Manchester United v Granada: Match Analysis

Granada arrived at Old Trafford with a mammoth task of overturning a 0-2 home defeat. Manchester United were outright favorites to go through. And they certainly didn’t disappoint. A thoroughly professional job ensured a 2-0 home win for United and a comfortable 4-0 aggregate win.


United had a comfortable lead from the first leg. Yet Ole Gunnar Solskjaer went in with a very strong line-up. Maguire, Shaw and McTominay was suspended so there was finally a chance for Axel Tuanzebe. Telles and Matic also made the starting line-up. However, the same can’t be said about Van De Beek who can’t seem to find a place in the starting XI for the time being. Pogba and Bruno Fernandes both started. And Edinson Cavani led the line for the red devils. Paul Pogba was also handed the armband for this match.

United’s starting XI

From the get go, United never really looked troubled. Granada didn’t have enough teeth on their attacks to do any kind of damage and United dominated proceedings. Cavani scored an early goal which killed the tie at the beginning and then there was a late own goal to add to the scoreline.

Cavani with his trademark celebration

First Half Analysis

Manchester United started the first half with authority and their dominance was rewarded with an early goal. Telles found himself in space down the left win and floated in a cross at near post. Pogba made a smart run and headed the ball back down for Cavani. Cavani had time and space and he made no mistake dispatching the left footed volley into the far corner. It was a wonderful strike from a brilliant striker. Paul Pogba literally ran the show in the first half. There was this one particular moment when he brushed aside 4 Granada players to create a 3v2 opportunity. For some strange reason, the referee booked Pogba for being taller and stronger. United dominated the game from there on and although they didn’t really create brilliant chances, they were always in control.

Pogba was brilliant in the first half

Second Half Analysis

Solskjaer took off Pogba as a precaution and brought on Van De Beek. In terms of the match, nothing really changed. United dominated possession and created the odd half chances here and there. Granada did create some chances. David De Gea made some relatively routine stops and that was that for them.

David De Gea kept a clean sheet

Towards the end of the game, Amad was through on goal and was brought down. Bizarrely, the referee didn’t even give a foul. This was not an isolated decision and the referring performance was poor to say the least. In the added time, Telles swung in another cross and Vallejo scored an own goal.

Telles crossing a ball

Final Thoughts

Going through to the semi final was the easy task. But United now do really need to come up with the goods when the semis roll out. United have faltered four times already at the penultimate hurdle and a repeat of that simply can’t be happening. United are facing Roma in the semi final. Of all the teams left in the competition, Manchester United are the outright favorites and it’s time they delivered on their promise. Qualifying for the champions league twice in a row is definitely an improvement but winning the Europa league will be the cherry on top of the cake.

Author: Ayan Jana

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