Manchester United Beat Villareal to Storm to Champions League Last 16 in Carrick's First Game in Charge

Manchester United Beat Villareal to Storm to Champions League Last 16 in Carrick's First Game in Charge

  • Manchester United stormed into the last 16 of the Champions League thanks to a 2-0 win over Villarreal at the Estadio La Ceramica
  • Cristiano Ronaldo and Jadon Sancho got the goals as the Red Devils claimed victory in their first match in Micheal Carrick's first game in charge
  • The Red Devils will win the group if Serie A side Atalanta fail to win against Switzerland's Young Boys

Manchester United are through to the Champions League knockout stages thanks to a 2-0 win over Villareal in the Red Devils’ first game since the departure of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Managerless Manchester United
Manchester United Beat Villareal to advance to the last 16 of the Champions League. Photo by Eric Alonso.
Source: UGC

Under the guidance of interim boss Michael Carrick, United completed the double over Unai Emery’s Villareal in a game that could have gone either way.

It was Cristiano Ronaldo who set his side up for victory in the 78th minute, finding the opening goal to take his tally in the competition to 140 goals.

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Jadon Sancho then made sure of the victory in stoppage time as he blasted a shot which came off the crossbar for his first goal in Manchester United colours.

How it all happened

In his first match as interim boss, Carrick made several changes, with the most notable one being the addition of Donny Van de Beek to the starting XI at the expense of Bruno Fernandes.

United made a fairly slow start to the game as Villareal thoroughly dominated possession in the opening half-hour, with glimpses of nervousness showing in the Red Devils camp.

Notably, United struggled for creativity up front as Cristiano Ronaldo often found himself isolated and devoid of chemistry with Anthony Martial.

Carrick brought on Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford midway through the second half to provide some much-needed creativity, with Van de Beek and Martial making way.

United will certainly feel indebted to goalkeeper David De Gea, who did brilliantly in the second half to keep out a stinging shot from Manu Trigueros.

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That save would prove crucial as 12 minutes to the end of the game and United midfielder Fred pounced on a mistake from Villareal for Cristiano Ronaldo to lob the ball expertly over goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli, who knew very little about it.

Jadon Sancho, who had been excellent throughout the game, finally saw his efforts pay off as another swift counter-attack saw the former Borussia Dortmund star receive the ball inside the box for his maiden goal for the Old Trafford club.

The win means United have a place in the last 16 and will be guaranteed to finish as group winners if Atalanta fail to win against Young Boys.

Ronaldo and family protected by twin bodyguards

Meanwhile, had earlier reported that Cristiano Ronaldo and his family have been enjoying the services of top twin bodyguards Sergio and Jorge Ramalheiro since joining Man United in the summer, The Sun, Daily Mail.

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The brothers are often seen in a black Range Rover jeep driving behind the five-time Ballon d'Or winner wherever he goes.

After the international break, Sergio and Jorge drove closely behind Ronaldo into United's training ground at Carrington after Portugal's disappointing spell at the World Cup qualifiers.