Mengi shines as United coast, Sanchez joins Inter

Manchester United's Jesse Lingard challenging Lask's Reinhold Ranftl in their Europa League clash at Old Trafford on Wednesday. He netted the equaliser before Anthony Martial's winner gave them a 7-1 aggregate win. PHOTO: EPA-EFE
Manchester United's Jesse Lingard challenging Lask's Reinhold Ranftl in their Europa League clash at Old Trafford on Wednesday. He netted the equaliser before Anthony Martial's winner gave them a 7-1 aggregate win. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

LONDON • With a 5-0 lead over Austria's Lask going into the second leg of their Europa League last-16 tie, the outcome was always a foregone conclusion for Manchester United and so it proved on Wednesday.

Goals by Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial cancelled out a strike by Philipp Wiesinger for a 2-1 win on the night as the Red Devils went through 7-1 on aggregate, setting up a quarter-final clash with FC Copenhagen on Monday.

The game at Old Trafford was more of an opportunity to experiment with second-string players and blood youngsters like Teden Mengi.

The 18-year-old defender came off the bench to become the eighth United academy graduate to make his debut this season under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and was later showered with praise on social media from his senior teammates.

Bringing players through the ranks was something that former manager Alex Ferguson strongly believed in and Paul Scholes feels that the Norwegian is taking a leaf out of his books.

"Sir Alex Ferguson was desperate to get young players playing and Ole has gone the same way," the former United midfielder said.

"They have to be good enough of course and they think highly of this lad and let's hope this is his first of many to come.

"Let's hope they can still keep on producing these young players that the club is all about."

Talking up Mengi's prospects, Solskjaer added: "He's a leader, a centre-back. He's one we believe in. He's in the same age group as Mason (Greenwood).

"They grew up together. He's strong, quick, good on the ball. We've got a decent player there."

Solskjaer also confirmed Inter Milan would be signing forward Alexis Sanchez, who has been on loan at the San Siro for a year, permanently and the Italian Serie A side yesterday announced that he had moved on a free transfer.

United now head to Germany, where the remainder of the Europa League will be played.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 07, 2020, with the headline 'Mengi shines as United coast, Sanchez joins Inter'. Print Edition | Subscribe