Thu. Sep 24th, 2020

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Manchester United 2-1 LASK (7-1 aggregate): Red Devils coast through to Europa League quarter-finals

4 min read

It wasn’t worth waiting five minutes for, never mind five months, but Manchester had already done more than enough in Austria in May.

They advance to the business end of the Europa League in Cologne next week and a quarter-final meeting with Copenhagen.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side will go into the mini-tournament in Germany as favourites, even though there was little evidence to support that on a drab night at Old Trafford.

Anthony Martial wrapped up a late win for United in the second leg tie as they coasted through to the Europa League quarters

Jesse Lingard celebrates scoring the equaliser for Man United, his second in two games after starting in the Europa League tie

Jesse Lingard celebrates scoring the equaliser for Man United, his second in two games after starting in the Europa League tie

Jesse Lingard celebrates scoring the equaliser for Man United, his second in two games after starting in the Europa League tie

A 5-0 lead from the first leg before lockdown turned this tie into the deadest of rubbers and gave Solskjaer the chance to make changes again. He has used 36 players in Europe this season, a record for the competition.

Once again, however, United’s strength in depth was found lacking. When people question the club’s pursuit of Jadon Sancho because they already have Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford in the wide positions, this is why.

On one flank, Juan Mata looked like a 32-year-old in need of game time. On the other, Dan James played like a man whose season has been petering out for some time. Elsewhere, United were sloppy in possession and lacked pace and creativity without their key players.

LASK defender Philipp Wiesinger stunned Man United by giving his side the lead with a long-range strike after the break

MATCH FACTS FROM OLD TRAFFORD 

MAN UTD (4-2-3-1): Romero 6.5; Fosu-Mensah 6 (Mengi 84), Bailly 6, Maguire 6.5, Williams 6.5 (Chong 72, 6); Fred 5 (Pereira 64, 6.5), McTominay 6; Mata 7, Lingard 7 (Pogba 63, 6), James 5n(Martial 84); Ighalo 5.5. 

Subs: Grant, Rashford, Fernandes, Greenwood, Wan-Bissaka, Matic, Garner.

Scorer: Lingard 57

Booked: McTominay

Manager: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer 6

LASK (3-4-3): Schlager 6; Wiesinger 7 (Sabitzer 73, 6), Trauner 6.5, Andrade 6.5 (Filipovic 80); Ranftl 6.5, Holland 6, Michorl 5.5, Renner 7; Frieser 6, Raguz 7, Balic 6 (Reiter 66, 6). 

Subs: Lawai, Gebauer, Ramsebner, Muller, Wostry, Haudum, Celic.

Scorer: Wiesinger 55

Booked: Michorl

Manager: Dominik Thalhammer 7

Referee: Anastasios Sidiropoulos (Greece) 6

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LASK deserved to take the lead when Philipp Wiesinger put them in front with an excellent finish 10 minutes after half-time, but Jesse Lingard equalised with his second goal in as many games. 

Fireworks were set off several times outside Old Trafford early in the second half and we were sorely in need of some inside the ground as well.

Wiesinger rose to the challenge with a super goal to put LASK in front after 55 minutes. Once again, United were less convincing in clearing their lines from a corner and the ball reached the LASK defender 25 yards from goal. 

The Austrian wheels away after breaking the deadlock for the unfancied away side in the second half, securing a consolation

The Austrian wheels away after breaking the deadlock for the unfancied away side in the second half, securing a consolation

The Austrian wheels away after breaking the deadlock for the unfancied away side in the second half, securing a consolation

Wiesinger kept his composure and guided the ball with his right foot beyond Romero and into the top corner.

The lead last barely two minutes before United struck back. Mata swung a pass over the top of the Austrians’ defence to send Lingard clear and he had more than enough time to pick his spot before slipping the ball past Alexander Schalger.

Once again, however, United’s strength in depth was found lacking. When people question the club’s pursuit of Jadon Sancho, this is why. They lacked creativity for long periods and were sloppy in possession.

But LASK's lead only lasted for around 93 seconds as Jesse Lingard was played through on goal and calmly finished to level

But LASK's lead only lasted for around 93 seconds as Jesse Lingard was played through on goal and calmly finished to level

But LASK’s lead only lasted for around 93 seconds as Jesse Lingard was played through on goal and calmly finished to level

LASK deserved to take the lead when Philipp Wiesinger put them in front with an excellent finish 10 minutes after half-time, but United hit back to win with goals from Jesse Lingard and substitute Anthony Martial, with Juan Mata setting up both. 

The lead last barely two minutes before United struck back. Mata swung a pass over the top of the Austrians’ defence to send Lingard clear and he had more than enough time to pick his spot before slipping the ball past Alexander Schalger. 

United midfielder Paul Pogba looks to impress on the ball after being brought on as a substitute by manager Solskjaer

United midfielder Paul Pogba looks to impress on the ball after being brought on as a substitute by manager Solskjaer

United midfielder Paul Pogba looks to impress on the ball after being brought on as a substitute by manager Solskjaer

Manchester United youngster Brandon Williams looks to protect the ball from LASK's Phillipp Wiesinger in the early stages

Manchester United youngster Brandon Williams looks to protect the ball from LASK's Phillipp Wiesinger in the early stages

Manchester United youngster Brandon Williams looks to protect the ball from LASK’s Phillipp Wiesinger in the early stages 

United forward Odion Ighalo challenges Wiesinger and Andres Andrade as the teams battle for possession at Old Trafford

United forward Odion Ighalo challenges Wiesinger and Andres Andrade as the teams battle for possession at Old Trafford

United forward Odion Ighalo challenges Wiesinger and Andres Andrade as the teams battle for possession at Old Trafford 

It was Lingard’s second goal in as many games after scoring at Leicester.

Mata also had a hand in United’s late winner when he twice combined with Martial on the edge of the box to send the Frenchman through, and Schalger couldn’t keep out his close-range effort.

United will need to be better in Cologne but they are likely to be a very different proposition when the serious business gets underway again. 

Midfielder Jesse Lingard reacts after missing a chance to add to United's healthy advantage in the Europa League knockouts

Midfielder Jesse Lingard reacts after missing a chance to add to United's healthy advantage in the Europa League knockouts

Midfielder Jesse Lingard reacts after missing a chance to add to United’s healthy advantage in the Europa League knockouts

Ighalo looks to provide an outlet for United up front as he hooks a ball into the air while under pressure from LASK players

Ighalo looks to provide an outlet for United up front as he hooks a ball into the air while under pressure from LASK players

Ighalo looks to provide an outlet for United up front as he hooks a ball into the air while under pressure from LASK players

The Red Devils failed to have a shot on target in the first half in a cagey affair against their Austrian opponents in Manchester

The Red Devils failed to have a shot on target in the first half in a cagey affair against their Austrian opponents in Manchester

The Red Devils failed to have a shot on target in the first half in a cagey affair against their Austrian opponents in Manchester 

Relive all the action from the game with Sportsmail’s JAMES AYLES below. 

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