Europa League - Group L
Man UtdManchester United3Partizan BelgradePartizan Belgrade0

Manchester United 3-0 Partizan Belgrade: Hosts qualify for Europa League last 32

By Simon StoneBBC Sport at Old Trafford
Mason Greenwood
Teenager Mason Greenwood scored the opening goal as Manchester United cruised past Partizan Belgrade

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said his side provided a "template" for how they should play this season as they beat Partizan Belgrade to reach the Europa League last 32.

First-half goals from Mason Greenwood and Anthony Martial were followed by a powerful finish from Marcus Rashford after the break to complete United's biggest home win since August, with Solskjaer describing the performance of his front three as "high class".

The result keeps Solskjaer's men top of Group L. Victory in their final match against AZ Alkmaar on 12 December will ensure a top seeding in the last 32, no matter what happens when they go to Kazakhstan to play Astana in three weeks.

"Too many times we're 1-0 up and haven't got the second but these boys are learning and this will give them loads of pointers of how we play when performing well," said Solskjaer.

"The opposition is not the same as in the Premier League but these are still good principles."

Manchester United are the only side in the competition not to concede a goal this season. It also extended their unbeaten run in the Europa League to 15 matches, three short of Chelsea's tournament record of 18.

It wasn't all good news for United, though. Scott McTominay hurt the inside of his right foot in an innocuous challenge and although the Scotland midfielder tried to continue, he had to be replaced by Jesse Lingard 15 minutes from time.

Hosts find their shooting boots

Manchester United's Europa League group campaign could hardly be described as exciting as it passed its halfway point.

They had scored two goals in their first three games and not had a shot on target in open play since a left-footed effort from Jesse Lingard in the final minute of the first match against Astana at Old Trafford on 19 September.

A crowd bolstered by nearly 1,000 noisy Serbs only had to wait eight minutes for that run to come to an end as Juan Mata found Rashford with a short pass, only for Vladimir Stojkovic to make a close-range save.

By that point, both sides had been denied a goal by an offside flag, which would have been a relief for Harry Maguire given it was his attempted clearance that looped over Sergio Romero off Umar Sadiq.

United's eventual seven shots on target was a figure they have exceeded only three times in all competitions this season.

Greenwood demonstrating his potential

A month before the season had even started, Solskjaer spoke of his belief that Greenwood would score plenty of goals this season.

It has subsequently transpired that United were asking rather a lot of a player who did not even turn 18 until 1 October.

This was his 12th appearance out of 17 games in a campaign where he has also been an unused substitute on three occasions. The manner in which he took his 21st-minute goal, stepping inside after receiving an excellent pass with the outside of his foot from Rashford, then sliding a shot under Stojkovic, hinted at a maturity beyond his years.

It was his third goal of the season, a number bettered only by Rashford and Martial at United this season, and it is worth noting that he is doing so at an age when Rashford, a teenage England international, had not even made his senior debut.

Martial's mixed bag

If Greenwood's contribution needs to be accepted as a bonus at Old Trafford this season, Martial has to be a central figure.

In Wednesday's pre-match news conference, Solskjaer raised an eyebrow when he said there were two sides to the France forward and that when he was in a good mood his presence on the training ground was great but horrible when he was in a bad one.

The same could be said about his on-field contribution, which was neatly encapsulated in the space of a couple of minutes here.

Martial's brilliant first touch to get the ball under control on the edge of the box, then the balance that took him past Strahinja Pavlovic and Bojan Ostojic inside it, were sublime. The right-footed finish was exactly what such skill deserved.

Yet, on United's next attack, Martial sprinted clear of the Partizan defence and faced with a stranded Stojkovic way off his line, sent his chip sailing into the stand behind the goal.

In the context of this game, the failure meant nothing, but it is precisely the type of bread-and-butter chance Solskjaer has been working on with Martial since he arrived at the club last December.

Solskjaer labelled Martial's goal as the "skill of the night" and the Frenchman was a pivotal part of a comprehensive victory.

As the man earmarked by Solskjaer at the start of the season to fill the number nine role, Martial's presence provides United with balance and allows Rashford to attack from wider positions, where he was a particular threat in this match.

Cups 4, league 3

It has not been a bad run of results for United since the last international break but only one of their four victories has come in the Premier League.

Indeed, they have now won four times in six cup games this season compared to three triumphs in 11 league fixtures, underlining why they go into Sunday's game against Brighton in 10th spot, two points behind their visitors and an incredible 18 adrift of leaders Liverpool.

Man of the match - Anthony Martial (Man Utd)

Anthony Martial
Anthony Martial has now scored five goals in nine appearances this season

'You expect to win at home against teams like this' - what they said

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer told BT Sport: "We needed a win but we needed a performance in which the boys wanted to go forward and score more than one goal. We could have had loads more but it was pleasing and it was important to get the points.

"You expect to win at home against teams like this. No disrespect to Partizan, because they gave us a really good game over there, but at home you expect to win. We should have buried it in the first 10 minutes but going in 2-0 at half-time makes you are confident.

"We want to win the group but travelling away to Astana is not one to look forward to with Aston Villa, Spurs and Manchester City the week after, so maybe we will rest a few players for that game."

On Scott McTominay's injury: "He said he will be OK but I don't know, hopefully he is fit for Sunday [against Brighton]."

Greenwood impresses - the stats

  • Manchester United haven't lost any of their past 15 games in the Europa League (W11 D4); the longest active unbeaten run of any current team in the competition.
  • FK Partizan have lost eight of their 10 away games against English opponents in European competition (W1 D1), including the last four in a row.
  • Manchester United are unbeaten in their past six games at Old Trafford across all competitions (W3 D3); their longest such run under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
  • This was Manchester United's sixth consecutive clean sheet in the group stages of the Europa League, having last conceded against Fenerbahçe in November 2016.
  • Anthony Martial has scored five goals in his past seven starts for Manchester United in all competitions, as many as he had in his previous 17 starts for the club.
  • Marcus Rashford has scored five goals in seven appearances at Old Trafford this season, one more than he managed in 23 home appearances across all competitions last season (four).
  • Aged 18 years and 37 days, Mason Greenwood became the youngest player to score and assist in a European game for Manchester United.

What's next?

Manchester United are next in action against Brighton, at Old Trafford, in the Premier League on Sunday (14:00 GMT). Matchday five in the Europa League takes Solskjaer's side to Astana on Thursday, 28 November (15:50 GMT).


Man Utd

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 22Romero
  • 29Wan-Bissaka
  • 5Maguire
  • 16Rojo
  • 18YoungBooked at 71mins
  • 39McTominaySubstituted forLingardat 75'minutes
  • 17FredSubstituted forGarnerat 63'minutes
  • 26Greenwood
  • 8Mata
  • 10RashfordSubstituted forPereiraat 67'minutes
  • 9Martial


  • 4Jones
  • 13Grant
  • 14Lingard
  • 15Pereira
  • 21James
  • 37Garner
  • 53Williams

Partizan Belgrade

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 88Stojkovic
  • 73Miletic
  • 23Ostojic
  • 3PavlovicBooked at 58mins
  • 72Urosevic
  • 19Scekic
  • 16Zdjelar
  • 20Soumah
  • 6NatchoBooked at 32minsSubstituted forTosicat 60'minutes
  • 11AsanoSubstituted forStevanovicat 70'minutes
  • 9SadiqSubstituted forIvanovicat 86'minutes


  • 5Vujacic
  • 7Tosic
  • 18Ivanovic
  • 31Brezancic
  • 80Stevanovic
  • 85Stevanovic
  • 97Lutovac
Mattias Gestranius

Match Stats

Home TeamMan UtdAway TeamPartizan Belgrade
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Manchester United 3, Partizan Belgrade 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Manchester United 3, Partizan Belgrade 0.

  3. Post update

    Offside, Manchester United. Juan Mata tries a through ball, but Jesse Lingard is caught offside.

  4. Substitution

    Substitution, Partizan Belgrade. Djordje Ivanovic replaces Umar Sadiq.

  5. Post update

    Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Bojan Ostojic.

  6. Post update

    Juan Mata (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Bojan Ostojic (Partizan Belgrade).

  8. Post update

    Hand ball by James Garner (Manchester United).

  9. Substitution

    Substitution, Manchester United. Jesse Lingard replaces Scott McTominay because of an injury.

  10. Post update

    Scott McTominay (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  11. Post update

    Foul by Aleksandar Scekic (Partizan Belgrade).

  12. Post update

    Mason Greenwood (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Strahinja Pavlovic (Partizan Belgrade).

  14. Booking

    Ashley Young (Manchester United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  15. Post update

    Foul by Ashley Young (Manchester United).

  16. Post update

    Zoran Tosic (Partizan Belgrade) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, Partizan Belgrade. Filip Stevanovic replaces Takuma Asano.

  18. Substitution

    Substitution, Manchester United. Andreas Pereira replaces Marcus Rashford.

  19. Post update

    Scott McTominay (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  20. Post update

    Foul by Slobodan Urosevic (Partizan Belgrade).


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Scores, Results & Fixtures

Thursday 7th November 2019

As It Stood


2Apoel Nicosia411278-14
3FK Qarabag411278-14
4F91 Dudelange4103715-83


1FC Copenhagen41304316
2Dynamo Kyiv41303216
3Malmö FF41213305


1FC Basel4310103710
3FK Krasnodar420268-26


3PSV Eindhoven42118717


2CFR Cluj43014319


2Standard Liege420257-26
4Vitória Guimarães401337-41


1Young Boys42116427
4FC Porto411236-34


3Ferencvárosi TC412124-25
4CSKA Moscow401318-71


1KAA Gent42209638


1Istanbul Basaksehir42115507
2B Mgladbach412147-35
4RZ Pellets WAC41125504


1Sporting Braga431084410
3Slovan Bratislava41127704


1Man Utd431050510
2AZ Alkmaar4220132118
3Partizan Belgrade411247-34
4FC Astana4004114-130
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