Omonia Nicosia vs Manchester United – Football Match Report – 6 October 2022
Marcus Rashford came off the bench to score twice and help Manchester United overcome a half-time deficit to beat Omonia Nicosia 3-2 in a Europa League group stage clash in Cyprus on Thursday.
With United surprisingly trailing a first-half goal from Karim Ansarifard, Rashford came on in the interval and scored one and set up another for Anthony Martial to turn the game around within 20 minutes. following his arrival.
Rashford added United’s third six minutes from time before Omonia secured a nervy finale after Nikolas Panagiotou immediately pulled a goal back.
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The result leaves United second in Group E with six points, three behind leaders Real Sociedad and three ahead of Sheriff. Omonia, who will visit Old Trafford in a week, remain without a point.
Man United boss Erik ten Hag has made three changes to the lineup which was beaten 6-3 by rivals Manchester City on Sunday, with Cristiano Ronaldo, Casemiro and Victor Lindelof entering the squad.
For Ronaldo, playing against the Cypriot cup winners seemed like the perfect opportunity to get the one goal he needed for the 700th of his club career.
But while United dominated the game from the start, they failed to make that advantage count in the opening 45 minutes.
Antony was the main culprit, missing a glorious chance to open the scoring only in the 16th minute. After Bruno Fernandes overshot a through ball from Lisandro Martinez, Anthony found himself clean on goal but instead of shooting he opted to try and pass the ball back to Fernandes. The pass has not found its target and the chance is inexplicably shattered.
Fernandes was frustrated again two minutes later when his chip beat the goalkeeper but came back on the crossbar.
Then in the 34th minute, the visitors were hit with a classic punch.
Tyrell Malacia was caught in possession of Bruno in the Nicosia half as United had everyone in front of the ball. The Nicosia striker was able to advance before finding Ansarifard’s run. The Iran international beat David de Gea to find the roof of the net and give the hosts a shock lead.
Ten Hag reacted quickly, making a double substitution at half-time, with Malacia and Jadon Sancho leaving and Luke Shaw and Rashford taking their places.
The changes quickly paid dividends. Just eight minutes after coming on, Rashford controlled a long forward pass from Fernandes before creating space for a shot that bent into the corner of the net.
Ten minutes later United were ahead, with Rashford again heavily involved. This time he combined brilliantly with Martial, cleverly returning a pass into the path of the French striker, who easily dodged a defender before slotting the ball low into the corner of the net just outside the box.
Ronaldo then looked certain to get the 700 goal but hit the post from close range. The Portuguese great, however, set up Rashford to seemingly put the result beyond doubt before United’s defense allowed the hosts to score a second and make it a less than convincing win.