What started out as an extremely dull first-half quickly evolved into something better as Mason Greenwood scored twice while Juan Mata and Ashley Young were also on target for Manchester United as they sealed top spot in Europa League Group L at Old Trafford.
With both teams already qualified for the next round, the match seemed to morph into another draw as both sides seemed content with not testing their opposition too much. United have won three games in eight days, and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men will be looking forward to playing Everton over the weekend.
Here are the three things we learned as Manchester United beat AZ Alkmaar in the Europa League.
3. A Game of Two Halves
It was a slow start for Manchester United who looked rather comfortable not testing the visitors too much. AZ Alkmaar definitely looked the better side in the first half, and the side more likely to score. Yukinari Sugawara and Calvin Stengs got a little close for comfort a couple of times, it wasn't something former Alkmaar player Sergio Romero couldn't stop.
However, the second half saw a different United side come back on, completely revitalized and wanting to win. To score four goals in 11 minutes is no mean feat, and United really were excellent after the break.
2. Mason Greenwood Proves His Worth
Mason Greenwood has been a breath of fresh air for this Man United squad. He may still be finding his feet in the first-team set-up, but Thursday was arguably his best performance to date for the club. His goals against Alkmaar mean that he has now scored in all three of our home matches in the competition this season.
Mason also grabbed his first United brace and, in doing so, the 18-year-old became the youngest player to score two in a European game for the Reds.
1. Ole Restoring Faith Once Again
Three games. Three consecutive wins. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is at the wheel, once again! United fans were doubting if Solskjaer was the right man for Manchester United after presiding over their worst start to a league campaign in 31 years, but those huge back-to-back wins over Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham and Manchester City in the derby have re-affirmed the fans’ faith in the Norwegian.
Right from getting his starting XI right to getting his tactics spot-on, the United boss cast a calm figure as he watched his team score four goals in 11 minutes. Fans chanted his name, and this was probably the best run he's had since United beat Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League last season.