Man Utd player ratings gallery: Four score 8/10 in 3-0 win over Sheriff with four getting 7/10
Goals from Diogo Dalot, Marcus Rashford and Cristiano Ronaldo wrapped up the points.
Manchester United secured their place in the knockout stages of the Europa League on Thursday, thanks to a 3-0 home win over Sheriff Tiraspol.
The Moldovan side proved to be a relatively straightforward task for Erik ten Hag’s side, with Diogo Dalot, Marcus Rashford and Cristiano Ronaldo netting the all-important goals. The result also means the Red Devils will head into the final group game next week knowing a two-goal win over Real Sociedad will see them finish first.
It was a slow start from United, who dominated possession but found it tough to break down a Sheriff side that lined up in a deep 4-5-1 shape. Antony had an early right-foot shot saved by Maxym Koval, while Casemiro saw his header cleared off the line by Stjepan Radeljic.
On 26 minutes, Bruno Fernandes shot wide and his header back to Ronaldo soon after forced a quick reaction from Koval to keep the ball out. The Sheriff goalkeeper was kept busy and he kept out Christian Eriksen’s strike from outside the box, while Ronaldo saw a shot deflect wide from a similar distance.
The onslaught continued as the half went on, and Tyrell Malacia’s shot was saved after he managed to wriggle through the Sheriff defence. But when the goal came it was the opposite full-back who grabbed the opener; Dalot rose highest in the box and met Eriksen’s corner to give United a much-deserved lead, and simultaneously netted just his second-ever goal for the Red Devils.
It was a similar story after the break with Eriksen seeing a free-kick crash off the wall, while Ronaldo flashed an effort wide from a position where he should have hit the target. The 37-year-old did find the back soon after, but it was correctly ruled out for offside in the build-up.
When the second came it was two substitutes who combined. Luke Shaw picked out Rashford in the box on 64 minutes and the attacker planted a header beyond Koval. There were also late chances for Rashford and Alejandro Garnacho, both of which were saved, before Ronaldo got the goal he so evidently wanted on his return to the team.
The former Real Madrid man saw his header palmed back into the centre by Koval and it was Ronaldo who reacted quickest to poke it beyond the keeper and into the back of the net.
Here’s how we rated the United players.