Granada came flying out of the traps and got in the faces of their opponents straight away. Their passing was crisp and they were pressing United at every opportunity. Puertas and Kennedy were looking lively and had already tested Shaw and Wan-Bissaka down the flanks.
It didn’t take long for United to get in to their stride forcing the Spanish side back. Pogba and Fernandes were starting to having a growing influence on the game. For all of United’s attacking talent it was their Swedish CB who unlocked the Granada defence. Lindelof found Rashford with a raking pass and the United forward plucked it out of the air before calmly slotting the ball past Rui Silva. The pass got the finish it deserved.
Granada looked to get back on level terms instantly. A well worked corner found Kennedy but his left foot strike was straight at the restored David de Gea. It was a comfortable save for the Spaniard. Granada went in a goal down at the break and they were going to need a big second half to get anything from the game.
The Spanish side started the second half like the first but couldn’t find a way through an organized United defence. Maguire and Lindelof in particular had been excellent all evening. Just like the first half United grew into the game and started to take control. Solskjaer’s side were dictating the pace of the game.
Alex Telles came on for the start of the second half to replace Luke Shaw, but Solskjaer played down any injury concerns for the England left-back and said in an interview:
“I had to protect Luke but I think and hope he should be ready for the weekend.”Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in an interview after the game
Alex Telles played fairly well after coming on. He looks relatively lively and made some darting runs down the left side of the pitch. He made one cross in particular, which you could argue that Cavani should have gotten on the end of.
United continued to hold firm and didn’t let Granada get sniff on goal. Bruno Fernandes came close when he had a shot from the corner of the six-yard box saved. During the last minute, Fernandes was brought down inside the penalty box. This was probably unjustified and a little fortunate, but United wouldn’t care about that. He doubled United’s advantage from the spot kick which Silva should have saved but the ball squirmed under his body.
We will be missing Maguire, Shaw and McTominay for the next game, but United should have enough to see the next leg over the line. With a two goal away goal cushion, this may be a chance for some of the fringe players or youngster to make a cameo in. Job done.
Final score – 0-2.