Football news - Odion Ighalo nets fabulous solo effort as Man Utd take control of LASK tie
Europa League Last 16 First Leg, Linzer Stadium - LASK 0 Manchester United 5 (Ighalo 28', James 58', Mata 82', Greenwood 90+2', Pereira 90+3')
Manchester United's Nigerian forward Odion Ighalo (hidden) celebrates with his teammates after scoring during the round of 16 1st leg of UEFA Europa League football match between Linzer ASK (LASK) and Manchester United in Linz, Austria, on March 12, 2020.
It was a goal that really deserved a crowd to hail the effort, but there were just a handful of people in the stands due to coronavirus shutdown recommendations.
In the second half Daniel James doubled the lead on the break whilst Fred's wonderful assist set Juan Mata up for a third before substitutes Mason Greenwood and Andreas Pereira netted two more in added time.
Is playing matches behind closed doors sustainable? The TV commentators and pundits were all watching from back in the UK, and were shocked at the lack of atmosphere, reiterating that fans are what make football. UEFA's conference call on Tuesday will shed light on what the intentions are with the rest of the matches in all European competitions this season.
Daniel James of Manchester United celebrates scoring their second goal during the UEFA Europa League round of 16 first leg match between LASK and Manchester United at Linzer Stadion on March 12, 2020 in Linz, Austria. The match is played behind closed doo
Image credit: Getty Images
MAN OF THE MATCH
Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United). The goalscorers may grab the attention but Bruno Fernandes carefully, quietly orchestrated everything.
Bruno Fernandes of Manchester United in action during the UEFA Europa League round of 16 first leg match between LASK and Manchester United at Linzer Stadion on March 12, 2020 in Linz, Austria. The match is played behind closed doors as a precaution again
MAN UTD - Romero 6, Williams 6, Bailly 6, Maguire 6, Shaw 6, Fred 7, McTominay 6, Mata 7, Fernandes 8, James 7, Ighalo 7. Subs - De Gea, Lindelof, Tuanzebe, Andreas 6, Matic, Chong 6, Greenwood 6.
24' CLOSE! James turns, gives himself space, and hits it beautifully, but the keeper again makes the save.
28' GOAL! Odion Ighalo cannot stop scoring, and what a goal that was - smack! Ball in from Bruno, Ighalo juggles the it on the edge of the box, and then thrashes it home left-footed, off the crossbar.
40' CLOSE! Closest the hosts have come to scoring as Frieser is unmarked at the back post, but Bailly sticks a leg in the way to send it away.
58' GOAL! Great finish from Daniel James! He runs down the left, into the middle, and gets his shot away, holding off the defenders - and he looks so relieved to have broken that drought.
62' POST! Oh, and that's close for Ighalo! He hits the post to the keeper's left.
82' GOAL! Yet another lovely goal - great ball from Fred through to Juan Mata, and slotted home beautifully.
90'+1 GOAL! And another terrific finish, this time from Mason Greenwood, scampering down the left on to a ball from Chong. He fires it left-footed, pinging it off the posts and into the net.
90'+3 GOAL! Wow. Andreas Pereira saw the goalkeeper a few yards off his line, lashed in a shot, which bounced awkwardly and into the net.
Bruno Fernandes has been involved in more Europa League goals than any other player this season, with the Portuguese netting six goals and providing four assists with Sporting CP and Manchester United combined.
Odion Ighalo has scored in all three of his starts in all competitions for Manchester United, with the Nigerian netting four goals in total.