Manchester United have gone to Moldova and have done what they were expected to do. They defeated Sheriff Tiraspol without any problems and earned their first points in the Europa League this season. Erik ten Hag’s side had an unexpected weekend off, which led to having more days to work on new things behind the scenes and not play in the Premier League.
This resulted in Ten Hag fielding the strongest possible starting eleven in Chisinau, which was more than enough for the Red Devils to get three points with a 2-0 victory. There was not much wait for the goals to come, as Jadon Sancho netted the opener just over the quarter of an hour into the game. It was before half-time that United got their second, when Cristiano Ronaldo scored from the spot to bring what turned out to be the final score. Here is what we learned from this match.
Sancho Shows Southgate He Was Wrong
Jadon Sancho’s great start to the season had seen him score two Premier League goals, which led to United’s victories over Liverpool and Leicester City. That was not enough, however, for Gareth Southgate to call the young Englishman into the national team squad for the September Nations League matches. But the snub for Southgate only resulted in Sancho’s new response with a goal and a strong performance. He was clinical in front of the goal once more and if his displays continue to be at this level, there will be less and less chances of Southgate omitting him from the final 26-man World Cup squad in November.
Cristiano Finally Scores
It was a long, long wait, but now it is over. For the first time since May, Cristiano Ronaldo finally scored, his first of the new season. It was a good day for the Portuguese who managed to net the penalty and celebrate for the first time since Erik ten Hag arrived in Manchester. The 37-year-old scored his 699th club goal and his first ever in the Europa League. He might just be starting, with the World Cup looming…
Malacia Unexpectedly At Right Back
Tyrell Malacia is one of the new signings which fans were the most impressed with so far this season, with his performances at left-back producing quality displays both in attack and defence. But this match was somewhat different, with Luke Shaw coming onto the pitch instead of Diogo Dalot. With two left-backs in play, it was Malacia who switched to the right flank, filling the void in the final 20 minutes. Malacia did well in that position as well, he tried to move forward whenever he had the chance and even became some sort of an inverted full-back, slotting in closer to midfield when United were in possession.
United Go On A Long Break
Now that Man United got their win in Moldova, they will be 17 days without a match. They will not play in the Premier League this weekend either and will only return to action following the September international break. This means United’s next match will be the toughest one possible, as they will go to Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium on 2 October.