Manchester United v LASK: Europa League last 16, second leg – live!

manchester-united-v-lask:-europa-league-last-16,-second-leg-–-live!

22 min “Will the lesser-spotted Jesse Lingard be a United player next season if Sancho joins the already overcrowded forward roster?” asks Justin Kavanagh.

I think United will struggle to get rid of him even if they want to. He’s on pretty big money – £100,000 a week, reportedly – and I can’t think of an obvious fit in the Premier League. I might have said Brighton before they signed Adam Lallana. Actually, Mourinho might take him – Lingard played his best football, by far, under him.

21 min Nothing much is happening. But you knew that would be the case before the game.

17 min “Fosu-Mensah is, if not quite someone I’d carry a candle for, a player I really liked the look of when he first came about,” says Christopher Faherty. “Cover at right-back is an issue fpr us, Dalot’s a solid enough player when he lines out but appears to be made of biscuits.”

You were there at his birth? But seriously, Ole clearly doesn’t trust Dalot, rightly or wrongly, and Fosu-Mensah is certainly worth keeping. He’s still only 22. I’m not sure he’ll ever be good enough to be a regular but at this stage of United’s development I think he’s fine as a squad player.

16 min Michorl belts a first-time shot into orbit from 30 yards. He wants a goal at Old Trafford, doesn’t he.

14 min United haven’t really got going yet. Lingard looks quite bright, as does Fred, but James has been peripheral and Ighalo hasn’t had any decent service.

10 min LASK are bright and breezy in possession, and look like they have come to enjoy themselves. A long throw is headed behind by Maguire for LASK’s first corner. It’s booted behind for another by Fosu-Mensah. The second corner is whipped in dangerously by Michorl and headed up in the air by one of a number of bodies on the six-yard line. Andrade runs onto the loose ball and loops a header against the crossbar. The rebound eventually comes to Wiesinger, who whistles a shot just wide of the far post.

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5 min Michorl receives possession 50 yards from goal, inhales the rarefied Old Trafford air and tries to drive a chip over Romero. It drifts well wide.

4 min Fred sprays a superb 60-yard pass across the field to Mata. He moves into the area and tries to find the unmarked Ighalo in front of goal, but his square pass is unusually scruffy and Andrade stretches to concede a corner.

Mata swings the corner to the far post, where Maguire heads over the bar. That was a decent chance.

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3 min While LASK can’t go through, they can still win a match at Old Trafford, and that would mean plenty. Their odds (14/1 last time I looked) are pretty generous given they are playing against United reserves.

1 min Peep peep! After a minute silence, the players on both sides take a knee. And then LASK get the match under way, kicking from right to left. They are in white; United are in their new 2020-21 home strip. It’s not great, I can’t lie to you.

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The players emerge on a cool evening in Manchester. There has been a bit of talk about players potentially forcing their way into the team for the Europa League mini-tournament, but realistically that’s not going to happen. With the possible exception of the goalkeeper, we all know what the starting XI will be against FC Copenhagen on Monday: de Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Williams; Pogba, Matic; Greenwood, Fernandes, Rashford; Martial.

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It’s been 146 days since the first leg, and for once Uefa aren’t to blame. No, I can’t remember much about it either. Happily for both of us, Tim de Lisle has turned an apparently everyday match into a memorable piece of writing.

FC Copenhagen 3-0 Istanbul Basaksehir (agg: 3-1) is the final score in Denmark, so United will play Copenhagen in Cologne on Monday.

Shakhtar Donetsk have also qualified with a 3-0 win over VfL Wolfsburg (agg: 5-1). It was 0-0 after 88 minutes. Shakhtar will almost certainly play Basel, who lead Eintracht Frankfurt 3-0 from the away leg, in the last eight.

It looks like United will face FC Copenhagen in the quarter-final on Monday. They are 3-0 up against Istanbul Basaksehir, an aggregate lead of 3-1, with 25 minutes to play in Denmark

Team news

With a couple of exceptions, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has picked his B team. Harry Maguire and Brandon Williams are the only survivors from the team that started against Leicester 10 days ago. The big hitters are all on the bench and will probably stretch their legs in the last half hour.

Man Utd (4-2-3-1) Romero; Fosu-Mensah, Bailly, Maguire, Williams; McTominay, Fred; Mata, Lingard, James; Ighalo.
Substitutes: Grant, Pogba, Martial, Rashford, Pereira, Fernandes, Greenwood, Wan-Bissaka, Matic, Garner, Chong, Mengi.

LASK (3-4-2-1) Schlager; Wiesinger, Trauner, Andrade; Ranftl, Holland, Michorl, Renner; Frieser, Balic; Raguz.
Substitutes: Lawal, Gebauer, Filipovic, Reiter, Ramsebner, Muller, Wostry, Haudum, Sabitzer, Celic.

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Preamble

Good evening. Look, let’s not get carried away: if LASK go through tonight, it will only be the most astonishing result in football history. They trail 5-0 from the first leg, and now they have to go to Old Trafford. They have two chances, and slim is self-isolating.

For Manchester United, this is a warm-up for the Europa League mini-tournament in Germany that starts next week. United’s potential route to a first trophy under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sn’t easy, but nor should it keep them awake at night:

Quarter-finals FC Copenhagen or Istanbul Basaksehir

Semi-finals Wolves, Olympiacos Roma or Sevilla

Final Internazionale, Getafe, Bayer Leverkusen, Shakhtar Donetsk or Basel

First they must do an hour and a half of admin at Old Trafford. The fun starts at 8pm.

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