Manchester United’s owners, the Glazer family, as well as executive vice-president Ed Woodward and director Richard Arnold, will celebrate the team’s 2-0 win over Villarreal that takes the club into the Champions League knockout rounds as Group F winners, but they do not deserve to.
They had botched the sacking of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and given rookie manager Michael Carrick just over 48 hours and two training sessions to prepare for a tough trip to Spain, they set him up to fail.
But as they have often done in Europe this season, United found a way.
Manchester United Was Saved By David And Cristiano, Carrick Seemed Impressed
Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 6th goal in 5 UCL games, which was followed by Jadon Sancho’s first goal since joining from Borussia Dortmund, which means Manchester United will be in the hat for the last 16 in the new year.
Carrick, along with coaches Mike Phelan and Kieran McKenna, kept his job when Solskjaer left, but this was a baptism of fire for someone with zero previous experience as a manager. It wasn’t pretty in the first half, but that was to be expected after a tumultuous couple of days.
David De Gea was at his best for Manchester United as he claimed a clean sheet for the team. He had shipped 19 goals in the last 7 games for Ole, while Ronaldo and Sancho hopped on 2 chances to score their goals, respectively.
The win was well-deserved for Carrick as he won’t face any tougher challenges than these two days. He can thank his bosses for that.
Fred and Alex Telles were also recalled into a system that looked like a shift away from Solskjaer’s usual 4-2-3-1, with Martial and Ronaldo paired upfront. Bruno and Rashford were brought in later to bring life into the game and was the turning point.