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Mkhitaryan secures United progress despite injury

SAINT-ETIENNE - Henrikh Mkhitaryan scored but was then forced off with a hamstring injury as Manchester United cruised into the Europa League last 16 with a 1-0 win at St Etienne on Wednesday.
That completed a 4-0 aggregate victory in the last 32 tie, although United finished the match with 10 men after Eric Bailly was dismissed for two yellow cards in quick succession.

Manager Jose Mourinho will face an anxious wait ahead of Sunday's English League Cup final against Southampton at Wembley to see if his Armenian playmaker is fit.

Mkhitaryan has been involved in five goals - scoring three and creating two - in his last six games and would have been a likely starter at Wembley.

Despite leading 3-0 from the first leg at Old Trafford last week, Mourinho showed how highly he values success in this competition - which offers a route into next season's Champions League to the winners - by picking a strong starting line-up.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba were restored to the starting line-up after making a decisive contribution off the bench against Blackburn in the FA Cup on Sunday - the Frenchman teeing up the Swede to score the winning goal.

There was none of the early match defensive jitters from United, and centre-back Bailly in particular, that had brought a rebuke from Mourinho following the first leg in which he accused his players of not having been focussed enough.

And it took just 16 minutes for United to extinguish any fanciful hopes the hosts might have harboured of mounting a memorable comeback - when the opening goal came, it was almost too easy.

  • Title: Mkhitaryan secures United progress despite injury
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  • Date: 8:52 PM
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