side netting.


OVERHEAD! Bailly’s bicycle kick from a United corner is saved. Good improvisation from the Ivorian.


SAVE! A swerving attempt by Rooney from 25 yards is tipped over by a relived Levchenko.


OVER! Rojo’s shot in the box from the resulting corner clears the crossbar, when he really should have done better.


That’s it for the first 45 minutes. As it stands, United are heading into the knockout stages of the Europa League.


I hope you can contain your excitement. The second-half is about to begin in Odessa.

Flag 46Mins

Here’s hoping for a much better second 45. The second period is under way! 


The Armenian gets his first goal for United and he made it look so easy.

Rojo picks up the ball in midfield and squares a simple pass to Mkhitaryan who slaloms his way through the Zorya defence, the winger then beautiful glides his attempt past Levchenko into the bottom right corner.

Beautiful goal.


SUBS! First changes of the game as Bonaventure replaces Bezborodko and Grechyshkin takes the place of Kharatin, for the home side.


The subs have definitely lifted Zorya here.

They are committing more bodies forward, but having said that, United still look comfortable.


SUB! United’s first change – Mata is off, Lingard is on.


GOOD DEFENDING! Bailly has been solid as a rock for United at the back and makes a vital block preventing Bonaventure bursting through on goal.


SUB: Fellaini comes on for Rooney. His United career may not be over after all?


Bailly look set to be taken off with an apparent injury, but he makes it clear to the bench he is fine to continue.


SUB! Final change for Zorya as Lipartia replaces Ljubenovic.


CHANCE! Sivakov with a header from close range following a Zorya free-kick, but Romero denies the Ukrainians with a fine save.


OVER! Mkhitaryan’s free-kick is met by the head of Fellaini, but the Belgian can’t direct his attempt on target.


WIDE! Lingard’s tame half-volley doesn’t trouble the Zorya goal after Zlatan does well to win a lost cause in the air.


OVER! A good run by Ibrahimovic ends with the Swede’s curing effort going over the bar.


YELLOW CARD! A late challenge by Herrera sees the midfielder booked.


SUB! Final change for the visitors as Fosu-Mensah comes in for the goalscorer Mkhitaryan.


A delicate ball by Pogba sets up his fellow summer signing Ibrahimovic through on goal and the Swede shows all the poise and composure you’d expect to coolly slot home.


CLOSE! A nice one-two between Zlatan and Fosu-Mensah sees the sub denied by the goalkeeper at the near post.


We’re into the first minute of three to be added on!


FT: Zorya 0-2 Man United 

A decent night’s work for United with Mkhitaryan and Ibrahimovic getting on the scoresheet to send Mourinho’s side into the knockout stages of the Europa League.

We’ll have all the reaction throughout the night.

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