Mason Greenwood scores the winner as Manchester United beat Astana 1-0 in the Europa League


Manchester United defeated Astana 1-0 in the first game of their Europa League campaign.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side weren't at their best, particularly in front of goal, but 17-year-old Mason Greenwood came up with the decisive goal in the second half.

The teenager spared Solskjaer's blushes with his first senior goal. 

Much to the delight of Manchester United fans, Solskjaer gave starts to some of the clubs promising young players, including Axel Tuanzebe (21), Angel Gomes (19), Tahith Chong (19) and Greenwood (17).

The Class of 2019? We’ll see.

But Man United supporters were loving it, even showing off their new song for Greenwood.

“Mason Greenwood’s dynamite, he scores them with his left foot and he scores them with his right,” it goes.

Manchester United v FK Astana: Group L - UEFA Europa League

Solskjaer’s side dominated from the get-go.

Fred nearly gave the Red Devils an early lead but his long-range effort crashed off the crossbar.

It was to be a sign of things to come. Marcus Rashford had a slew of chances to score but Astana goalkeeper Nenad Eric was equal to his efforts.

The hosts failed to score, though, and the two sides went in level at half-time.

Manchester United v FK Astana: Group L - UEFA Europa League

Rashford’s profligacy prompted some Man United fans to demand Solskjaer move Greenwood from the right to a central position.

The teenager, who made his debut this past March in United’s 2-0 win against Arsenal, has been a revelation for the club’s youth teams and is now getting first-team opportunities following the departures of Alexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku.

The second half began and Man United continued to struggle in their pursuit of a goal.

Greenwood had a shot blocked, Rashford’s free-kick flew just over the crossbar and Eric palmed away a free-kick from Fred.

It was beginning to turn into a frustrating evening for the hosts, with Marcos Rojo’s attempted rabona summing things up.

Solskjaer made his first changes in the 68th minute, with Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata coming on for Chong and Gomes.

And they were 1-0 up five minutes later.

Greenwood twisted and turned his way into space inside the area before firing an effort into the far corner.

It was a fine effort.

You can understand the comparisons with Robin van Persie.

The Red Devils held on for all three points.

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