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Dublin: 11 °C Saturday 6 June, 2020


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Good evening

Hello everyone and welcome to The42′s live coverage of Manchester United’s Europa League clash with Partizan Belgrade, which I’m sure you’re as excited for as I am…

Gavan Casey here with the short straw, and I’ll be taking you through tonight’s action from Old Trafford where victory for United will see them reach the next round of the competition.

We’ll get through it together. Catch ye in a few with team news!

Team news

Here’s how United line out at Old Trafford tonight. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has made four changes to the side that went down 1-0 at Bournemouth.


I actually can’t find the Partizan team at the moment, so bear with me for a few moments, please.

Partizan team to play Manchester United

88 V. Stojković
72 S. Urošević
23 B. Ostojić
73 Nemanja Miletić I
3 S. Pavlović
19 A. Šćekić
11 T. Asano
6 B. Natcho
16 S. Zdjelar
20 S. Soumah
9 U. Sadiq

Subs: N. Stevanović, R. Brežančić, I. Vujačić, A. Lutovac, Z. Tošić, F. Stevanović, Đ. Ivanović

What do you reckon?

Make a call on it, so…

Poll Results:

Manchester United to win by three or more goals (68)
Manchester United to win by two goals (62)
Manchester United to win by a goal (54)
Draw (46)
Partizan to win by three or more goals (32)
Partizan to win by a goal (21)
Partizan to win by two goals (4)

This game is on Virgin Media — oh, wow, Celtic have just scored a last-minute winner to beat Lazio in Rome! Anyway, sorry, this game is on Virgin Media 2 as well as BT Sport 2, if you have either of those.


Manchester United have managed just one shot on target in their last two Europa League games, with that effort being Anthony Martial’s penalty against FK Partizan in the reverse fixture, per Opta Stats. I’m confident that they can at least double that tally this evening, albeit it might require another penalty.



Partizan get us underway at Old Trafford.


A nice run by Marcus Rashford who threads a ball through for Anthony Martial, but the Frenchman is miles offside and flagged long before he slips the ball past Stojković into the bottom corner. Bright start, though, by two of United’s attackers.


Hooooly! Partizan are denied a freak goal, again for offside. A poor ball by Harry Maguire and Partizan work the ball toward the edge of the area. Marcos Rojo slide-tackles the ball off of Soumah and it loops over Sergio Romero into the net from outside the area.

The travelling contingent’s celebrations, however, are cut short as Natcho was in an offside position during the build-up.



Oh, Rashford probably should have scored. A poor enough cross by Wan-Bissaka somehow finds him at the back of the Partizan area, but the English forward’s first-time strike zips wide of the far post with Stojković rooted to the spot!



Lovely reverse ball by Martial into Juan Mata, who turns his defender smartly and squares to Rashford. Stojković, however, smothers his effort well and regathers at the second attempt.

Nice play by United, who have looked fairly sharp in the final third so far.


Wan-Bissake loses possession in a dangerous area and Partizan fashion a half chance with neat interplay outside United’s box. Romero, however, comes out to scoop up the final pass as Zdjelar attempts to latch onto it.


United carve out another opportunity: Wan-Bissaka beats his man and his floating cross lands for Rashford, whose volley is skied over the bar. Not his day near goal, so far.

We’ve also seen very little of Mason Greenwood over the course of the first 16 minutes.

Flag 21Mins

GOAL for Manchester United!

GOOOOOALLLL!!! And with his first significant contribution of the evening, it’s Mason Greenwood who gets it! A fortuitous pass from Rashford — intended for Mata — finds Greenwood on the right-hand side of Partizan’s box. He cuts inside, and applies a cool finish back across Stojković. United lead!


Half a chance for Partizan! Soumah on the counter attempts to curl one beyond Romero.

Then, down the other end, Martial comes within a whisker of doubling United’s lead with a wonderful effort from just outside the area. Inches.

United haven’t scored more than once at home since beating Chelsea 4-0 on the opening day of the Premier League season, but they look good money for a second here.


There’s a good tempo to what United are trying to do. Crisp, neat passing in Partixan territory, decent movement as well.

Also, I can’t wait for my half-time cup of tea. Think I might raid the box of Roses over on one of the other desks as well, but keep that to yourselves.


Yellow card for Partizan midfielder Natcho who scythes down McTominay as the United man lets the ball go across his body and tries to turn his man.

Flag 33Mins


OHHHHH, THAT IS SENSATIONAL! Anthony Martial, take a bow! The Frenchman collects a loose pass on the right flank and slaloms through the Partizan rearguard, every touch made to perfection, before slipping the ball under the onrushing Stojković.

A fantastic goal! Worth a look later if you get the chance.

United are on their way to the last 32.


Chance for Martial again! United fans are scarcely finished celebrating his wonderful solo goal and he’s in again! But this time, his attempt to lop Stojković with his left foot is a little too heavy, and it clears the bar.

Still, this is good stuff by United, admittedly against limited opposition. They’re playing with a kind of swagger.


Another chance goes a-begging for Rashford, who tries to flick it over Stojković with his left but the big Serbian stays big enough to block the effort. Incidentally, Vladimir Stojković has previously played against United when he was between the sticks for Sporting CP 11 years ago. It was Cristiano Ronaldo who scored winners both at home and away that season, if memory serves.


Added time: 2 minutes



Great movement by United and Martial attempts to tee up Rashford, who is only a whisker away from getting on the end of it with the goal gaping. Rashford might have had a hat-trick already on another night.


Ah, lads… No way.


…Who would leave the box there like that? Absolutely ludicrous behaviour. I had been thinking about them for the last 20 minutes.


Second half

The action is back underway at Old Trafford. Let’s see if United can build upon a very promising first half.

You won’t be able to see this, but I’ll be furiously waving my scarf for the next 45 minutes in protest at the lack of Roses.

Flag 49Mins


THERE IT IS! Rashford makes no mistake this time, a stunning finish for 3-0! Beautiful crossfield ball by Mata to Young, whose lay-off to Rashford is perfectly weighted. Rashford hammers it into the top corner off his left — his fifth goal in his last five starts.


Oooft, very close by Ashley Young! His free-kick curls just wide of the left-hand post, skimming the side-netting.

Moments later, Rashford is almost in again but Stojković — who has been excellent, really — is out once more to narrow the angle and block his shot.


Pavlović gets a yellow card for obstruction and United have a free-kick from what might best be described as Marcus Rashford territory after his goal in the League Cup against Chelsea, although slightly further right.

It’s Fred who hits it, actually — a fine strike — and Stojković tips it over the bar, although hardly at full stretch.


James Garner, 18, is coming on for Fred. It’s his fourth appearance for United but his first at Old Trafford. A special moment for the young midfielder.


Things have died down a bit since Rashford’s goal. Really, the highlight has been Garner’s introduction. Ball just bobbling around in midfield at the moment.

Andreas Perreira now on for Rashford, who gets a standing ovation. He should have bagged a couple more, but it was a superb overall performance.


Filip Stevanović replaces Asano for Partizan. He’s a year younger than Garner at 17. What a moment for him, too!

Although he’ll hardly be daunted: he scored as a 16-year-old in one of their Europa League qualifiers in the summer.


I missed it somehow, but former United winger Zoran Tosic came on for Partizan some 10 or 12 minutes ago, too.


Here comes Jesse Lingard, and if you thought Garner and Stevanović were young at 18 and 17 respectively, then how about this fella? He turns 27 next month!

Lingard is on for McTominay, who looked to be in some discomfort after stretching for a ball.


Martial is almost in but a very good intervention from attacker Tosic, weirdly, prevents him from pulling the trigger.

United just going through the motions here, though. Rolling it around in the Partizan half. Side to side. Back and forth.

Stick a fork in this one.


Added time: 3 minutes


This man has been in super form. United fans will hope his knock isn’t too serious.

manchester-united-v-partizan-belgrade-uefa-europa-league-group-l-old-trafford Source: PA Wire/PA Images



Flag 90Mins

Full-time: Manchester United 3-0 Partizan

So that’s it. United impressed in the first half, and strolled the second half (maybe with the weekend in mind, given most of the same players will be involved).

In truth, I could have headed home after Rashford’s goal and it would have made no odds — nothing happened in the last 40 minutes. But United will take plenty of positives from the first half especially.

manchester-united-v-partizan-belgrade-uefa-europa-league-group-l-old-trafford Source: PA Wire/PA Images

They’re through to the round of 32 in the Europa League with two games to spare.

Thanks for joining us, and we’ll catch you next time!

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