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Dublin: 8°C Sunday 29 November 2020
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Hello, and welcome to what could be our last Europa League liveblog for quite some time.

Man United travel to face LASK. They might not be the most high-profile team in the competition, but the Austrians’ recent record suggest they will be no pushovers.

They are currently on the longest run of any side in European competition, having won four and drawn two of their last six games.

It’s particularly impressive when you consider there were three sides with good European pedigree in their group — Rosenborg, PSV and Sporting CP.

That said, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men won’t be too fearful of their opponents. It’s been an inconsistent and unpredictable season at Old Trafford, with several occasions where the Red Devils appeared to have ‘turned a corner’ only to subsequently fall right back down to earth with a few bad results.

They come into this game in decent form, though. They are unbeaten in their last five league matches, beating Man City and Chelsea in that period, though with intense competition for a Champions League spot in the Premier League run-in, they will hope to get in via the Europa League route in case their domestic form goes awry once again.

7Mins

Michorl skips past Luke Shaw very easily and wins a free kick wide right, after the full-back is penalised for fouling him.

The same player then takes the free kick, but it’s badly overhit and misses all the attackers waiting in the box.

8Mins

Interestingly, Brandon Williams is playing at right-back this evening to accommodate Shaw on the left.

United have had more of the play so far without creating much.

13Mins

Klauss bursts into the box and goes down under the challenge from Maguire.

The ref waves play on and it’s the correct call — the attacker went down too easily.

20Mins

Ighalo crosses for Mata who can’t properly connect with it.

Moments later, Mata is found again by Williams, but the Spaniard can’t find the net from just inside the box, with his effort deflected narrowly wide.

He’ll be disappointed not to have scored at least one of those quick-fire chances.

Shortly thereafter, Ighalo turns sharply and produces a decent shot from outside the area that forces a decent save from Schlager.

United are very much on the front foot now.

24Mins

James goes close this time.

He takes one touch on the edge of the area, before his shot is parried out for a corner by Schlager.

United continue to look the better side.

26Mins

lask-v-manchester-united-uefa-europa-league-round-of-16-first-leg-linzer-stadion A young LASK fan in the stands wearing the match scarf ahead of the UEFA Europa League round of 16 match. Source: Bradley Collyer

29Mins

United are deservedly ahead and it’s the two recent arrivals that combine.

Fernandes lofts it through to Ighalo and the striker takes a couple of touches before firing a sublime finish into the corner, leaving the goalkeeper with no chance.

38Mins

Not for the first time, a LASK free kick in a decent position out wide has been overhit by Michorl.

The hosts have been pretty poor in the final third so far.

41Mins

A cross breaks to Frieser inside the area. However, Bailly does well to clear a shot from a tight angle that might have crept in.

LASK are starting to look a bit more threatening now as half-time approaches.

44Mins

Fernandes puts in a dangerous corner and Maguire towers above everyone but heads wide.

United are well worth their 1-0 lead and certainly should have more.

45Mins

So half-time and United are playing with a confidence befitting of their recent improved form.

Ighalo’s goal was special, but otherwise sub-par finishing has been a characteristic of this game. 

United wasted a couple of gilt-edged chances, while their opponents have lacked composure in the final third.

Based on the opening 45 minutes, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men should not have much trouble advancing to the next round.

48Mins

Luke Shaw is booked for taking down Reiter just outside the area.

Decent start to the second half by the hosts.

50Mins

lask-v-manchester-united-uefa-europa-league-round-of-16-first-leg-linzer-stadion Manchester United's Odion Ighalo (centre-left) celebrates scoring. Source: Bradley Collyer

52Mins

Shaw crosses for Mata, but he can’t keep his first-time finish from the edge of the area down.

The Spaniard’s finishing this evening has been pretty poor.

57Mins

58Mins

Ighalo sets up McTominay, whose shot from the edge of the area is tame and easily saved.

United have had 59% of possession and continue to dominate.

58Mins

United double their advantage.

Ighalo sets up James, who takes it round Trauner, before shooting powerfully and low into the corner from the edge of the area.

It’s the Welsh winger’s first goal since August and it’s hard to see a way back for LASK from here.

60Mins

LASK make a change.

Raguz has replaced Tetteh, who had a quiet night.

63Mins

Fernandes plays it to Ighalo.

The striker is through, but his effort hits to the post, much to their opponents’ relief.

72Mins

Michorl finds space on the edge of the area but blasts well over in a moment that sums up the home side’s finishing this evening.

Meanwhile, there are two changes. Balic replaces Frieser for LASK, while Chong, the youngster who recently signed a new contract, is on instead of James for United.

76Mins

Klauss is afforded plenty of space, but he fires a few inches wide from distance.

LASK are throwing everything at United now, but they remain ineffectual in front of goal.

They make another change, as Haudum replaces Holland, who appears to have picked up a knock.

78Mins

It’s now United’s turn to make a change.

Andreas Pereira is on for Bruno Fernandes, who has played well tonight.

80Mins

LASK appeal for a penalty.

There are claims a cross hits off the arm of Fred, but VAR declines to award the spot kick.

83Mins

United effectively seal the win and probably the tie.

It’s a beautiful through ball by Fred. Mata, having been wasteful previously, produces a cool finish for his side’s third of the evening.

84Mins

United make a final substitution.

Another impressive performance by Ighalo comes to an end, with teen starlet Mason Greenwood coming on in his place.

90Mins

There will be three minutes of stoppage time, as LASK search, seemingly in vain, for a late consolation.

90Mins

Chong plays a lovely through ball and Greenwood beats the goalkeeper at his near post with a powerful shot.

That’s his 12th goal of the season in all competitions.

90Mins

Pereira’s shot from distance creeps under Schlager.

It’s an awful error by the goalkeeper.

So United have all but secured their place in the quarter finals of the Europa League, which could well be postponed indefinitely of course.

The Red Devils were far too good for LASK this evening and the 5-0 win was a fair reflection in the gap in quality between themselves and the Austrians.

Ighalo and Fernandes will be particularly satisfied with their evening’s work, having both delivered eye-catching displays against the hapless hosts.

Right, that’s all from me for now.

You can read our report here and we’ll have more reaction to follow.

Thanks for reading and commenting.

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About the author:

Paul Fennessy

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