Manchester United 1-0 FC Zorya Luhansk: Ibrahimovic nets winner as Mourinho's men get off the mark

The big striker spared United's blushes, by heading home the winner in the 69th minute, to give United three crucial points in Group A.

Manchester United 1-0 FC Zorya Luhansk: Ibrahimovic nets winner as Mourinho's men get off the mark
Ibrahimovic celebrates his winning goal (Picture source: John Peters / Getty Images)
Manchester United
1 0
FC Zorya Luhansk
Manchester United: Romero; Fosu-Mensah (Martial, min. 74), Bailly, Smalling, Rojo; Fellaini, Pogba; Lingard (Rooney, min. 67), Mata (Young, min. 74), Rashford; Ibrahimovic.
FC Zorya Luhansk: Shevchenko, Kamenyuka, Sivakov, Forster, Sobol, Karavaev, Grechyshkin, Chaykovskiy (Gordiyenko, min. 80), Petriak, Ljubenovic (Lipartia, min. 76), Kulach (Paulinho, min. 59).
SCORE: 1-0, min, 69, Ibrahimovic.
REFEREE: Orel Grinfeld (ISR). Booked: Bailly (min. 63), Kamenyuka (min. 90).
INCIDENTS: Uefa Europa League Group A match between Manchesster United and FC Zorya Luhansk, held at Old Trafford.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored a second-half winner for Manchester United as they defeated FC Zorya Luhansk 1-0 at Old Trafford on a night of frustration for Jose Mourinho's men.

Ibrahimovic headed home from an angle in the 69th minute of the game to score the winner after Wayne Rooney mistimed his shot after coming on as a second-half substitute. 

The performance of the team throughout the game was very poor but in the end, it was all about making sure the team got the win to get off the mark in Group A of the Uefa Europa League.

Four changes to the lineup

Mourinho made four changes to his starting lineup from the fantastic win against Leicester City at the weekend.

Sergio Romero, Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Marouane Fellaini and Marcos Rojo came into the team in the place of David de Gea, Antonio Valencia, Ander Herrera and Daley Blind.

No early goal to settle nerves

After a slow start to the game from the hosts, they almost went in front when a corner from Juan Mata was flicked on to Marcus Rashford at the back post. The striker saw his first time powerful half volley come back off the crossbar with the goalkeeper well beaten which was so unlucky. 

The visitors set up was quite clear in the early part of the game as they tried to hit United on the break as they sat deep without the ball.

These tactics worked as United really struggled to break them down. The frustration on the pitch was clear to see as the players just couldn't create enough.

It was a frustrating game for the hosts | Photo:
It was a frustrating game for the hosts throughout the game | Photo: Laurence Griffiths / Getty Images

Despite some late pressure on the visitors goal at the end of the first half, poor finishing and good defending from the Ukrainians saw United fail to score in what was really a poor half of football on display.

Poor start to the second half from the hosts

United continued on from where they left off in the first half at the start of the second as they were so sloppy and the players just didn't look like they wanted to be playing the game at all.

This gave the visitors the encouragement to go forward and they had the first shot on target in the game as substitute Paulinho forced Romero into making a good save.

Ibrahimovic heads home the winner

The problem though is that warning sign seemed to wake United up as they finally got the breakthrough in the game that there play really didn't deserve.

Fosu-Mensah crossed the ball into the box to Rooney, who mistimed his shot but it went straight to Ibrahimovic at the back post and he headed home from an angle to give the hosts the lead. 

Ibrahimovic heads home the winner for United | Photo: Laurence Griffiths / Getty Images
Ibrahimovic heads home the winner for United | Photo: Laurence Griffiths / Getty Images

The confidence in the United team went up a level after going in front but they just couldn't assert themselves enough to get any more goals, despite Ibrahimovic going close late on from a free-kick.

The game, therefore, ended with United just about winning which means that they get off the mark in Group A with three points from two games.