Man Utd beat FC Sheriff: Five things we learned as Cristiano Ronaldo finally breaks the duck | Soccer

Man Utd beat FC Sheriff: Five things we learned as Cristiano Ronaldo finally breaks the duck | Soccer
Man Utd beat FC Sheriff: Five things we learned as Cristiano Ronaldo finally breaks the duck | Soccer

Cristiano Ronaldo finally got his season started on Thursday night as Manchester United beat FC Sheriff 2-0 in Moldova. Jadon Sancho was also on the scoresheet as Erik ten Hag selected a strong squad after losing the Europa League opener last week to Real Sociedad. As the Red Devils head into the international break, sports express introduces you to five things we learned…

Sancho makes his point

The 22-year-old mounted the perfect response after being left out of Gareth Southgate’s England squad on Thursday. All eyes were on the Three Lions announcement several hours before United kicked off and there was no room for the former Borussia Dortmund star, despite places for Jack Grealish and Jarrod Bowen.

Sancho let his feet do the talking in Moldova as he took under his spell Christian Eriksen’s quick pass, returned to his left foot and beat Maksym Koval with a neat finish.

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Ten Hag makes a statement in the Europa League

United’s opponents were outmatched on Thursday but manager Ten Hag was in no mood to take risks and made it clear he was serious about this year’s Europa League. Rather than using the trip to Moldova as an opportunity to scare away stars or young peripherals, the former Ajax boss opted for seasoned heavyweights who proved more than capable of getting the job done.

Ronaldo, Lisandro Martinez and Antony were all sent off by the Red Devils to battle for three points after losing their Europa League opener at home to Real Sociedad last week. It remains to be seen whether Omonia Nicosia will receive the same treatment on October 6.

Antony hasn’t found the rhythm yet

United fans will invariably have wanted to see more of Antony against FC Sheriff, with his £84m price tag bringing high expectations. The Brazilian was a passenger for much of the game, remaining isolated on the right side and missing an opportunity to show the fans what he is.

That’s not to say there haven’t been some good times. Antony’s quick free-kick to Ronaldo in the first half put the hosts under pressure and the usual backheel passes drew cheers from the crowd, but against opponents he should, on paper, be able to turn the rings, viewers who tuned in specifically to see his talent may have been somewhat disappointed.

United’s global reach exposed

Despite traveling to a destination about as far away as the Europa League has to offer, United’s support was not limited to just traveling fans. It seems not all native Moldovans were cheering on FC Sheriff as red spots dotted the four stands at Zimbru Stadium.

On the one hand, the show showed just how far United’s fanbase stretches, but that’s also partly down to the game not being played at FC Sheriff’s ground. Instead, UEFA moved the match to Chisinau due to security concerns.

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. Man Utd beat Sheriff five things we have learned so Cristiano Ronaldo bust finally duck Football sport

. Man Utd beat Sheriff learned Cristiano Ronaldo finally breaks duck Soccer

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