Europa League - Group A
Zorya Luhansk0Man Utd2

Zorya Luhansk 0-2 Manchester United

Henrikh Mkhitaryan had previously scored a hat-trick at the Chornomorets Stadium for Borussia Dortmund
Henrikh Mkhitaryan had previously scored a hat-trick at the Chornomorets Stadium for Borussia Dortmund

Manchester United reached the Europa League knockout stages by beating Zorya Luhansk as Henrikh Mkhitaryan struck a fine first goal for the club.

The Red Devils dominated in the Ukrainian city of Odessa, but long-range efforts from Wayne Rooney and Paul Pogba were their best moments of the first half despite having 76% of possession.

But Mkhitaryan, who has now started three games in a row, dribbled from halfway to apply a cool finish after the break.

A key save from Sergio Romero maintained the lead before Zlatan Ibrahimovic raced clear to slot home as United progressed behind Fenerbahce, who won at Feyenoord.

Jose Mourinho's side are now favourites for the competition with most bookmakers but in finishing second in Group A, they go into Monday's last-32 draw as an unseeded side.

Manchester United's possible opponents
Europa League group winners: Apoel Nicosia, Saint-Etienne, Zenit Saint Petersburg, Roma, Athletic Bilbao, Ajax, Shakhtar Donetsk, Schalke, Fiorentina, Sparta Prague, Osmanlispor
Seeded sides out of Champions League: FC Copenhagen, Lyon, Besiktas

The good news for Manchester United fans

Paul Pogba
Paul Pogba saw a lot of the ball as United had 71% possession on the night

United ground out a first win away from home in the Europa League this season on a pitch Mourinho described as "difficult" leading up to the fixture.

Though their final ball was often slack - leading to some visible Mourinho frustration in the first half - they stuck to the task, none more so than Mkhitaryan, who showed balance and poise to create his goal.

One goal and two assists in his run of three starts begs the question as to why Mourinho has not used the Armenian regularly since a £26m summer move from Borussia Dortmund. But United fans are starting to see the type of quality which saw him named Bundesliga players' player of the season ahead of his move to Old Trafford.

There were other positives for United, who rested keeper David De Gea and forward Anthony Martial with Sunday's Premier League trip to Tottenham in mind.

Ibrahimovic's form is gathering momentum - his late finish was a sixth goal in seven matches - while the sight of central defender Eric Bailly completing a fixture for the first time since October will also please Mourinho.

The Ivorian, who has recovered from a knee injury, looked composed, decisive and even shook off a nasty collision to continue late on.

The downside (depending on how you look at it)

An away trip to the rugged surroundings of Zorya Luhansk in Ukraine perhaps sums up the burden this competition can become.

The Thursday-Sunday fixture cycle will continue for Mourinho, notably with a trip to Manchester City three days after the second leg of their last-32 fixture on 23 February.

An English side has only finished in the top four of the Premier League on three occasions after starting the campaign in the Europa League.

United are nine points off the Premier League's Champions League qualification places. So does Mourinho prioritise the league or a Europa League run and the Champions League berth that comes with the trophy? History shows it is difficult to achieve both.

Man of the match - Henrikh Mkhitaryan

Henrikh Mkhitaryan
United struggled to create clear openings until Henrikh Mkhitaryan opened the game up with his solo goal. In tough conditions, he made a key difference on the night.

A first away win since 2013

  • Manchester United won their first away European game (excluding qualifiers) since a 5-0 win over Bayer Leverkusen in November 2013
  • Mkhitaryan has had a hand in eight goals in his last 12 Europa League appearances, scoring three times and assisting five
  • The Red Devils are unbeaten in seven consecutive games in all competitions (W4 D3), their best run since December 2015
  • Ander Herrera completed 116 passes, the most by a United player in a game since Morgan Schneiderlin completed 120 against CSKA Moscow in October 2015

Up next?

Manchester United, sixth in the Premier League, host fifth-placed Tottenham - who they trail by six points - in a 14:15 GMT kick off on Sunday.

Line-ups

Zorya Luhansk

  • 91Levchenko
  • 39Opanasenko
  • 3Sivakov
  • 12Forster
  • 2Sukhotsky
  • 20Karavayev
  • 4Chaykovsky
  • 8KharatinSubstituted forGrechyshkinat 57'minutes
  • 7Petryak
  • 22LjubenovicSubstituted forLipartiaat 72'minutes
  • 21BezborodkoSubstituted forBonaventureat 54'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Shevchenko
  • 9Kulach
  • 10Lipartia
  • 11de Menezes Melo
  • 24Grechyshkin
  • 42Bonaventure
  • 44Checher

Man Utd

  • 20Romero
  • 18Young
  • 3BaillyBooked at 90mins
  • 5Rojo
  • 17Blind
  • 21HerreraBooked at 83mins
  • 6Pogba
  • 8MataSubstituted forLingardat 65'minutes
  • 10RooneySubstituted forFellainiat 70'minutes
  • 22MkhitaryanSubstituted forFosu-Mensahat 85'minutes
  • 9Ibrahimovic

Substitutes

  • 1de Gea
  • 4Jones
  • 11Martial
  • 14Lingard
  • 19Rashford
  • 24Fosu-Mensah
  • 27Fellaini
Referee:
Tamás Bognar
Attendance:
25,900

Match Stats

Home TeamZorya LuhanskAway TeamMan Utd
Possession
Home29%
Away71%
Shots
Home6
Away19
Shots on Target
Home2
Away7
Corners
Home2
Away9
Fouls
Home5
Away8

Live Text

Match ends, Zorya Luhansk 0, Manchester United 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Zorya Luhansk 0, Manchester United 2.

Eric Bailly (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Jaba Lipartia (Zorya Luhansk).

Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Igor Levchenko.

Attempt saved. Timothy Fosu-Mensah (Manchester United) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Booking

Eric Bailly (Manchester United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Corner, Zorya Luhansk. Conceded by Marcos Rojo.

Goal!

Goal! Zorya Luhansk 0, Manchester United 2. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Manchester United) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Paul Pogba with a through ball.

Foul by Marouane Fellaini (Manchester United).

Jaba Lipartia (Zorya Luhansk) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Manchester United. Timothy Fosu-Mensah replaces Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

Paul Pogba (Manchester United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Igor Chaykovsky (Zorya Luhansk).

Booking

Ander Herrera (Manchester United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Ander Herrera (Manchester United).

Dennis Bonaventure (Zorya Luhansk) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Manchester United) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Sergio Romero.

Offside, Zorya Luhansk. Evgeniy Opanasenko tries a through ball, but Ivan Petryak is caught offside.

Foul by Paul Pogba (Manchester United).

Igor Levchenko (Zorya Luhansk) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Rafael Forster.

Attempt blocked. Jesse Lingard (Manchester United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Paul Pogba.

Attempt missed. Jesse Lingard (Manchester United) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Zlatan Ibrahimovic with a headed pass.

Foul by Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Manchester United).

Mikhail Sivakov (Zorya Luhansk) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Marouane Fellaini (Manchester United) header from the centre of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Henrikh Mkhitaryan following a set piece situation.

Paul Pogba (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Mikhail Sivakov (Zorya Luhansk).

Attempt missed. Igor Chaykovsky (Zorya Luhansk) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Dmytro Grechyshkin with a cross.

Corner, Zorya Luhansk. Conceded by Marouane Fellaini.

Attempt saved. Mikhail Sivakov (Zorya Luhansk) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Dmytro Grechyshkin with a cross.

Foul by Jesse Lingard (Manchester United).

Artem Sukhotsky (Zorya Luhansk) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Substitution

Substitution, Zorya Luhansk. Jaba Lipartia replaces Zeljko Ljubenovic.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Substitution

Substitution, Manchester United. Marouane Fellaini replaces Wayne Rooney.

Delay in match Eric Bailly (Manchester United) because of an injury.

Attempt missed. Dennis Bonaventure (Zorya Luhansk) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Igor Chaykovsky.

Substitution

Substitution, Manchester United. Jesse Lingard replaces Juan Mata.

goal

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Thursday 8th December 2016

As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Fenerbahçe641186213
2Man Utd6402124812
3Feyenoord621337-47
4Zorya Luhansk602428-62

B

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Apoel Nicosia640286212
2Olympiakos62227618
3BSC Young Boys62227438
4FC Astana6123511-65

C

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Saint-Étienne633085312
2Anderlecht6321168811
3Mainz6231810-29
4FK Qabala6006514-90

D

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Zenit St Petersburg6501178915
2AZ Alkmaar6222610-48
3Maccabi Tel-Aviv621379-27
4Dundalk611458-34

E

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Roma6330167912
2Astra Giurgiu6222710-38
3Viktoria Plzen6132710-36
4Austria Vienna61231114-35

F

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Ath Bilbao63121011-110
2KRC Genk530211929
3Rapid Vienna613278-16
4Sassuolo51229905

G

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Ajax6420116514
2Celta Vigo623110739
3Standard Liege61418627
4Panathinaikos6015313-101

H

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Shakhtar Donetsk66002151618
2KAA Gent6222913-48
3Sporting Braga6132911-26
4Konyaspor6015212-101

I

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Schalke650193615
2FK Krasnodar62138807
3RB Salzburg62136607
4Nice6204511-66

J

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Fiorentina6411156913
2PAOK Salonika631276110
3FK Qarabag6213712-57
4Slovan Liberec6114712-54

K

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Sparta Prague640286212
2Hapoel Be'er Sheva62226608
3Southampton62226428
4Inter Milan6204711-46

L

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Osmanlispor6312107310
2Villarreal62319819
3FC Zürich613257-26
4Steaua Bucharest613257-26
View full Europa League tables

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