Omonia vs. Man United came from a goal down to beat Omonia in Europa League action as substitutes Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial came to Erik ten Hag’s rescue with the goals. The former bagged a brace and the latter bagged a critical strike to send the Red Devils through to victory.
Omonia vs. Man United enjoyed utter domination in the opening 20 minutes with 82% possession, taking eight shots on goal and completing 220 passes in comparison to Omonia’s 51.
Yet for all their pressure in and around Omonia’s box they couldn’t find the back of the net with Ronaldo and Antony both coming the closest to scoring in the opening 45, only for goalkeeper Fabinho to deny them with impressive saves.
Tyrell Malacia was taken off at half-time in the 6-3 defeat to Manchester City at the weekend and suffered the same fate tonight after he lost the ball in Omonia’s half that led to a brilliant counter-attacking goal from the home side. Bruno Felipe picked the ball up and ran, and with United outnumbered, he played the perfect pass to Karim Ansarifard who took a touch and rifled his shot past De Get.
Ten Hag made changes of his own as Rashford and Martial were introduced in the second half with both players making immediate impacts.
Rashford ended the night with two goals and an assist, as Martial did what Ronaldo couldn’t all night, and found the back of the net with an impressive finish on 63 minutes.
Omonia mounted a late comeback of their own with five minutes to go through Nikolas Panayiotou after his instant reply to Rashford’s second a minute earlier. But the Red Devils held on to take a vital three points and put themselves on course for the knockout stages.
Omonia vs. Man United Ronaldo’s wait for a 700th goal continues
This week, Ten Hag said Ronaldo is “p*ssed off when he’s not playing.” Well, you could argue he’ll be even more p*ssed off after tonight having failed to find the back of the net. The Portuguese is one goal short of reaching a ridiculous 700 club goal milestone but tonight, against what was supposed to be easy opposition, it just wasn’t going to happen.
The 37-year-old looked lively throughout the first half but was denied by Fabinho with a strong save from a powerful shot at a tight angle and as the game went on Ronaldo saw more opportunities go begging.
He hit the post from six yards out when it seemed harder to miss, he blasted a free-kick over the bar, found the side netting and curled one a few inches wide of the post in the dying minutes. Diogo Dalot set up the chance, although it appeared the Portuguese full-back had a big chance to score himself, passing up the chance to slide into an open net to instead find Ronaldo on the doorstep.
Ronaldo did create a neat assist, though some could say he was going for goal himself, to set up Rashford for his second. It saw the former Real Madrid man all smiles (cheeky ones, it appeared) but deep down he’ll be frustrated he didn’t reach that 700 mark and prove a point to Ten Hag that he should never have been left out of facing City.
Omonia vs. Man United Rashford and Martial finding form
If you needed any indication that Rashford is getting back to his best then how about already matching his goal tally (5) from last season. Maybe it’s to do with a World Cup coming up, maybe it’s a new lease of life under a new management. Whatever it is, Rashford looks hungry to prove a point. He linked up brilliantly with Ronaldo at times and once Martial was introduced to the attacking front line, the England forward was the focal point that made things tick up front.
“Left side is probably more natural for me, but I like playing both [left wing and centre forward] and helping the team,” Rashford said. “If we have got injuries you never know what might happen, where you might be needed to play.”
He was also complimentary of Martial, who followed up his brace against City on the weekend with another from the bench tonight. “He is a massive player for us, has been for a long time,” Rashford said. “When he is happy and at it he is an unbelievable player. We’ve both been injured, him longer than me, so it is good for him to get minutes and make an impact.”
This will give Ten Hag a second thought while putting together future lineups, as Jadon Sancho was notably invisible through his first-half appearance before being hauled off at the break.