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Full-time: Manchester United 3-0 Saint-Etienne

  • Zlatan Ibrahimovic scores his first Manchester United hat-trick and increases his tally for the season to 23 goals as hosts take a big step towards the last 16 of the Europa League
  • Veteran striker's early free-kick trickles past Stephane Ruffier after a Vincent Pajot deflection
  • Saint-Etienne let down by profligate finishing in the first half and are denied a penalty when Daley Blind brings down Jorginho
  • United dominate the second period and extend their advantage when Ibrahimovic taps home substitute Marcus Rashford's cross from close range
  • Confident Swede completes his 17th career treble from the spot after being caught by Kevin Theophile-Catherine
  • Ibrahimovic, who has now scored 17 career goals against ASSE, and Fellaini both see efforts ruled out and Paul Pogba heads against the crossbar
  • Paul Pogba goes head-to-head with elder brother Florentin in a competitive match for the first time
  • Ander Herrera to miss next week's second leg at Stade Geoffroy-Guichard after picking up a yellow card
  • Earlier: Gent 1-0 Tottenham
Zlatan Ibrahimovic

That is all for this particular blog. Thanks for following along.

IBTimes UK will be back at the weekend to provide live coverage of the FA Cup fifth round. Wolves vs Chelsea, Fulham vs Tottenham, Blackburn vs Manchester United and Sutton vs Arsenal all coming your way between Saturday-Monday.

Goodbye for now.


For all the talk about the Pogba brothers, tonight certainly belongs to Ibrahimovic. The 35-year-old's first United hat-trick and the 17th treble of his illustrious career all but clinches a place in the last 16 of the Europa League.


Manchester United 3-0 Saint-Etienne

Selnaes fouls Ibrahimovic and Pogba, eager to get his name on the scoresheet, sends a free-kick wide with Ruffier routed to the spot. That should be all she wrote.


Bailly swings a high boot as Malcuit tries to pick out Roux. The offside flag is up.

Four minutes of added time for ASSE to endure. They have looked extremely leggy in this second half.

Ibrahimovic sends Ruffier the wrong way from 12 yards to complete his first United hat-trick. Mourinho's side are in cruise control now and will take a very healthy lead over the channel next week.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Goal: Manchester United 3-0 Saint-Etienne (Zlatan Ibrahimovic)

The referee points to the spot after Ibrahimovic goes down under pressure from Theophile-Catherine. Not sure about that decision at all.

Penalty to Manchester United

Rashford charges in too hastily on Malcuit near the touchline and Veretout's free-kick is headed away by Ibrahimovic. He's useful in both boxes.

Martial's number goes up and Young comes on in his place. Just over five minutes plus stoppage time left to play.

Bailly gets the wrong side of Veretout and clumsily concedes a free-kick. Saivet's initial effort is blocked by the arm of Martial and the second is fired straight into the wall.

Ibrahimovic produces a fine piece of skill to outwit Malcuit. His low ball across the six-yard box is smashed away by Perrin.

Rashford rather sportingly helps Florentin Pogba try to overcome a bout of cramp. His brother does not look too convinced.

The Pogba vs Pogba show ends with the introduction of striker Beric. That is Saint-Etienne's final change.

Lingard almost extends United's lead further after being teed up by Valencia. His bending shot flies just past the post.

Make that 16 goals in 14 career games for Ibrahimovic against Saint-Etienne and 22 in all comps this term. Substitute Rashford is given far too much time to drive into the penalty area and races past Selnaes and Theophile-Catherine to the byline.

Ruffier gets a hand to his low cross. However, Florentin Pogba is unable to clear and Ibrahimovic is in the right place at the right time to tap home.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Goal: Manchester United 2-0 Saint-Etienne (Zlatan Ibrahimovic)

Selnaes does not stand on ceremony and picks out the run of Roux with an incisive pass. The former Lille forward tries to lift the ball over an advancing Romero but can only find the roof of the net.

Paul Pogba catches Veretout with an arm and quickly has his name taken. Galtier sends on Norwegian midfielder Ole Selnaes in place of Pajot.


Lingard enters the referee's notebook for a foul on Perrin. A pair of long-range efforts are then blocked before a charging Martial proves too tricky for Saivet.

Pogba heads Blind's free-kick against the crossbar from close range. That should have been 2-0.

Pajot fells Herrera and is cautioned for an accumulation of fouls. Galtier's first change of the evening sees Jorginho make way for Nolan Roux.

Smalling clears Monnet-Paquet's cross after good work from the industrious Saivet.

United spring forward with pace through Lingard and Mata. Paul Pogba executes a wonderful turn to evade Veretout and proceeds to curl a shot agonisingly wide.

That would have been some goal.

Jorginho is prevented from getting forward as Herrera handles the ball on the deck. The United midfielder receives a yellow card that will rule him out of next Wednesday's return clash at Stade Geoffroy-Guichard.

Valencia's spinning shot deflects wide after Monnet-Paquet is caught in possession. Paul Pogba's knockdown from the corner is gratefully accepted by big brother.

Martial drives forward with pace and shoots at the near post, where Ruffier is on hand to make the save. Ibrahimovic's subsequent attempt is deflected by the arm of Perrin before being helped over by the goalkeeper.

A dazed Perrin trudges off for further assessment as defensive colleague Malcuit re-enters the fray.

Paul Pogba shoots well over from distance.

A break in play now after a nasty clash of heads between Smalling and Perrin. The ASSE captain looks to have come off worse.

Ibrahimovic steps up to head in a pinpoint Mata cross with Ruffier all at sea. However, some smart late defending from Theophile-Catherine leads to the flag being raised.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Martial, played in by Ibrahimovic, tries to hold off Kevin Malcuit and ends up catching his compatriot with a rogue forearm. The referee awards a yellow card.

Should that have been red? A bloodied Malcuit leaves the field for treatment.

We are back underway at Old Trafford. Mourinho has sent on Jesse Lingard in place of Fellaini.

Here are the half-time scores from all seven late kick-offs...


Ibrahimovic's deflected free-kick is the difference at the interval. However, Saint-Etienne, spearheaded by the impressive Hamouma, have more than played their part in a hugely entertaining opening 45 minutes.

They have created plenty of opportunities, but once again a lack of clinical finishing is really letting them down.

Manchester United vs Saint-Etienne

A miffed Mourinho, presumably unhappy with some spotty United defending, made his way to the dressing room much earlier than usual. Preparing the hairdryer, perhaps?

Galtier should certainly have something to say about the soft foul that led to the goal and Kralovec's decision to deny Jorginho a penalty.


Manchester United 1-0 Saint-Etienne

Jorginho nips past Martial down United's left-hand flank. Both Bailly and Pajot are unable to control his cross and Monnet-Paquet lets fly with a wild effort that was never likely to test Romero.

Saint-Etienne have largely dominated since going behind. Hamouma finds yet more space and shoots over before Veretout drags his own attempt wide.

United are living very dangerously indeed at the back. They are being made to toil.

The visitors come again through Hamouma, who beats Bailly to the byline and squares the ball for Monnet-Paquet.

The French winger's shot is blocked by Smalling and ricochets back off his own leg before rolling wide.

Bailly gives the ball away again before producing a superb block to thwart a goal-bound effort from Hamouma. Florentin Pogba then blazes high and wide.

Neat build-up play from Saint-Etienne. Their latest attack ends with Pajot driving wide of Romero's right-hand post.

Vincent Pajot

A smart block from Bailly denies the lively Hamouma a sight of goal. ASSE have not been deflated by that early goal.

Saivet drives wide again after being set up by a cushioned header from Hamouma. Saint-Etienne are posing plenty of problems here.

Newcastle loanee Saivet aims a shot just wide after being teed up by Hamouma, who was clearly expecting a return pass.

At the other end, Martial glides forward and beats two defenders before seeing a low shot saved by the foot of Ruffier. Ibrahimovic fails to react quickly enough to the rebound and ends up scooping it over the crossbar.

End-to-end stuff just at the moment.

Ibrahimovic brings down Jorginho in the middle of the park. Theophile-Catherine aims a quick free-kick at Hamouma, who successfully peels off the back of Bailly but is just unable to bring the ball under control.

Paul Pogba, who has dominated the midfield area during this opening 25 minutes, catches his brother sleeping with a super pass through for Mata.

The Spaniard's volley on the turn is parried by Ruffier, who bravely prevents Mata from slotting in the rebound.

Perrin battles admirably against the stocky Fellaini and concedes the corner. Mata's front-post delivery is steered away by Monnet-Pacquet.

That was the evergreen Ibrahimovic's 21st goal of the season across all competitions...


Saint-Etienne appeal passionately for a spot-kick after Jorginho falls under the outstretched left leg of Blind.

The referee initially looks like he is going to blow his whistle and point to the spot before changing his mind.

No penalty.

That is one of the scrappiest free-kick goals you are ever likely to see. Ibrahimovic's low effort deflects through the legs of Vincent Pajot and totally wrong-foots the hapless Ruffier.

First blood to the hosts.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Goal: Manchester United 1-0 Saint-Etienne (Zlatan Ibrahimovic)

Ibrahimovic, who has scored 14 goals in just 13 career matches against Saint-Etienne, lets the ball run across his body and buys an incredibly soft free-kick under minimal contact from Veretout.

The confident Swede steps up to take...


It's been an open start to this game. Martial forces a decent save from Stephane Ruffier after Saint-Etienne threaten again on the counter-attack.

Paul Pogba plays a perfect sweeping pass out towards Valencia, who cuts inside Florentin before finding Mata.

Fellaini volleys the ball home with aplomb but the offside flag had already been raised.

Saint-Etienne's vocal fans are certainly enjoying themselves so far...

Saint-Etienne fans

A dreadful start from Bailly, whose underhit backpass is seized upon quickly by striker Romain Hamouma. Romero does just enough to push him away from goal and Blind hacks clear.

United's shaky defence then inexplicably let the ball bounce and Romero has to come out to make an unconventional clearing header.

Visiting captain Loic Perrin gets himself into a spot of bother before Bailly gives the ball away inside his own half. Smalling has to be alert to get across to the front post and clear a dangerous pass from Monnet-Pacquet.

Czech referee Pavel Kralovec gives the signal and Zlatan Ibrahimovic gets us underway. Old Trafford is currently bathed in smoke from a flare let off in a very rowdy away end.


It's all over in Belgium, where Jeremy Perbet's second-half effort has condemned Tottenham to a disappointing 1-0 loss.

Ten minutes remaining until kick-off at Old Traford.

United began their campaign with an insipid defeat to Feyenoord, bounced back with successive victories over Ukrainian debutants Zorya Luhansk and Fenerbahce before falling to another poor loss in Istanbul.

They won their final two matches but still finished second behind the Turkish giants in Group A.

10-time French champions and 1976 European Cup runners-up ASSE, currently fifth in Ligue 1 and one point adrift of fierce rivals Lyon, were one of only four teams to go through the entire group stage of this year's Europa League unbeaten.

After draws against Mainz and consecutive wins over Azerbaijani minnows Gabala, they pinched top spot in Group C courtesy of a dramatic 3-2 win in Anderlecht. Trailing by two goals to nil at the break, Galtier's men produced a stirring second-half fightback thanks to three goals in 13 minutes from Soderlund and Kevin Monnet-Paquet.

Alexander Soderlund

Tonight's teams have met twice before, during the first round of the 1977-78 European Cup Winners' Cup. After an initial 1-1 draw in France, Dave Sexton's United were actually thrown out of the competition due to crowd trouble.

However, they were later reinstated on the condition that the return leg be played at least 200km away from Old Trafford. The tie was eventually played at Plymouth's Home Park, where a goal in each half from Stuart Pearson and Steve Coppell secured a 2-0 victory.

Here's what Florentin, whose twin brother Mathias currently plays for Eredivisie strugglers Sparta Rotterdam after spells with Wrexham, Crewe Alexandra, Crawley Town and Partick Thistle, had to say about little bro Paul during an interview with The Telegraph earlier this week...

In terms of being the world's most expensive player, I think he has put that to one side because it's more an issue for the media - he is not letting it bother him. He's just playing his football, even though everything he does gets three or four times more attention, good or bad. He can handle all of that because of the mental strength he has had since his youth.

He is quite irritable though, he doesn't like to lose. His head starts buzzing when he loses. I learned to lose and I would say that you're not losing but learning. But for him, when he loses, he goes mad.

These two games will be emotional and I hope we'll take something positive from them. Even if United are a great club, anything is possible in football. The fact they're better than us on paper doesn't matter.

We'll always be behind him. He knows what it's like in our family. Whether he has a good game or a bad game, we'll always be there for him. He can win all the trophies in the world, but he'll still be my little brother.


For those questioning why Mkhitaryan is not even on the bench tonight...


Christophe Galtier opts for the same starting XI that began Sunday's 4-0 win over Lorient at Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, with the versatile Florentin Pogba likely to feature again at left-back.

Fans of English football should be familiar with Jordan Veretout, who is currently on loan from Aston Villa. Kevin Theophile-Catherine used to ply his trade with Cardiff City.

Former Bordeaux midfielder Henri Saivet is something of a Football Manager legend....

Here's how Les Verts line up this evening...


Mourinho makes two changes to the side that successfully saw off Watford as Sergio Romero replaces rested first-choice goalkeeper David De Gea.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan also makes way for Marouane Fellaini. Former exile Bastian Schweinsteiger, added to United's Europa League squad a fortnight ago after playing no part in the group stage, takes a seat on the bench alongside Rojo and the lesser-spotted Ashley Young.


Confirmed lineups on the way...


The half-time whistle has just sounded at the Ghelamco Arena in Ghent, where Tottenham are currently being held to a goalless draw. It hardly sounds like a classic.

It seems that the travelling supporters have been making quite a racket in Manchester today...


The visitors, meanwhile, are missing a trio of forwards in Alexander Soderlund, Robert Beric and Oussama Tannane. Midfielder Bryan Dabo and left-back Cheikh M'Bengue have also been dealing with injuries.

Before we get wind of tonight's official team news, let's run you through one or two injury lines. Phil Jones remains absent with a hamstring problem, while neither captain Wayne Rooney nor veteran midfielder Michael Carrick will be risked.

"Wayne and Michael I don't want to say injuries because I don't think we are speaking about injuries," Mourinho told reporters at his pre-match press conference yesterday. "We are speaking about little problems and protection for these problems, so they are out tomorrow."

Michael Carrick and Wayne Rooney

Marcos Rojo is now fit again after a knock picked up at Leicester, although he is likely to feature as a substitute with Mourinho already confirming that he will stick with Antonio Valencia, Eric Bailly, Chris Smalling and Daley Blind as his first-choice back four following Saturday's 2-0 win over Watford.

Good evening and welcome to IBTimes UK's latest live coverage of European football. It's been quite a week of continental competition already, with Paris Saint-Germain's incredible walloping of a broken Barcelona followed by a painfully predictable Arsenal meltdown in Munich.

Tonight our attention switches to the Europa League, where Tottenham are currently drawing 0-0 with Gent in Belgium. You can follow that match with my colleague Rhodri Cannon, but here we look ahead to tonight's Pogba derby between Manchester United and Saint-Etienne at Old Trafford.

That is obviously the feature game, although we will also be bringing you half-time and full-time scores from around the grounds. Stay tuned.