LASK 0, Manchester United 5
Manchester United cruised to a commanding 5-0 first leg Europa League Round of 16 win in Austria over LASK in an eerily empty Linzer Stadion.http://gty.im/1212042425
Goals by Odion Ighalo and Daniel James got the Reds under way before a late treble by Juan Mata, Mason Greenwood and Andreas Pereira put the tie beyond the Austrians.
United had earlier gained much good coverage for paying around 700 supporters, who bought tickets to the game in Austria, the sum of £350 as compensation.
They had spent money on travel arrangements and booked days off only to be thwarted by a decision to play the game behind closed doors due to the Corona Virus outbreak which was labelled a pandemic this week by the World Health Organisation.
The Reds build up a towering first half lead in Linz with their 11th unbeaten game in a row in all competitions – equalling manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s longest unbeaten from last season.
Bruno Fernandes set up the opener for United after 28 minutes, persisting to get the ball through the LASK defence to set up Ighalo whose drive from the edge of the box went in after he juggled the ball onto his left foot.
James doubled that lead in the 58th minute, cutting in from the left and finding the bottom corner to break his 33 game goal drought after being put through by Ighalo.
Eight minutes from the end Mata finished off a great through ball from Fred to end the tie from the edge of the box.
And the United subs made sure there was no way back for the Austrians – Greenwood took on Tahith Chong’s through ball to make it 4-0 off the post – his 12th goal of the season.
And Pereira’s long drive to make it 5-0 ensured that the Reds would return home from Austria in no doubt of their progression into the last 8 – if this season’s Europa League isn’t cancelled due to the undoubted health crisis.
MATCH STATS – LASK 0, Manchester United 5
LASK: Schlager, Ramsebner, Trauner, Ranftl, Reiter, Holland (Haudum 76), Michorl, Renner, Tetteh (Raguz 61), de Mello, Frieser (Balic 71)
LASK Subs not used: Gebauer, Muller, Wostry, Sabitzer
Booked: Ramsebner, Trauner, de Mello, Reiter
Man Utd: Romero, Williams, Bailly, Maguire, Shaw, McTominay, Fred, Mata, Fernandes (Pereira 78), James (Chong 71), Ighalo (Greenwood 85)
Man Utd Subs not used: De Gea, Lindelof, Matic, Tuanzebe
Goals: Ighalo 28, James 58, Mata 82, Greenwood 90+1, Pereira 90+3
Referee: Artur Manuel Soares Diaz