Rashford, Martial score to save Red Devils from embarrassing loss

Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial scored two quickfire goals in the second half to save Man Utd from an embarrassing loss against Omonia Nicosia.

Erik ten Hag named a strong side for what was United’s first game since their awful 6-3 against Manchester City at the Etihad.

The likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Jadon Sancho, Bruno Fernandes, Antony, Casemiro, Lisandro Martinez and David De Gea were all named in the starting eleven.

Coming up against a team managed by ex-Celtic boss Neil Lennon, United were unsurprisingly on top in the early going.

Bruno Fernandes had a good chance inside the opening twenty minutes but his effort bounced away off the crossbar.

A shock was suddenly on the cards though as United fell behind in the 34th minute. It will no doubt be to Ten Hag’s frustration that this goal came from a free-kick from his side.

On the counter-attack, Bruno Felipe was able to touch the ball through to Karim Ansarifard. The striker did really well as he fired the ball in the roof of the net to give the hosts an unexpected half-time lead.

Rashford was brought on at the break and it took him only eight minutes to equalise. His curling effort from the edge of the area nestled in the bottom corner.

The Englishman set up fellow substitute Martial ten minutes later and the attacker drilled the ball home to make it 2-1.

The game looked to be over when Rashford got on the end of an attempted shot from Ronaldo to score from close range to make it 3-1.

But Omonia Nicosia reduced the deficit almost immediately as United switched off after the restart. This enabled Nikolas Panayiotou to score from inside the penalty area.

United’s blushes were spared in the end as they just about did enough to pick up all three points.

But this level of performance was not what Ten Hag would have wanted after the Manchester derby embarrassment. Ronaldo is still waiting for his 700th career goal as well after spurning several good chances.

For context, Omonia Nicosia finished seventh in the Cypriot First Division last term. United will want to forget about this one quickly before this weekend’s trip to Goodison Park.

This result leaves Man Utd second in their Europa League group. Group leaders Real Sociedad are three points clear after winning their first three games.

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More to come…


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