UEFA Europa League Group A
Manchester United vs. Fenerbahce
Venue: Old Trafford
Date: Thursday, 20 October, 2016
Kick-off: 20:05 BST
Manchester United score their second 4-1 home win of the season, defeating Fenerbahce in the Europa League.
Group A’s third round of fixtures saw a Paul Pogba brace and Anthony Martial open the scoring, as Jesse Lingard netted early after the restart.
The Turkish outfit’s consolation came late on, but it was from Robin van Persie, who received a warm reception on his return to Old Trafford, and a standing ovation, a sign of mutual respect after grabbing his side’s goal.
Much like in the previously regime, United dominated the ball without any real penetration early on, but that soon changed at the half hour mark.
Michael Carrick’s diagonal ball from deep was brought down immaculately by Juan Mata, and he was tripped by Simon Kjaer who was booked for his actions.
Up stepped Pogba, who sent Volkan Demirel the wrong way, placing his spot-kick with power into the bottom left-hand corner.
A second penalty arrived moments later, with Mata this time playing an exemplary forward pass, which found the onrushing Martial, who was shoved to the ground by Sener Ozbayrakli as he was about to pull the trigger.
Martial made no mistake from the spot, finding the same corner as his international teammate had prior to this moment, despite Demirel diving the right way this time around.
Looking for a response, David De Gea denied Souza was a neat low save, but United entered the break with a three goal cushion, scoring on the brink of the half-time whistle.
Skipper Wayne Rooney read the situation and met the loose ball on the right, and his low cross found Lingard, who teed up Pogba, who curled an exquisite finish into the top corner, showcasing what all the fuss is about.
No sooner had the second half began, Pogba played the ball into the Rooney, who helped it on for Lingard, who fired a precise finish into the bottom corner to seal the fixture.
The returning Van Persie curled wide before his Netherlands teammate Memphis was off target at the other end, with substitute Ismail Koybasi heading wide from Volkan Sen’s driven cross.
Memphis turned provider for Mata, who could shoot straight at Demirel, before the visitors prevented De Gea’s clean sheet with less than 10 minutes remaining.
It was the lively Emmanuel Emenike’s low cross that was tapped home by Van Persie, who received warm applause from the Old Trafford, and he returned the gesture in an act of appreciation from both sides.
For the second time on the night, De Gea denied Souza with a low save, as Timothy Fosu-Mensah saw a shot held, with full-time arrived on a comfortable night for Jose Mourinho’s team.
In a similar performance to the Leicester league game, United showed what they are capable of on their day, with players like Daley Blind, Antonio Valencia and Ander Herrera rested ahead of Sunday’s 4pm kick-off at Chelsea.
Marcus Rashford and Zlatan Ibrahimovic were unused subs, highlighting the strength in depth at the club right now.
The weekend’s trip to South London represents another test for this squad, as Mourinho returns to his old hunting ground, as United look to build on the positivity post international break.
Manchester United: De Gea; Darmian, Bailly, Smalling (Rojo 46), Shaw; Carrick, Pogba (Fosu-Mensah 75); Lingard, Mata, Martial; Rooney.
Subs not used: Romero, Fellaini, Ibrahimovic, Rashford.
Manager: Jose Mourinho
Fenerbahce: Demirel; Ozbayrakli, Kjaer, Skrtel, Kaldirim; Neustadter, Topal, Souza; Potuk, van Persie, Sen.
Subs not used: Fabiano, Civelek, Koca, Stoch.
Manager: Dick Advocaat