Manchester United interim manager Michael Carrick dedicated the win over Villarreal to former manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as United qualified for the Champions League last 16 for the first time. Carrick won his first game in interim control two days after Solskjaer was fired, with to goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Jadon Sancho.
“It’s not been an easy couple of days for anyone at the club and that result almost feels like it’s for Ole,” said Carrick, a Champions League winner with United as a player in 2008.
When Ronaldo hoisted the ball over goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli in the 78th minute, after Fred had dispossessed Etienne Capoue, he maintained his record of scoring in every game this season. In injury time, Sancho clinched the win with a shot that deflected against the underside of the crossbar.
When the game was scoreless, though, United were indebted to goalkeeper David de Gea, who made two magnificent one-handed saves, one in each half, to keep away well-struck strikes from Manu Trigueros. After Atalanta drew 3-3 with Young Boys in the latter encounter on Tuesday, United will advance as group winners with a game to spare.
Source: BBC Sport