Europa League Round of 32 1st Leg

Man Utd 3:0 St. Etienne Post-match discussion

Thu, 16 February 2017

Zlatan Ibrahimovic image Man of the Match Zlatan Ibrahimovic
6.5 Total Average Rating
Zlatan Ibrahimovic image 8.0 Highest Rated Player Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Marouane Fellaini image 4.7 Lowest Rated Player Marouane Fellaini
  1. Feb 17, 2017

    AN17 Full Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2015
    Messages:
    740
    Location:
    Somewhere they can't find me.
    Very important that third goal, can rest easy for the second leg a bit. 2-0 would have been tricky, they were really up for it tonight, 3-0 might put them off from really believing they still have a chance at home.
  2. Feb 17, 2017

    top1whoisman Full Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2016
    Messages:
    6,386
    Location:
    Helsinki
  3. Feb 17, 2017

    marlowe78 Full Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2011
    Messages:
    4,039
    Location:
    Teaching Rooney how to work chopsticks
    I think the scoreline flatters us, to be honest. We often looked superb going forward but defensively we were all over the place.

    When talk started of us playing 4-3-3, I was asking myself how that could work with Fellaini in the midfield. In starting Fellaini, Jose must have assumed (correctly, I might add) that St. Etienne were going to play a high-intensity pressing game and we would use him as the outlet when they closed us off. Only trouble was, Fellaini never seemed to be in the right place when it came time to defend - he was either in empty areas of the midfield where he served no purpose or he was playing so far forward to receive balls that he was never getting back in time. This left Herrera with no real partner and trying to cover 20 places at once. I'm not sure why we didn't set up in 4-2-3-1 (or did we? I'm not sure what it was) and then change to 4-3-3 in the second half when St. Etienne would get tired.

    I feel that Bailly is our best defender, but his decisions were atrocious. Yes, he made several key breakups but he often had to correct his own mistakes! That cross-up with Herrera could've put us in a hole very early and Romero should get a lot of credit for coming out and taking away what looked like a clear run towards goal. Bailly looked very focused in the Watford game and I know young players will make mistakes, but this was disappointing.

    The obvious bright spots were Pogba, Martial, and Ibra. Pogba put in a class performance (though he should've had a goal) and some of his passing was just ridiculous. Ibra caught some luck on the first and last goals (to me, a dive for that pen) but it was still the best poaching performance we've seen by a United player in a while. Lingard and Rashford also had clear impacts when they came on, as it gave us truckloads of movement.

    This tie should be put to bed rather easily but performances like this are not going to take us far in the EL. We saw last night that teams with lesser quality players make up for it by focusing on their play as a unit. There are no walkovers in this competition and if there was joking going on before the game like Jose said, that attitude needs to get snuffed out quick. On my 10 point scale, I'll give us a 5. Performance was sloppy but gets us in comfortable position to advance.
  4. Feb 17, 2017

    Cantonagotmehere New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2015
    Messages:
    375
    Location:
    Charm City, MD
    For sure.
  5. Feb 17, 2017

    mitchmouse Full Member

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2014
    Messages:
    2,610
    Ten minutes in, I said we'd need three. St E were are a far better side then I remember and their support at home is pretty much legendary in France. At times we were fantastic going forward (as close to the old days! as we've been in years). Even thought he made some mistakes passing wise, Bailly made two or three vital blocks, Romero never look as if he was going to let one in and even Smalling (I'm not his biggest fan) was good. We missed Carrick and/or Miki but Martial had his best game of the season, Pogba was dominant (he must now do this against the best sides in the PL and Europe) and Mata's passing was good (although I felt he missed yet another great chance. Do I need to say anything about Zlatan? One thing I must raise is although it seemed impossible Robbie Savage's punditry has go worse! And why did no one notice at their penalty appeal that he took Blind's ankles away before going down himself?
  6. Feb 17, 2017

    mitchmouse Full Member

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2014
    Messages:
    2,610
    we may end up playing the second leg in Plymouth (old person's joke!)
  7. Feb 17, 2017

    SqueakyWeasel Full Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2013
    Messages:
    9,795
    Location:
    Taking the next corner instead of Jones!
    I know that in today's "Joe-Safe" and have-to-blame-someone culture (he writes simultaneously bracing myself for overly PC respondents) that last nights shenanigans from the StE fans was probably outside of the "rules".

    But I must say that they added to the atmosphere the whole game through (and in the town before that I've been told) and I for one thought they were amazing!

    FFS UEFA that's real football!
  8. Feb 17, 2017

    Salus Populi Suprema Lex Full Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2016
    Messages:
    498
    Location:
    Salford
    Scoreline definitely flattered us; there wasn't three goals between the performance of the two teams. Some of the defending, especially in the first twenty minutes, was tragic, and we could easily have conceded. I don't know whether it was a touch of complacency, but the start wasn't nearly good enough. I thought the two players who stood out for us were Valencia and Martial; strangely, Zlatan wasn't involved much despite the hat-trick. He's a class act who does it when it counts. Pleased to get 3-0; it should be tie over and an opportunity to rest a couple of key players. No need to risk Zlatan and Pogba over there.

    By the way, huge credit to St Etienne fans, who were amongst the best I've ever seen at Old Trafford. Magnificent support for their team, even when behind.
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2017
  9. Feb 17, 2017

    gerdm07 Full Member

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2011
    Messages:
    676
    Great first two substitutions! It was obvious to me that we were more athletic and quicker and the subs just accentuated that difference and played a part in the win.

    Our crossing is sooooo bad though, and was the main reason we didn't score more. There were so many open people near the goal so often that a good cross is a goal. I was ready to shout goal with the buildup only to be sorely disappointed. The crosses were about 10 meters too long or short. Crazy.
  10. Feb 17, 2017

    Brightonian Full Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2012
    Messages:
    11,131
    Location:
    Juanderlust
    Just watched the match in full. I reckon a lot of people are being pretty harsh on us. The defending in the first half was all over the place, but not so much because any individual was especially poor, but because the positioning and the attitude was so gung-ho. Meanwhile, we put together some great attacking moments in the first half. That run from Martial was one of his best for us, and Pogba's ball over the top to Mata, and Mata's crisp volley, were both top class touches.

    Then the second half was an all-round great display of football.

    I think people are so used to seeing our goal tally not reflecting how many chances we make that in a game where a player actually gets something out of a good proportion of his chances, it seems like he didn't do enough to deserve them. But think of this as a little bit of the luck and ruthlessness that Ibra has been lacking for much of this season paying out.

    It was a deceptively encouraging game from Pogba too. He looks like exactly what he is - an absurdly gifted Rolls Royce of a player who things just aren't quite coming together for yet. If he'd had the rub of the green like Ibra did, he could easily have had a stunning hattrick. There were big chunks of the game where he was bossing the midfield, and there were those ever-present moments of invention and class that show just how good he is too.

    Martial was sick. Rashford's cameo was very bright. I thought Smalling had a good game too - for once, Bailly was showing more of his rashness than his quality, but on a number of occasions Mike cleared up after him brilliantly.
  11. Feb 17, 2017

    12OunceEpilogue Full Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2016
    Messages:
    1,413
    Location:
    Trafford/Wigan
    I was at a show for my missus's Christmas present so have only seen the match today. I agree we were poor and complacent first half (particularly at the back), much better second half.

    Jose's comments about our poor attitude in the build-up to the game are a concern as we get to the business end but I'm glad to hear he's identified it as an issue and am more than happy for him to call the players out as a collective in public.

    I liked Pogba and Martial's performances in particular and Rashford looked bright when he came on and I was happy to see him contributing. I feel Rashford has rightly lost his starting place this season and impacting matches from the bench against tiring opposition will be the best way to utilise him for the rest of this campaign.

    Bailly had one of his worst games for us, but as we've come through unscathed I'm happy for him to learn from the experience and cut some of the rawness from his game in future.
  12. Feb 17, 2017

    cosimas New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2016
    Messages:
    396
    We were asleep at the back so often in the first half I lost count.
    At times it was only Bailly holding the defense together.
    I've no idea how we went into halftime 1-0 up.
    We then bossed the first ten minutes of the second half which set the tone for the rest of the game, but 3-0 completely flatters us.
    Their fans were great, chapeau.
    On the telly it looked like the smoke from their flares made it hard for everyone to see, but the smoke went up and from where I was sitting the smoke was above us so it really added to the atmosphere.
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2017
  13. Feb 17, 2017

    jderbyshire Full Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2007
    Messages:
    1,001
    Anyone else think that was one of the worst hat-trick's ever?

    1. A scuffy, deflected free-kick that probably shouldn't have been given.

    2. A tap-in.

    3. A harsh penalty.

    Not that I'm complaining, like...
  14. Feb 17, 2017

    Robin Full Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2002
    Messages:
    1,181
    Location:
    manchester
    The thing I would say to those who say the score line flattered is that , yes they could have scored but for every chance they missed we missed one the same. I remember both Martial and Mata missing one on ones, Zlatan missed a sitter where it just hit his knee and went over the bar and Pogba hit the bar where he should have scored. For once we benefitted from some dodgy decisions but we were due some.
  15. Feb 17, 2017

    December_16 Full Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2005
    Messages:
    6,889
    Location:
    Mancunian Way
    Jankiest.
  16. Feb 17, 2017

    Drz Full Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2015
    Messages:
    421
    This happened?! Lol, would love a link if anyone has one to this...
  17. Feb 17, 2017

    sunama Baghdad Bob

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2014
    Messages:
    7,589
    Ibra himself has stated that he wants to play every game.
    Jose asked him to go on holiday. Ibra said, "no".
    He has just scored a hat-trick. He is in a rich vein of form.
    And you want to give him a break to recharge his batteries?
  18. Feb 17, 2017

    Klopp_De_Klown New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2017
    Messages:
    128
    Absoloutely

    I dont care what he says or thinks. Or how big his ego is.
    While I credit his attitude, we have bigger fish to fry and he will need to be a whole load sharper then he was last night, 3 goals or not. Would you want him to waste energy and risk potential injury against the likes Blackburn or ASSE when he could be rested and kept fresh for the next round of the cup, the cup final and the games against the teams above us. He must accept the big picture. The Club must come first. We have others who can use the "confidence boost" and the match time. Especially against the likes of Blackburn and in the return leg in France

    I learned to trust SAF when he rested and rotated players and i trust Jose to do the same also. It worked for SAF and the squad I expect it to work on Ibra too.
  19. Feb 17, 2017

    Xeno Full Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2012
    Messages:
    3,098
    Location:
    Manchester
    Chinos, chinos, chinos.

    I had to translate for a few old blokes around me, but funniest chant I've heard in a while.
  20. Feb 17, 2017

    Isotope Full Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2012
    Messages:
    8,907
    Location:
    InPrivate
    If I were Ibra, I'd also want to play as much as I could. He's not getting younger, and may retire soon. There won't be much time left if he wants to leave a mark in Premier League in general, and United in particular.

    If he plays and as productive as he's now for 3 yrs at United, he'd be placed among the best striker/forward United (and the League) have ever had. That's a hell of incentive for someone like Zlatan.
  21. Feb 17, 2017

    bucky Full Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2011
    Messages:
    5,436


    For those who are interested in stuff like that.
  22. Feb 18, 2017

    Cantonagotmehere New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2015
    Messages:
    375
    Location:
    Charm City, MD

    Great Post. Thanks, love reading 'non-negative' write ups on here. Appreciate it.
  23. Feb 18, 2017

    mav_9me Full Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Messages:
    1,369
    Did that really happen? Hilarious. Would love to see a clip. What channel was this?
  24. Feb 18, 2017

    diarm Full Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2014
    Messages:
    6,000
    Location:
    Internet, even by weird standards.
    It was on BT Sport 2 after the match. It was that smug fecker who used to do the Formula 1 on BBC.
  25. Feb 18, 2017

    Olly Ought to be paid for his graphic services

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Messages:
    23,353
    Location:
    Paradiso


    From 1:00.
  26. Feb 18, 2017

    mav_9me Full Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Messages:
    1,369
    Thanks
  27. Feb 18, 2017

    DMacgraw Full Member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2013
    Messages:
    76
    I am glad we won, and won convincingly. The 3-0 should be more than enough to see us through to the next round.

    But, in the spirit of what goes around comes around, I worry about the fact that the first goal was from a clear dive by Ibra, and the third goal was from a deceptive dive by Ibra. We would all be howling and calling the ref names if those kinds of goals had been scored against us. I hope these don't come around to bite us further in the competition.

    I thought Martial was outstanding. He seems to be, finally, coming round to his best at the business end of the season.
  28. Feb 18, 2017

    podurban2 Full Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2010
    Messages:
    3,067
    Location:
    Stockholm
    Despite the agenda. Can we agree this man is a role-model for Rashford and Martial? Someone said he wasn't a leader in PSG. Veratti cried for Zlatan leaving. That Z does anything to show his worth, it's worth it.. This is why I like Martial and Rashford battling for the LW the next 2-3 years.
  29. Feb 18, 2017

    wolvored Full Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2016
    Messages:
    1,340
    Your probably right, but I can see the same situation happening this summer. Its not 100% certain Ibras going to stay yet.
  30. Feb 18, 2017

    wolvored Full Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2016
    Messages:
    1,340
    Jose usually likes to play his strongest side and rarely rotates the big players so would be surprised to see him rotate much unless of injuries of course.