The best teams can allow themselves to play certain matches without being 100% focused. We, however, are not such a team as shown in Basel when we should have blown the opposition away but didn’t due to a lack of concentration and probably a bit of complacency because we were virtually through anyway. Tonight looked to be a repeat of that after a first half where we didn’t take our chances and got punished. Thankfully, we approached the second half with more determination and focus and then CSKA couldn’t live with us. It wasn’t a breathtaking performance but it was important to keep our momentum and get Lukaku and Rashford on the scoresheet as well.
Good professional win in a tricky game from what I saw (Celtic gets put on the main screens in pubs up here). Rashford will get sharper as he plays more. Great to see Lukaku score at OT. Agree with United we win, Pogba gonna be massive miss against City.
Agree with everyone’s insights here on Pogba, he was simply sublime yesterday – oozing quality. He will be a massive miss on Sunday but I am certain Mourinho already had a plan to play City without him devised last Sunday.
Spot on jm1502. Lukaku was very good yesterday, great performance all-round, if we can pick him out against City like Pogba did for his goal last night I strongly doubt Otamendi or Stones could deal with him. Lindelof continues his fine form since he made that crunching tackle against Brighton and Mata seemed to have a bit of his touch back as well.
All round this was a very controlled performance. Much like how a top class sprinter runs at 80% in the heats – we did enough without breaking a sweat.
Only saw the 2nd half and wasn’t overly impressed – we were very lax in our attacking and I didn’t see much to make me think we are going to go into Sunday full of belief and hunger without Pogba. The positives were obviously Luke Shaw returning and his performance as well as Lukaku and Rashford getting goals which both desperately need.
Hopefully lady luck with smile on us and we avoid Bayern, Juventus and Real Madrid in the draw on Monday.
Pogba is still far from the finished article, beautiful lay-off for the goal but his passing completion was only 81%, admittedly some of that is probably because he tries things that don’t necessarily come off. Having said all that, he’s still our best central midfielder by a long long way and will be sorely missed in the derby.