Carrick steadies United ship with outstanding win over Villarreal

Carrick steadies United ship with outstanding win over Villarreal

Almost 48 hours after the sack of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, interim manager, Michael Carrick got his reign off to the perfect start with a 2-0 win over Villarreal in the UEFA Champions League.

The win ensures United are through to the last 16 of the tournament.

Cristiano Ronaldo and a first-ever United goal from Jason Sancho ensured a good start for the interim tenure of the former United midfielder.

Carrick made a statement with his first lineup as he dropped Bruno Fernandes to the bench while Donny van de Beek, Anthony Martial, and Sancho all started in the forward positions in support of Ronaldo.

United started in a very docile manner-keeping Villarreal at bay with a disciplined defensive performance. Fred was a great performer as he ensured he broke up the Villarreal attacks and passed the ball intelligently.

But they needed David de Get to keep them in the match, especially with saves from Manuel Trigueros in the 27th and 59th minutes.

Cristiano Ronaldo

Trigueros must have thought he had opened the scoring in the 59th minute but De Gea got a strong wrist to parry the ball over the bar.

Carrick sent on Fernandes and Marcus Rashford on the hour to replace Van de Beek and Martial and both players had hands in the two goals.

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First, in the 78th minute when Fred robbed Etienne Capoue and when the ball fell to Ronaldo, the legend produced an unerring finish over Geronimo Rulli to score his 140th UCL goal.

On the dot of full time, Sancho put the gloss on a counter started by Fred by smashing in the ball off the crossbar to give United the perfect riposte after their shambolic 4-1 defeat away to Watford on Saturday, which led to Solskjaer’s sack.

United will finish at least in the second position in Group F having beaten second-placed Villarreal twice though Atalanta will go second if they get a good result against Young Boys.

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