Harry Maguire's dominant display in Manchester United's 3-1 win over Everton drew praise from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who also lauded Fred and Scott McTominay's midfield partnership.

United bounced back from successive defeats to Arsenal and Istanbul Basaksehir by claiming a vital win at Goodison Park, relieving some of the mounting pressure on Solskjaer.

Bernard put Everton ahead, but a quickfire double from Bruno Fernandes turned matters around before the break.

Everton toiled for an equaliser in the second half, but the contest was settled in added time when Fernandes, who has now been involved in a Premier League record 15 goals (10 scored, five assisted) in his first 10 away games in the competition, teed up Edinson Cavani for his maiden United goal.

MAGUIRE LEADS UNITED DEFENCE

While Fernandes made United's attack tick, captain Maguire put in an excellent performance at the other end, standing firm against the league's joint-leading scorer Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

Maguire was dominant in the air as Everton – still shorn of the suspended Richarlison – attempted to pick out their often-isolated forward, with the England defender making one tackle, one interception and seven clearances, the most he has managed in a league match this term.

After a difficult start to the season for Maguire, it was a display which delighted Solskjaer, who told a news conference: "I thought Harry's performance was top, of course.

"Against for me one of the best in the world for aerial play – Calvert-Lewin, with his timing in the air, his jump, his spring, his athleticism.

"I thought we defended very well against him. Really pleased with Harry, and the rest of them back there." 

Having used a midfield diamond in United's defeat to Arsenal last Sunday, Solskjaer switched to a 4-2-3-1, with Fred and McTominay in a double-pivot.

The duo excelled, attempting a combined 112 passes and making three tackles between them, with McTominay also intercepting two passes – a game-high.

Fred had the most passing attempts (63) and completed passes (57) of any United player, with his 90.5 per cent success rate the best among their starters.

"Scott and Fred have done brilliant together, they're a great partnership," said Solskjaer, who left Paul Pogba on the bench until the 82nd minute.

"Of course, they didn't play during the week, Scott played 45 minutes in Turkey, but you can see they had fresh legs. 

"We had Bruno and he scored his goals, but Scott and Fred, with that energy, in that engine room, they're always key for us so our creative players can go on and create chances, show their magic.

"They're so disciplined and I'm very pleased with the two of them."

TOFFEES COME UNSTUCK YET AGAIN

While Solskjaer revelled in a much-improved performance, Ancelotti was left to reflect on a third straight league reverse.

November 2006, at Milan, was the last time Ancelotti endured such a run, while Everton have conceded at least two goals in each of their last five league games.

"The problem was that after we scored we were not able to defend well, and they took advantage," Ancelotti told BT Sport.

"They were able to score easily. We said before the game we had to defend better and we did not defend good enough. We were slow at the back, we have to improve.

"I hope that after the international break we will back in a different shape. It is not only a problem of the defenders, it is all of the team.

"I know how to manage difficulties, every year you have them. We can start again after the break, we are really bad at the moment but we started well."

Donny van de Beek has a big part to play this season and his lack of minutes so far only highlights Manchester United's lofty ambitions, according to boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

The Netherlands international has yet to start a Premier League game for United since joining from Ajax at the start of the season in a deal that could rise to £39.1million (€44m).

He was an unused substitute in Saturday's goalless draw with Chelsea and has barely an hour of football to his name across four league matches this term.

Dutch great Marco van Basten this week became the latest high-profile figure to question his compatriot's decision to join United, having also been linked with Real Madrid.

But speaking ahead of Wednesday's Champions League clash with RB Leipzig, Solskjaer once again stressed Van de Beek remains a part of his long-term plans.

"When players come into a new league, new team, it is always going to be a time for adaption," Solskjaer said at his pre-match news conference.

"Donny has played well when he has played. It says a lot about our depth of quality that we don't have to use him every game. I also think it says a lot about our ambitions.

"We want to push on and challenge for trophies. Donny will play a big, big part this year. I know the topic is about Donny van de Beek.

"It's nice for some players or commentators to have a go, and I know you're short for time on TV and have to put points across quickly.

"But you don't have to start the first three games to be an important player. I'd be disappointed if my team-mates said I wasn't important because I didn't start many games.

"Donny will be very important for us, don't worry about that."

Solskjaer also named Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic on the bench for the stalemate against Chelsea, with Fred and Scott McTominay getting the nod behind Bruno Fernandes.

The midweek visit of Leipzig presents the Norwegian with another opportunity to rotate in midfield as United look to build on their 2-1 win over Paris Saint-Germain in last week's Group H opener.

"It's going to be a long season. The depth of our squad is better now. To leave players out like Donny, Nemanja and Paul... they're all experienced international footballers," Solskjaer said.

"It's not easy. But we have so many games and they will all play a massive part in different periods. Nobody can play every game.

"When you put 11 together they have to work together as a team. Is it two or three in midfield? Who is on form, who needs a break?"

Solskjaer, who won 12 trophies during an 11-season playing career at Old Trafford, added: "I've been part of a successful Man United team myself.

"We had two players in every position. The more successful teams, the teams that win trophies, they have competition for places. It's not easy, it's very difficult.

"I don't feel pressure. Pressure is getting results. I've got to plan the next three or four games - we need to win more than just the next one. It's a nice problem to have.

"I'd rather have that than play players who are not ready for the Premier League."

McTominay started last week's win at the Parc des Princes and echoed the thoughts of his manager with regards to Van de Beek's limited playing time so far.

"I'm confident he will be an important figure. He has lifted everyone else along with the other new boys - top signings who can lift the dressing room," he said.

"We saw that in Paris, with the performances of Donny and Alex [Telles]. There's no time to panic - people are quick to come to quick assumptions. Let him settle into his new house and concentrate on playing."

United are unbeaten in their last 10 home matches against German sides in European competition, winning seven and drawing three of those, with their last such defeat coming at the hands of Bayern Munich in April 2001.

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer revealed midfielder Scott McTominay played with "one eye" in the first half of the team's Champions League victory against Paris Saint-Germain after losing a contact lens.

McTominay started alongside Fred and Bruno Fernandes in midfield and impressed as United upstaged last season's finalists PSG 2-1 in their Group H opener on Tuesday.

As Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic and Donny van de Beek watched from the bench in the first half, McTominay performed well for United, who took a 1-0 lead into the break thanks to Fernandes' 23rd-minute penalty in Paris.

Anthony Martial's own goal in the 55th minute gifted PSG an equaliser, but Marcus Rashford netted United's match winner with three minutes remaining at Parc des Princes, where the Red Devils claimed a record 10th consecutive away victory in all competitions.

Solskjaer singled out McTominay post-match, telling reporters: "Scotty played the first-half with one eye as well, that was the most impressive thing, because he lost his contact lens. That was impressive."

Fernandes opened the scoring with his 11th spot-kick for United following a re-take. Since 2012-13, PSG have conceded more penalties (18) and more penalty goals (13) in the Champions League than any other side.

Martial, though, headed the ball into his own net early in the second half as Ligue 1 champions PSG restored parity behind closed doors.

But Rashford fired a fine finish into the bottom-left corner of the net from the edge of the penalty box.

Rashford's last three goals in the Champions League have all come on the road, with the last two netted at Parc des Princes.

"He's a good footballer and he's got quality. And he took his goal very well; great turn, good finish and into the corner. He likes that side of the [Parc des Princes] stadium, I think," Solskjaer said.

"I think when you're doing well on the pitch as well as off the pitch, they marry well together. And I am sure he knows…I think it gives him energy what he does so that's not a problem."

On comparisons between Rashford and PSG star Kylian Mbappe, Solskjaer added: "I think he's a very, very good striker. It's difficult to compare them but both are going to be top, top strikers for 10-15 years.

"They've both got quality, great physique, pace, both of them seem good people – humble and hard-working. And It’s nice to see them succeed."

Paul Pogba scored as a second-half substitute to seal a 3-0 win for Manchester United over Brighton and Hove Albion in Wednesday's EFL Cup last-16 tie at the Amex Stadium.

United required a 100th minute penalty to claim an undeserved 3-2 win at this ground in the Premier League on Saturday but found things a lot easier in this latest encounter.

Pogba found the net via a deflected free-kick 10 minutes from time after being brought off the bench with United toiling at the time, albeit a goal to the good through Scott McTominay's first-half header.

Juan Mata set up that opener and was also on target with the visitors' second goal of the game before Pogba took over, sealing a third win in a row for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men in all competitions. 

Bruno Fernandes, the scorer of United's dramatic goal at the same venue four days ago, was left out of the squad as Solskjaer made 10 changes, compared to nine for Brighton.

Those mass changes perhaps explain the disjointed nature of the first half, with McTominay finding a way through a minute before the interval from the only real opportunity.

Mata sent in a teasing free-kick from the right and McTominay was left all alone five yards out to head past Jason Steele - his first goal since the Manchester derby in March.

United were grateful to the reactions of back-up goalkeeper Dean Henderson for keeping them level with 67 minutes played, getting down to his left to tip Leandro Trossard's effort wide of the post.

The visitors used that warning wisely by scoring an all-important second goal six minutes later through Mata, who controlled Donny van de Beek's delightful backheeled pass and picked out the bottom-right corner.

Pogba, introduced along with Marcus Rashford, made certain of a place in the quarter-finals with a free-kick from 20 yards that took a telling deflection off the wall on its way past Steele.

Scott McTominay has signed a new five-year contract with Manchester United, the Premier League club have announced. 

The midfielder's new deal includes the option to extend by a further year to June 2026. 

The 23-year-old, who has progressed through the academy since joining United in 2012, has become a mainstay of the first team since making his debut under Jose Mourinho in 2017. 

The Scotland international has made 75 appearances for United in all competitions, scoring six goals, his most recent securing a 2-0 victory over Manchester City in the derby at Old Trafford in March. 

"Whilst I understand that we all have so many other things to think about at the moment, I'm so happy to sign this contract and play a part in the future ahead for this team," he said via United's website. 

"All I have ever known is United and I hope that my passion for the club shows every time I go onto the pitch. I'll continue to give everything for this club whenever I pull on the shirt.  

"I want to thank the manager for the faith he has shown in me and everyone at the club that has helped me to get where I am today. I'm looking forward to finishing this season on a high and hopefully achieving our aims."

McTominay has made 28 appearances for United this season despite missing close to three months with knee problems.

He started the 1-1 draw with Tottenham last week, which was United's first game since the coronavirus pandemic forced the Premier League season to be suspended in March.

Scott McTominay has signed a new five-year contract with Manchester United, the Premier League club have announced.

For the first time in a while, there is a genuine and understandable enthusiasm around Manchester United's midfield options.

Bruno Fernandes settled exceptionally quickly following his January move from Sporting CP, Fred has established himself in the team and produced a string of positive performances, Scott McTominay continues to improve and speculation relating to Paul Pogba has gone quiet.

Now there is reportedly increasing confidence of being able to sign Ajax star Donny van de Beek, a key figure in the Dutch side's march to the Champions League semi-finals last year.

The Netherlands international had been heavily linked with Real Madrid, with claims a deal had already been agreed between the club and player, but those reports have since cooled.

There's little doubt Van de Beek would be a fine addition at Old Trafford, but would the fans' ideal midfield trio comprising of Pogba, Fernandes and the 23-year-old be too unbalanced?

More responsibility, greater productivity

One of Van de Beek's biggest strengths is his well-rounded style of play, and it is especially relevant when looking at the roles he has played across the past two seasons.

Last term he was regularly deployed in an attack-minded position ahead of Frenkie de Jong, whereas in 2019-20 he was largely used in a deeper role, helping to fill the void left by his international colleague's departure to Barcelona.

Therefore, if we accept Pogba and Fernandes would automatically fill the first two midfield spots at United, it is likely Van de Beek would be asked to play a deep-lying role if he was to move to Old Trafford.

This certainly did not negatively impact his influence for Ajax in 2019-20, however, even with respect to his attacking output.

Across all competitions, he averaged more touches of the ball (53.5 to 46.7) per game this season, while his touches in the opposition's penalty area also increased from 5.9 to 6.9.

The fact Van de Beek saw more of the ball reflects in his higher passing frequency (up to 38.8 per match from 33.1), and the accuracy of that distribution was 81 per cent, having been at 79 last term.

Understandably he did not average as many shots per game (down from 2.1 to 1.9), but his chance creation increased to 1.8 from 1.6 in 2018-19.

While these were mostly slight changes, it does highlight a suitability for the position – the fact his attacking productivity generally increased, even from a deeper role, speaks volumes for his influence, particularly given Ajax were widely accepted to have been less impressive collectively this term.

The best option for a defensive role?

From a defensive perspective, there were not major changes to Van de Beek's contributions in 2019-20. He still averaged five recoveries, one interception and two tackles per game, while his participation in duels (from 8.0 to 8.4) and duels won (from 4.2 to 4.4) were up slightly in all competitions.

But it is worth remembering Ajax were generally a dominant force in matches – they spent more time with the ball than without it, and Van de Beek's influence was most felt when they were on the attack.

Fred and Nemanja Matic – who also enjoyed something of a resurgence before the season's suspension – would likely be those most threatened by Van de Beek's arrival.

But both can claim a better frequency of interceptions, with Matic averaging 1.2 per Premier League game and Fred 1.4, while they also complete more passes per match – 46 and 53, respectively.

And although Van de Beek's all-action approach serves him well, Matic and Fred both out-do him with respect to average duels; the Serbian is involved in 10 per top-flight game, the Brazilian 12.

While neither boast Van de Beek's effectiveness in attack, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could argue that is not their job if occupying a deep position.

A replacement for Pogba?

While Van de Beek's game was not hurt by operating in a deeper role this term, he is clearly at his most useful when in possession, and he has also been praised for his clinical nature in front of goal.

After all, in the Eredivisie this season his expected goals (xG) was 5.5 but he scored eight times. Similarly, in the Champions League, he got a pair of goals despite his xG being 1.3.

Were United to sign Van de Beek as a deep-lying midfielder whom the defensive burden was on, there is a strong chance the Premier League would not see the best of him. It would be bold to expect a similar attacking output from him in England's top flight if he was also tasked with protecting the defence.

But if he was to be seen as a long-term replacement for Pogba, there is an equally arguable case that United's overall midfield unit could improve with his box-to-box capabilities.

Pogba – who has missed the majority of the 2019-20 season through injury – averaged 1.3 tackles and 0.5 interceptions in his 35 Premier League games last term, which is fewer than Van de Beek. And while people might be correct to point out the World Cup winner is more known for his creativity than his work off the ball, Van de Beek's average chance creation of 1.8 is also better than Pogba's 1.6 in 2018-19.

Either way, it seems likely Van de Beek would be a solid acquisition if United were able to snatch him from the grasp of Madrid – but his well-rounded game could see him pigeonholed and his influence limited.

Scott McTominay revealed there was a possibility of him leaving Manchester United on loan at one stage, but he wanted to stay and show he deserved to be at Old Trafford.

Premier League teams often send out talented young players for temporary spells, allowing them to get regular first-team minutes to further their development.

McTominay appeared set to depart United at one stage after coming through the academy, yet opted to stay instead.

The Scotland midfielder made his debut under Jose Mourinho in a 2-0 loss to Arsenal in May 2017 and while the Portuguese boss is no longer in charge, he has continued to blossom under manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Still, despite his impressive rise through the ranks at one of the biggest clubs in the world, McTominay insisted it is important to remain grounded.

"About a year-and-a-half ago, there was a time when it [a loan move] might have been a possibility but then somebody else leaves or something like that," he said during an appearance on the UTD Podcast. "Then your opportunity comes and you have to take it.

"You hear loads of stories about boys going on loan, and different things like that, and I always had it in my head that I don't want that. I want to be showing myself here first and, if it doesn't work here, then you go somewhere else.

"For me, you hear the stories about getting the life of luxury at Manchester United and people take that for granted; like the food in the canteen, your kit being laid out for you every morning.

"People just expect that and you have to always remember where you came from, in that respect, and always appreciate what people do for you. I feel like that is the culture that is brought through for us."

McTominay has made 20 Premier League appearances in the coronavirus-hit 2019-20 campaign despite injury issues, scoring four goals.

Nemanja Matic believes Scott McTominay has what it takes to become a "legend" at Manchester United.

Having developed into a key component of the United midfield since breaking into the first team under Jose Mourinho in 2016-17, McTominay was sorely missed after suffering a knee injury in the 4-1 win over Newcastle United on December 26.

Since returning to action last month, the midfielder has helped Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side enjoy an 11-game unbeaten run in all competitions and scored the second goal in the 2-0 win over Manchester City at Old Trafford.

Matic, whose own form in recent months prompted United to trigger a one-year extension to his contract and open talks about a new deal, thinks his midfield partner would be an asset to any major side.

"We are always talking, especially when he started to play in the first team, but now he's a proper senior player he plays like he’s had 10 years in the first team," said on MUTV. "With him, we don't have any problems.

"I think he will be a very important player for Manchester United in the next 10 years or more. He is the kind of player and person that you always want to have in the changing room.

"[He is] very professional, with a lot of quality in the legs. His mentality is what Manchester United needs to have, so I think that with any coach, in any club he will fit very well.

"I'm happy for him and United that they have a player like that in the team. He just needs to continue how he's been working until now and I'm sure he will be one of the Manchester United legends one day."

With his future looking likely to be at Old Trafford, Matic feels responsible when it comes to guiding United's younger players.

"I remember when I was 20, 21, 22, I always looked to older players to see how they train and how they behave," added the 31-year-old.

"I think it's important and I hope I can help the youngsters in our changing room. Obviously, we have a lot of young players."

Scott McTominay hailed the arrival of "born winner" Bruno Fernandes and welcomed the additional midfield competition at Manchester United following Nemanja Matic's return to form.

Fernandes joined United from Sporting CP in January and already has three goals and the same number of assists in eight appearances.

The Portugal international was widely praised for his performance in Sunday's 2-0 win over Manchester City, the 25-year-old teeing up Anthony Martial for United's opener with a clever free-kick.

And McTominay has been impressed by his new team-mate's impact since arriving six weeks ago, which has coincided in an upturn in form for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men.

"With Bruno, you can see he comes in and he's a born winner - you see than in training," the Scotland international said at a news conference on Wednesday.

"He's willing to take the ball in any situation and play the killer pass - we need that creative spark. I can't give him enough credit for the way he's started.

"He's very demanding, a No.10 who wants the ball, but he's been a breath of fresh air. He's got a personality and that's what this football club needs - he has that in abundance."

McTominay was also on the scoresheet in the derby win over City with a long-range strike after being brought on as a second-half substitute.

Solskjaer opted for a midfield trio of Fernandes, Fred and in-form Matic, with academy product McTominay insisting the competition can only be a good thing.

"It's so important. If you don't have competition for places people take their foot off the peddle and relax," he said.

"It can only breed a healthy environment and Manchester United have always had that.

"I want to be one of the first names on the team sheet, but Nemanja is a great player and I can learn a lot from him."

McTominay is part of United's travelling party for Thursday's Europa League last-16 first leg against Austrian side LASK.

The game will be played without supporters due to the coronavirus outbreak - now categorised as a global pandemic by the World Health Organization - and McTominay is expecting a "strange" atmosphere.

"Obviously when you are growing up and play Under-18s and reserve games you are used to playing in front of lesser crowds," he said. 

"But it will be strange. We just have to keep doing what we have been doing. It is a real shame fans from both sides can't come."

Scott McTominay is looking forward to rubbing Manchester United's 2-0 derby victory in the faces of Manchester City-supporting acquaintances.

United beat City for the third time this season and extended their unbeaten run to 10 matches in all competitions, though a poor performance from Ederson gave them a helping hand.

The Brazil goalkeeper failed to keep Anthony Martial's volley from a clever free-kick by Bruno Fernandes out of the bottom-right corner despite getting two hands on it.

Ederson then made a mistake while rushing in stoppage time, throwing the ball straight to substitute McTomina, who curled home from in excess of 35 yards in the 96th minute.

"I know some City fans, well, one or two, so it'll be good to rub that one in their faces as well," McTominay told Sky Sports.

"That was such a sweet moment, especially in a game where we could have done with another goal earlier on to finish the game, but credit to the boys - they were top drawer.

"We had a sticky first 15, 20 minutes, but you see how much it means to the boys to win the derby again. That's three times this year. But we have to keep going.

"It's a game we have to take confidence from, but in the coming weeks, we have to go for some proper results and keep this run going.

"It was such a beautiful feeling, in front of our fans in the dying minutes. We can't get too carried away but we've got to keep going and keep pushing for the Champions League."

McTominay was making his fifth appearance since returning from two months out with a knee injury, and he has been impressed by United's upturn in form.

"You can see with the run of games we've been on, I've been injured for two months and I was desperate to get back because I could see the progression of the team," he said.

"Just to come on and help the boys today was a pleasure. Obviously I'm fighting for my place, everybody in this team is not guaranteed a starting spot and everybody has to keep working every week.

"For me, that's one of the most important things, but we'll keep our feet on the ground and keep pushing forwards. We've won a game today but it's the next one and the next one."

Two costly mistakes from Ederson handed Manchester United a derby victory over Manchester City on Sunday to put Liverpool on the brink of a first Premier League title.

Anthony Martial fired the Red Devils ahead in the first half with a shot that City's goalkeeper should probably have kept out at his near post.

United survived some heavy second-half pressure until Scott McTominay scored an injury-time second after Ederson's throw went straight to his feet.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side, beaten at home by City in their past three league meetings and the EFL Cup semi-final first leg, claimed a top-flight double over their city rivals for the first time since 2009-10 to leave the champions' title defence hanging by a thread.

Pep Guardiola's first league loss at Old Trafford brought an end to City's five-game winning run in all competitions, as United boosted their hopes of qualifying for next season's Champions League.

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes his players demonstrated signs of their ongoing improvement after an emphatic Europa League victory over Club Brugge.

The Red Devils booked their place in the last 16 of the competition with a 5-0 second-leg win over 10-man Brugge at Old Trafford to progress 6-1 on aggregate.

A Fred brace and goals from Bruno Fernandes, Odion Ighalo and Scott McTominay inspired United on Thursday, although Brugge played most of the game with 10 men after Simon Deli was sent off for deliberate handball.

Nevertheless, Solskjaer was pleased to see United head into Friday's draw on the back of a comprehensive victory with several impressive individual displays.

"I think there are loads of players out there who have improved," Solskjaer said in his post-match media conference after United extended their unbeaten run to seven matches across all competitions.

"Scott McTominay is back and I think he’s improved. Fred, I wasn’t sure if I was going to be alive for the next time he was going to score! 

"Fred's had so many attempts. One with his right and one with his left. It’s been an on-going joke between us, of course, but he got those goals and I’m very pleased for him.

"Obviously, we're in a moment now that we rotate a bit, players are getting games. But when you score goals and you play like this, you're going to get more confidence.

"When we got 1-0 and they had a man sent off it helps, but you're still playing against players in and around the box, our imagination there was good."

Solskjaer praised the willingness of Ighalo after the Nigeria striker – on loan from Chinese Super League side Shanghai Shenhua – scored his first goal for United on his full debut.

He added: "I think, as a fellow striker myself, I know important that first goal is and he’s been close a couple of times. 

"You can see he sniffs goals, he wants to be there, where it sometimes hurts. 

"That goal, he was sharp in his head and, as that ball is played over to Juan, he spins and was on the six-yard line when Juan puts it there. That’s a natural striker."

Brugge goalkeeper Simon Mignolet said Deli's sending off made United's task significantly less taxing.

"United deserved to go through," he said. "It was a little easier for them after the red card, but we can have no complaints with the result."

Emotional Odion Ighalo said he fulfilled a lifetime dream after the boyhood Manchester United fan marked his full debut with a goal, even though it was tinged with sadness

Ighalo scored United's second goal in a 5-0 Europa League second-leg round-of-32 win over 10-man Club Brugge at Old Trafford on Thursday.

The 30-year-old Nigeria striker celebrated by lifting up his United shirt to reveal a t-shirt which paid tribute to his sister Mary, who died in December.

Ighalo had taken a pay cut to secure a shock deadline-day loan move to United from Chinese Super League club Shanghai Shenhua.

He told BT Sport: "It's a big dream for me, yes. A great moment.

"I have been waiting for this, played three games, though I didn't play much and no goals.

"There has been a little bit of pressure, but now I got a goal to start my Manchester United goal career and it is a team I have supported since I was young, so it is very good. 

"I am very happy and I am grateful to God."

Ighalo netted with a close-range finish from Juan Mata's cutback after Bruno Fernandes had scored from the penalty spot.

Scott McTominay gave United a 3-0 half-time lead before midfield colleague Fred put a gloss on the result with two late goals.

Ighalo added: "The confidence was high and we spoke about that before the start. We pushed from the first minute and went all out playing our style.

"The red card was difficult for them with us attacking, and we worked hard until the last minute."

United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer praised Ighalo's penalty-box prowess post-game.

"He does exactly what it says on the tin," he said. "He plays up front, he can play with his back to goal and the goal was a good example of what you want of him. He can hold up the ball and he is what we have been lacking a little bit.

"If we hadn't had Odion tonight then Mason Greenwood would have had to play and we have a game on Sunday and that would put us in a tired position. We knew what we got when we signed him."

United are now unbeaten in seven games in all competitions and Solskjaer believes Ighalo and fellow new boy Fernandes have helped boost confidence in the dressing room.

He added: "Today we played attacking football and players combined well. The players had a swagger, confidence and a smile on their faces. The new lads have brought that."

Odion Ighalo marked his full Manchester United debut with his first goal for the club as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side swaggered into the last 16 of the Europa League with a 5-0 second-leg win against Club Brugge at Old Trafford.

January loan signing Ighalo came into the side in place of the injured Anthony Martial on Thursday, and the new striker grabbed the second goal in a dominant display against 10 men.

Bruno Fernandes had put United ahead from the penalty spot following a deliberate handball from Brugge defender Simon Deli, who was sent off, dealing a mighty blow to their hopes of building on a 1-1 home draw.

Ighalo netted soon afterwards, before Scott McTominay - in the starting XI for the first time since December - got in on the act. There was time for an unlikely late Fred brace, too, as United coasted through.

Brugge goalkeeper Simon Mignolet made fine early saves from Juan Mata and Fernandes in a portent of what was to come.

United were awarded a penalty when defender Deli dived to his left and turned a Daniel James shot past the post with his hand, although referee Serdar Gozubuyuk observed a lengthy VAR check before confirming the red card as Mignolet appeared poise to make a stop behind his team-mate.

Despite the wait, Fernandes kept his composure and confidently sent Mignolet the wrong way with a low spot-kick following a trademark stuttered run-up.

Fernandes was instrumental in United's second as he teased the Brugge defence and clipped a clever pass towards Mata, who crossed low for Nigeria striker Ighalo to bundle in.

The Portugal midfielder then won possession in the left corner before Fred teed up McTominay to drive home the third from the edge of the area.

Luke Shaw and Mason Greenwood both went close after the break, before Fred belatedly extended the lead with eight minutes remaining as he tapped in Jesse Lingard's cutback.

The Brazilian improbably then got a fifth with the final kick of the match, placing a left-footed shot past Mignolet to cap a fine United outing.
 

What does it mean? United breeze into last 16

United desperately want a return to the Champions League next season. They trail fourth-placed Chelsea in the Premier League by three points, but winning the Europa League provides another route into the continent's premier club competition. On this form, with Fernandes pulling the strings, they look a threat for any potential opponent in Friday's last-16 draw.

Fabulous Fernandes provides finesse

"Bruno, Bruno," chanted the United fans as Fernandes was substituted in the second half following a heavyweight display. His craft and guile provided the X-Factor that Solskjaer claimed the player would bring to United. His signing looks to have brought some much-needed impetus to the Red Devils.

Daft Deli decision decisive

Quite what was going through Deli's mind when he saw James line up a shot, only he will know. A burning desire to showcase his goalkeeping skills, perhaps? His moment of madness and dismissal completely changed the tone of the tie, setting up an easy day for the home side.

What's next?

United return to Premier League action on Sunday with a trip to Everton, while Brugge will look to bounce back against Genk.

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