Three observations as Manchester United ease to victory over FC Sheriff

Manchester United earned their first win in the Europa League this season after a 2-0 victory over FC Sheriff in Moldova.

Goals from Jadon Sancho and Cristiano Ronaldo sealed the win for Erik ten Hag’s side after they suffered a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Real Sociedad a week ago.

The win will give United a boost ahead of the international break and one is needed because tonight was our last game for a month, with Manchester City next up in the Premier League.

However, United’s next Europa League opponents are Omonia Nicosia — arguably the weakest side in Group E — on October 6. They lost 2-1 against La Real tonight.

Without further ado, here are our three observations from the match.

Ten Hag takes no risks

We expected Ten Hag to go with a full strength line-up and that is what he did against Sheriff. In hindsight, he could have rested his preferred eleven, but there was no point in doing that because the team has a month until its next competitive fixture. That is why the Dutchman didn’t need rotate his squad against the Moldovan outfit. 10 of the 11 who started versus Arsenal in the league were in the line-up tonight, with only Ronaldo coming in for the injured Rashford. He also got the response he wanted after losing our first game in the group phase.

Ronaldo scores but performs abysmally

Ronaldo scored his first goal of the season tonight, but he regularly lost possession and had a look on his face like he isn’t interest in facing teams that usually compete in Europe’s second rate competition. Hopefully the goal can give him some sort of boost, but I don’t see this working out long term unless Ronaldo is happy to remain in a bit-part role.

Total control

We watched United ease to victory tonight thanks to some classy work in the middle by Christian Eriksen. It took Ten Hag’s men 20 minutes to wake up but once they got going there was only going to be one winning side. The Red Devils never left third gear in the second half and my only complaint is that we didn’t have that ruthless edge to embarrass FC Sheriff on the night because they were awful.

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