Ibrahimovic: Win will give United confidence

Tonight, Manchester United face Zorya Luhansk at Old Trafford in the Europa League (kick-off 8.05pm), but you'd certainly be forgiven for not knowing too much about the visitors.

Scholes also questioned the side's motivation to succeed in the Europa League after United once again failed to reach their highest level of performance in the competition.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored a second-half victor for Manchester United as they defeated FC Zorya Luhansk 1-0 at Old Trafford on a night of frustration for Jose Mourinho's men.

However, after Lingard putting in an improved display in the 4-1 league win over Leicester on Saturday, Lingard knows what he must bring to his game and hopes there will be more opportunities in the near future.

He said: "That's the most important thing".

First 20 minutes or so brought to light the poorer side of United's game, struggling to break down a smaller team and almost getting caught out on the counter-attack.

In contrast, the Ukrainian side were seconds away from taking all three points when they entertained Turkish giants Fenerbahce a fortnight ago, only for Simon Kjaer to equalise with the last kick of the game.

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The big talk pre-match was captain Rooney's place among the substitutes for a second successive match, watching from the dugout as his team-mates struggled for consistency in a tame opening. United gaining more and more confidence and looking more threatening.

After a slow start to the game from the hosts, they nearly went in front when a corner from Juan Mata was flicked on to Marcus Rashford at the back post. "We had our chances in the first half". We want to try.

The Manchester United captain has been selected for the game, his club manager said, but could be held out because Mourinho wants to protect him from a backlash, should he deliver a below-par performance.

The 67th-minute introduction was followed by a goal within two minutes, leaving those around Old Trafford breathing a sigh of relief.

Romero; Fosu-Mensah (Martial, min. 74), Bailly, Smalling, Rojo; Fellaini, Pogba; Lingard (Rooney, min. 67), Mata (Young, min. 74), Rashford; Ibrahimovic.

It was Ibrahimovic who provided the only goal, however, with Rooney's mistimed effort from a Timothy Fosu-Mensah cross bouncing into the turf and hanging up perfectly for the veteran Swede to nod in from close range, with Zorya goalkeeper Oleksiy Shevchenko badly out of position.

Ref: O Grinfeld (Israel). It proved the decisive moment of a turgid tie.

  • Lawrence Cooper