Manchester United 5-0 Leipzig.Old Trafford witnessed another historical UCL night as Manchester United thrashed german side, RB Leipzig 5-0. A team widely hated by the German football fans for their un-orthodox rise to the top tier of German football. A team that was non-existent when Man United won their last UCL trophy. And 12 years on United destroy them for 5 goals with no reply.
Not long ago things were looking so bleak and Old Trafford had a general gloom around it. The 6-1 humiliation at the hands of Spurs along with a massively underwhelming transfer window being the precipitating factors. Seems like the tide has turned. The players and squad as a whole looks more well-knit than ever. Back to back wins against top European teams certainly lifts your mood.
The fact that this win and the one against PSG didn’t come as a result of sitting deep and soaking up the pressure and playing counter attacking football, rather it is a result of playing ‘the united way’ is what makes this more special. The manager, his coaches and the set of players warrants immense credit for the way they have turned round the mood, for showing character and fight.
Mason Greenwood broke the deadlock at the 21st minute from a Paul Pogba pass to fire the home side into lead. On an another day the goal might have been ruled out. But does that matter now? Do you ever expect the starboy to actually MISS?! An emphatic finish to the bottom right corner! Nice. Neat. And Beautiful.
Other than the goal, the first half was more or less uneventful. The way Ole set up his side is what needs to be given special mentions. The structural and positional stability and solidity that the players offered and the maturity they showed off the ball made it feel like RB Leipzig holding any amount of the ball wouldn’t produce a single threat. The primary reason for this being the incorporation of Fred in the team. He has developed into the focal player of pressing football that United is trying to play. The engine. Pogba also looked exceptional as he created one goal and played the rest of the game with intent. The diamond of Van de beek, Pogba-Fred and Matic did magic on the pitch Suddenly it seems like the United midfield could assume any shape or formation they want.
The absence of Alex Telles was overshadowed by the effectiveness of Luke Shaw’s game while on the other wing Aaron Wan Bissaka proved unbreakable and unyielding as always. Skipper Harry Maguire could not have asked for a better UCL debut.
The headlines though were reserved for our Manchester lad, Marcus Rashford. His first senior career hatrick and his first UCL hatrick.
What makes it more special is how he took the hatrick! Unselfish and selfless. He could have gone for the glory but instead decided to help his team mate find his form back. What a great gesture! Can Marcus Rashford do anything wrong right now? The penalty might just be enough to get Martial back to his best when he comes back after serving his suspension.