Paul Pogba shows poise in Manchester United's clinical win over Young Boys
Manchester United started their Champions League campaign off on a high after beating Young Boys 3-0 away from home.
As has been the case in recent weeks, Jose Mourinho's team started the game off well and went in 2-0 up at half-time. Paul Pogba opened the goal scoring with a brilliant strike before doubling United's lead from the penalty spot. Luke Shaw's cross in to the box was blocked by the arm of Kevin Mbabu, although penalising him was harsh, given it was difficult for him to get out of the way.
Young Boys didn't quite have the same fight as they did before United's goals and the second half was fairly easy for the away team. Anthony Martial put United 3-0 up after Pogba went on a solid run to set him up.
United couldn't have hoped for a much better start to their Champions League campaign. A well-deserved three points.
Pogba has been on the receiving end of plenty of scrutiny this season but did well to shrug that off and score two goals on Wednesday night, his first scores in the Champions League for United. He created more chances and completed more passes.
To score three goals in a game is pretty good going for United these days. To do it away from home in the Champions League, albeit against the weakest team in the group, is a good sign. Martial has had a difficult time at United recently so it was great to see him get his name on the score sheet. He looked much better in the second half than he did in the first and was rewarded with a goal.
United fans are desperate to see Marcus Rashford more involved in Mourinho's plans but tonight saw an underwhelming performance from the young forward. Given he's still suspended in domestic games, he could have done with impressing more this evening.
Manager rating out of 10
8 -- Mourinho picked a strong starting team and set them up well to get an important three points away from home. Instead of trying to defend the 2-0 lead in the second half, United came out looking to play football still which was encouraging to see.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK David De Gea, 7 -- Good stop to deny an Ali Camara attempt from distance. Didn't have an awful lot to do but did well with the attempts that Young Boys created.
DF Diogo Dalot, 7 -- Started the game very well and was lively down United's right flank. Delivered several good crosses in to the box. Became quieter as the game went on.
DF Chris Smalling, 7 -- Good in the air and was solid defensively. Dealt well with Young Boys' attacking threat.
DF Victor Lindelof, 6 -- Made a few important blocks and cleared the ball well. Wasn't tested too often.
DF Luke Shaw, 7 -- Showed some brilliant attacking work down the left wing. It was his cross which led to the penalty. He also made an important intervention to stop Sulejmani who would have been through on goal.
MF Fred, 5 -- Picked up a yellow card for an unnecessary challenge. His corners were poor. Lost the ball too often but made some good interceptions and cleared the danger on occasion.
MF Nemanja Matic, 5 -- Caught in possession too often and his passing forward wasn't good enough. Saw lots of the ball in the middle of the pitch but wasn't inspiring.
MF Paul Pogba, 9 -- Outstanding finish to put United ahead before showing great composure to put away his penalty. After playing an important role in midfield throughout, he went on a great run in the second half to set up Martial for United's third.
FW Marcus Rashford, 5 -- First chance to score was a lovely flick, from a Shaw cross, that hit the post. Great tracking back early on but didn't do much to impress.
FW Anthony Martial, 7 -- Quiet first half with little end product. Started the second half well with a great run in to the box and was rewarded for his improving performance with a goal not long after.
FW Romelu Lukaku, 5 -- Early chance from a tight angle went in to the side netting. Got himself in to a few good positions but his teammates struggled to find him. Had a late goal ruled out for offside.
FW Juan Mata, 5 -- Came on for Rashford. Had two good opportunities to score but fluffed them.
MF Marouane Fellaini, 6 -- Replaced Fred and played very deeply. Saw quite a bit of the ball as United looked to keep possession to see the game out.
MF Andreas Pereira, N/A -- Replaced Pogba. Involved himself well going forward.