Manchester United needed a win as they hosted a largely unknown Ukrainian outfit Zorya Luhansk at Old Trafford on Thursday night. The Red Devils controlled the entire game and came close to opening the scoring as Marcus Rashford hit a spearing drive that shattered the underneath of the crossbar without going in.
Wayne Rooney was brought on near the hour mark and he had an instant impact as his misfired shot fell into the path of Zlatan Ibrahimovic who headed it home to give United a crucial three points to kick-start their Europa League campaign.
Twitter hailed the Swede veteran who was adjudged the man of the match.
Sorry Zorya but. ‘Z’ stands for Zlatan pic.twitter.com/1zfccqNwXB
— Michael Izedunor★ (@Michaelizedunor) September 30, 2016
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) September 29, 2016
Remarkable that Zlatan’s 35 on Monday and still performing at a world-class level. He’s now scored for 7 different teams in Europe. Unreal.
— Liam Canning (@LiamPaulCanning) September 30, 2016
Paul Scholes: “He might be towards the end of his career but I think Zlatan has shown he’s got the body of a young 25-year-old.” #MUFC
— Manchester United (@ManUtdUpdates_) September 30, 2016
absolute beast this #zlatan is. 6 goals and counting at the age of 35 in the toughest league all over d world.
— Zlatanned (@Ganesh_205) September 30, 2016
The Twitter-verse, though, had mixed reactions about Rooney’s performance as he was credited with the assist which, in all fairness, was a horribly mishit volley attempt by the United captain.
—Wayne Rooney comes on for Manchester United
—Wayne Rooney assists Zlatan Ibrahimovic goal for Manchester United https://t.co/Y93i4mPU9B
— Bleacher Report UK (@br_uk) September 29, 2016
A moment of appreciation for an absolutely beautiful Wayne Rooney assist.
Few could craft a looped knee quite like that. #FullTimeSween
— Full Time DEVILS (@FullTimeDEVILS) September 29, 2016
World class assist from Rooney. What an assist. What a touch. What a pass!! Haters will say he scuffed it.
— Doc Joshi (@BusbyMUFC) September 29, 2016
Can we all realise that Rooney’s assist was a complete miss hit. He’s lost the control that he once had.
— MosherZ (@Arinaixil) September 30, 2016
— Mr Benwell™ (@Benwell29) September 30, 2016
How can Rooney get praise for missing an absolute sitter is beyond me
— Joe Kendall (@Joe_Kendall_7) September 30, 2016
Rooney just isn’t the player he was anymore, can’t do the simple things now, control, pass, shoot or tackle. Time 2 phase him out now #MUFC
— Adam Kilminster (@Cleetus41182) September 30, 2016
What should have Rooney’s saviour moment turned out to be a funny assist..
— Vijit Goyal (@vijit_23) September 30, 2016
@keithchegwin David blaine is fuming his record of doing nothing in a box for 44 days has just been broken by Wayne Rooney
— Dave Tee (@Teesound) September 30, 2016
Rooney claiming an assist for Zlatan’s goal is like claiming to be on a diet because you had a diet coke with your big mac & chips #MUFC
— Kε̲̣и̣̣и̣̣¥ sharp™ (@iam_kennysharp) September 30, 2016
Fans credited Timothy Fosu-Mensah who had a great outing against Zorya while lamenting the fact that Fellaini was given the start instead of Carrick.
Timothy Fosu-Mensah’s game by numbers vs. Zorya:
88% pass acc.
3/3 aerial duels won
1 chance created pic.twitter.com/77i7neynKh
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) September 30, 2016
Deserved warm round of applause for Fosu-Mensah. Deserves to be recognised as second choice right-back. #mufc
— Samuel Luckhurst (@samuelluckhurst) September 29, 2016
Fosu-Mensah will be one of the best.#MUFC
— Ghalley (@Nargyels) September 30, 2016
Really want Fosu-Mensah to start this weekend. Looked really solid last night, but still not convinced if RB is his best position.
— Aten (@Let_MuNe) September 30, 2016
Timothy Fosu-Mensah had a solid performance. This kid will soon force himself into starting 11
— F. K.M (@iamnyokz) September 30, 2016
Freezing out Schweinsteiger whilst playing Fellaini is a bit like letting a classic Rolls Royce rust to drive a Skoda instead.
— Paul (@ItWasJustBanter) September 29, 2016
Let’s all be honest. Fellaini isn’t a defensive midfielder, he is shocking in there. Never goalside. Never.
— All For United (@allforunited) September 29, 2016
Rojo and Fellaini. Two of our worst ever players, playing at the same time.
— Shibani (@shibani_mufc) September 29, 2016
Defended Fellaini enough times but he really needs to be moved on. Everything is so painfully slow and cumbersome with him in the middle.
— Alex Shaw (@AlexShawESPN) September 29, 2016
Crime against football if Fellaini starts 2nd half. Can’t tackle, pass, cross & is pedestrian to say the least. Now started missing headers.
— Tom McDermott ⚽️ (@footballmcd) September 29, 2016
It does concern me a little that Fellaini is seemingly ahead of Carrick in the #MUFC central midfield pecking order, even after Northampton
— Jonathan Shrager (@JonathanShrager) September 29, 2016
Overall, Manchester United did just enough to secure the three points but it would take a much better performance from them in the future, given their dreaded October schedule.
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