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Manchester United 4-1 Fenerbahce: Paul Pogba nets brace in Europa League romp

Published 20/10/2016

Manchester United's French midfielder Paul Pogba (R) and Manchester United's English midfielder Jesse Lingard (L) celebrate after Pogba scored their third goal during the UEFA Europa League group A football match between Manchester United and Fenerbahce at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on October 20, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / OLI SCARFFOLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
Manchester United's French midfielder Paul Pogba (R) and Manchester United's English midfielder Jesse Lingard (L) celebrate after Pogba scored their third goal during the UEFA Europa League group A football match between Manchester United and Fenerbahce at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on October 20, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / OLI SCARFFOLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
Manchester United's French midfielder Paul Pogba (R) and Manchester United's English midfielder Jesse Lingard (L) do a celebration dance after Pogba scored their third goal during the UEFA Europa League group A football match between Manchester United and Fenerbahce at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on October 20, 2016. AFP/Getty Images
Manchester United's French midfielder Paul Pogba (R) doing a celebration dance with Manchester United's English midfielder Jesse Lingard (L) after scoring their third goal during the UEFA Europa League group A football match between Manchester United and Fenerbahce at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on October 20, 2016. AFP/Getty Images
Manchester United's Paul Pogba (second left) dances with Jesse Lingard after scoring his side's third goal of the game during the UEFA Europa League match at Old Trafford, Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday October 20, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire
Manchester United's French midfielder Paul Pogba (L) hugs Manchester United's Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic (R) after the final whistle in the UEFA Europa League group A football match between Manchester United and Fenerbahce at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on October 20, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / OLI SCARFFOLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
Paul Pogba of Manchester United celebrates after scoring the opening goal from the penalty spot during the UEFA Europa League Group A match between Manchester United FC and Fenerbahce SK at Old Trafford on October 20, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 20: Juan Mata of Manchester United wins a penalty as he is brought down by Simon Kjaer of Fenerbahce during the UEFA Europa League Group A match between Manchester United FC and Fenerbahce SK at Old Trafford on October 20, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 20: Anthony Martial of Manchester United after scoring his team's second goal from the penalty spot during the UEFA Europa League Group A match between Manchester United FC and Fenerbahce SK at Old Trafford on October 20, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Manchester United's French midfielder Paul Pogba (R) scores their first goal from the penalty spot during the UEFA Europa League group A football match between Manchester United and Fenerbahce at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on October 20, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / OLI SCARFFOLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
Manchester United's Spanish midfielder Juan Mata (R) is fouled in the area by Fenerbahce's Danish defender Simon Kjaer (L) to concede Manchester United's first penalty leading their first goal during the UEFA Europa League group A football match between Manchester United and Fenerbahce at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on October 20, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / OLI SCARFFOLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
Fenerbahce's Simon Kjaer brings down Manchester United's Juan Mata inside the box, resulting in Manchester United's first penalty during the UEFA Europa League match at Old Trafford, Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday October 20, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire
Fenerbahce's Slovakian defender Martin Skrtel (L) challenges Manchester United's English striker Wayne Rooney (R) during the UEFA Europa League group A football match between Manchester United and Fenerbahce at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on October 20, 2016. AFP/Getty Images
Robin van Persie of Fenerbahce is closed down by Chris Smalling of Manchester United during the UEFA Europa League Group A match between Manchester United FC and Fenerbahce SK at Old Trafford on October 20, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho (left) greets Fenerbahce manager Dick Advocaat before the UEFA Europa League match at Old Trafford, Manchester. PA
Fenerbahce's Slovakian defender Martin Skrtel warms up before the UEFA Europa League group A football match between Manchester United and Fenerbahce at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on October 20, 2016. AFP/Getty Images
Robin van Persie of Fenerbahce warms up prior to the UEFA Europa League Group A match between Manchester United FC and Fenerbahce SK at Old Trafford on October 20, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Robin van Persie of Fenerbahce warms up prior to the UEFA Europa League Group A match between Manchester United FC and Fenerbahce SK at Old Trafford on October 20, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
A view of the Sir Alex Ferguson Statue prior to kickoff during the UEFA Europa League Group A match between Manchester United FC and Fenerbahce SK at Old Trafford on October 20, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
A general view of the stadium prior to kickoff during the UEFA Europa League Group A match between Manchester United FC and Fenerbahce SK at Old Trafford on October 20, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho takes part in a press conference at their Carrington base in Manchester, northwest England, on October 19, 2016 ahead of their UEFA Europa League group A football match against Fenerbahce on October 20. AFP/Getty Images

Manchester United's Paul Pogba scored twice as the Red Devils defeated Fenerbahce 4-1 to move to the top of Europa League Group A.

After very little of note in the opening half an hour, Pogba and Anthony Martial netted penalties within three minutes of each other before Pogba scored a fine third in first-half injury time.

Jesse Lingard added a fourth just after half-time and the United fans were on their feet again for Fenerbahce's consolation goal, scored late on by their popular former striker Robin van Persie.

The Red Devils leapfrog Fenerbahce to the top of the group table and have repaired the damage done by their opening loss to Feyenoord, who also have six points.

Jose Mourinho made seven changes to the side that drew with Liverpool on Monday and the incomers included captain Wayne Rooney, starting for the first time in a month.

Fenerbahce were the opponents when Rooney so thrillingly announced his arrival at United with a debut hat-trick.

But that was 12 years ago and this time the Turkish side offered the chance for Rooney to show he can offer more than just past glories.

Pogba, another man with a point to prove, kept his place while Martial and Luke Shaw started but there was no place in the squad for either Henrikh Mkhitaryan or Morgan Schneiderlin.

The Fenerbahce team featured two very familiar faces in Van Persie, who was warmly applauded throughout the match, and former Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel.

Van Persie probed without threatening during the opening stages and there not been a chance of note until Juan Mata skilfully controlled a long ball in the area.

Simon Kjaer clumsily bundled into him and, after Rooney stepped aside to let Pogba take the penalty, he kept his cool while keeper Volkan Demirel dallied to give the hosts a 31st-minute lead.

Three minutes later they were two up thanks to another penalty, this time won and converted by Martial, who ran onto a fine ball from Mata before being pushed in the back by Sener Ozbayrakli.

Fenerbahce nearly pulled one back immediately but Souza was denied by a good save from David De Gea, and with the final action of the first half United grabbed a third.

Rooney, who was playing as a striker but often dropped deep, picked up the ball on the right and sent in a cross. It was slightly behind Lingard but he laid it off for Pogba, who from 25 yards side-footed a wonderful shot into the top corner.

It was another indication of what a hugely talented midfielder the Frenchman is, and he also had a hand in United's fourth three minutes after the break.

Pogba played the ball to Rooney on the edge of the area and this time it was Lingard collecting the lay-off before drilling a 20-yard shot into the bottom corner.

Van Persie had his first real sight of goal on the hour mark, and his curling effort from outside the box briefly looked like it might trouble De Gea before sailing harmlessly wide.

Mata should have added a fifth but was denied by Demirel when one on one, and no one in Old Trafford apart from perhaps Mourinho minded when Van Persie got away from Shaw to grab an 83rd-minute consolation.

All four sides of the ground stood to applaud the Dutchman, and he showed his appreciation in return, but the night belonged to the home side.

Independent News Service

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