Europa League - Group L
Man UtdManchester United4AZ AlkmaarAZ Alkmaar0

Man Utd 4-0 AZ Alkmaar: Mason Greenwood double in emphatic Europa League victory

By Simon StoneBBC Sport at Old Trafford
Mason Greenwood
Mason Greenwood is the youngest player to score twice in the same game in Europe for Manchester United, aged 18 years and 72 days

Mason Greenwood scored twice as Manchester United got four in 11 minutes to defeat AZ Alkmaar and secure a seeding for the Europa League knockout phase.

After a mundane first half, the game burst into life in the 53rd minute when Ashley Young drove home Juan Mata's cross for his first goal since February.

Greenwood stole the headlines though, firing home from the edge of the box before producing a fine left-footed finish to end the scoring frenzy.

It was the first time the 18-year-old had scored two in a first-team game and took his overall tally for the season to six. He is now United's leading scorer in Europe this season and only Marcus Rashford has scored more in all competitions.

In between the striker's double, Mata converted a penalty for the Spain midfielder's first goal of the season.

The victory was United's biggest in Europe since 2016 when they beat another Dutch side, Feyenoord, by the same score and means they will avoid Benfica, Ajax and Inter Milan in Monday's last-32 draw.

All change

The victory was United's third in a row in all competitions, coming after impressive triumphs against Tottenham and Manchester City.

It is only the third time United have done that since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer began his spell as United manager with eight successive wins after he replaced Jose Mourinho on 19 December last year.

The opening period lacked a competitive edge but Solskjaer will be delighted at the way it turned out, particularly as, from the team that started against Manchester City, only Harry Maguire and Martial kept their places.

This is crucial as, with a Carabao Cup quarter-final against Colchester in which they are overwhelming favourites, Solskjaer's side were starting what could turn out to be 19 games in 77 days, which will end with the second leg of their Europa League last-32 tie.

The volume of fixtures is one of the reasons why it is still felt United need to make signings when the transfer window opens next month.

Greenwood shines, Chong does not

When they entertain Everton on Sunday, United will reach an astonishing 4,000 consecutive games where a player they have been responsible for developing has been part of their matchday squad.

It is a staggering statistic, one that dates back to October 1937 and a game against Fulham at Craven Cottage.

Two of their modern-day products are Tahith Chong and Greenwood, who shared the memorable experience of being introduced as late substitutes in the memorable Champions League victory at Paris St-Germain in March.

Greenwood has bounded along since then. Against Alkmaar he made his seventh start in 18 overall appearances that have now yielded six goals. He is an automatic member of Solskjaer's matchday squad and in October signed a new contract that will keep him at Old Trafford until 2023.

By contrast, Chong has stalled. A Netherlands Under-21 player, he came on as a substitute here, his sixth appearance of the season - and only his second since 6 October. The midfielder's contract runs out at the end of the season and an extension offer remains unsigned amid rumours of excessive demands that United officials do not feel justify his performances.

At 20, Chong is nearly two years older than Greenwood and the suspicion is growing that an impactful United career might prove beyond him. He tried hard enough on Thursday but the quality showed by Greenwood was missing.

Man of the match - Mason Greenwood (Manchester United)

Mason Greenwood
Greenwood was one of seven academy graduates to finish the game for Manchester United

'Greenwood is different class as a finisher' - what they said

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer told BT Sport:

"I told them to be more us [at half-time], be more Man United. I know it's difficult for players when you change but in the second half we just found a rhythm, made more passes forward, more runs forward, were pressing and got our goals."

On Mason Greenwood:

"He's different class as a finisher, if there's anything around the box you expect him to get a shot off and on target, he's good at creating space for himself and right foot, left foot it doesn't matter. I'm very pleased with his performance.

"He's a different type to Wazza [Wayne Rooney] and the good thing about Mason is he is just going to look forward to Sunday. It's natural for him to score goals, it doesn't matter what level it is."

Dutch delight for United - the stats

  • Manchester United have won seven of their nine previous home games against Dutch sides in all competitions, keeping clean sheets in the last three.
  • Juan Mata has been directly involved in three goals (one goal, two assists) in a single European match for the first time since March 2013, scoring once and assisting twice for Chelsea against Steaua Bucharest.
  • Ashley Young has scored his first European goal for Manchester United since February 2012 when netting against Ajax.
  • Only Marcus Rashford (13) has scored more goals than Mason Greenwood (six) in all competitions for Manchester United this season.
  • Greenwood is the youngest player to score a double in major European competition for Manchester United, aged 18 years and 72 days.

What's next?

Manchester United return to action in the Premier League on Sunday (14:00 GMT) when they welcome Everton to Old Trafford.


Man Utd

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 22Romero
  • 18YoungSubstituted forLairdat 68'minutesBooked at 82mins
  • 38Tuanzebe
  • 5MaguireSubstituted forJonesat 68'minutes
  • 53Williams
  • 37Garner
  • 31Matic
  • 26Greenwood
  • 8Mata
  • 15Pereira
  • 9MartialSubstituted forChongat 59'minutes


  • 4Jones
  • 10Rashford
  • 13Grant
  • 17Fred
  • 39McTominay
  • 41Laird
  • 44Chong

AZ Alkmaar

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Bizot
  • 2Svensson
  • 20ClasieBooked at 28mins
  • 30Wuytens
  • 15Wijndal
  • 6MidtsjøBooked at 58mins
  • 8KoopmeinersBooked at 84mins
  • 10de WitSubstituted forDruijfat 63'minutes
  • 26SugawaraSubstituted forVlaarat 68'minutes
  • 7Stengs
  • 11IdrissiSubstituted forOuwejanat 77'minutes


  • 4Vlaar
  • 5Ouwejan
  • 14Druijf
  • 17Aboukhlal
  • 22de Boer
  • 24Reijnders
  • 29Kramer
Sandro Schärer

Match Stats

Home TeamMan UtdAway TeamAZ Alkmaar
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Manchester United 4, AZ 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Manchester United 4, AZ 0.

  3. Post update

    Offside, AZ. Jordy Clasie tries a through ball, but Ferdy Druijf is caught offside.

  4. Post update

    Attempt missed. Mason Greenwood (Manchester United) right footed shot from the left side of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Nemanja Matic.

  5. Post update

    Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Fredrik Midtsjø.

  6. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Andreas Pereira (Manchester United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Juan Mata.

  7. Post update

    Attempt saved. Andreas Pereira (Manchester United) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Mason Greenwood.

  8. Booking

    Teun Koopmeiners (AZ) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Teun Koopmeiners (AZ).

  10. Post update

    Tahith Chong (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  11. Booking

    Ethan Laird (Manchester United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  12. Post update

    Foul by Ethan Laird (Manchester United).

  13. Post update

    Calvin Stengs (AZ) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  14. Post update

    Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Ron Vlaar.

  15. Post update

    Brandon Williams (Manchester United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Teun Koopmeiners (AZ).

  17. Post update

    Corner, AZ. Conceded by Sergio Romero.

  18. Post update

    Attempt saved. Calvin Stengs (AZ) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Ferdy Druijf with a headed pass.

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, AZ. Thomas Ouwejan replaces Oussama Idrissi.

  20. Post update

    Foul by Juan Mata (Manchester United).


Join the conversation

These comments are now closed.


Scores, Results & Fixtures

Thursday 12th December 2019

As It Stood


2Apoel Nicosia6312108210
3FK Qarabag6123811-35
4F91 Dudelange6114818-104


1Malmö FF632186211
2FC Copenhagen62315419
3Dynamo Kyiv61417707


1FC Basel6411124813
3FK Krasnodar6303711-49


3PSV Eindhoven6222912-38


2CFR Cluj640264212


3Standard Liege6222810-28
4Vitória Guimarães6123710-35


1FC Porto631289-110
3Young Boys62228718


3Ferencvárosi TC614157-27
4CSKA Moscow612339-65


1KAA Gent6330117412


1Istanbul Basaksehir631279-210
3B Mgladbach622269-38
4RZ Pellets WAC612378-15


1Sporting Braga6420159614
3Slovan Bratislava61141013-34


1Man Utd6411102813
2AZ Alkmaar623115879
3Partizan Belgrade6222101008
4FC Astana6105419-153
View full Europa League tables

Top Stories

Elsewhere on the BBC