Mkhitaryan, Ibrahimovic send Manchester United to Europa League knockout stage

SI.com Staff
Thursday December 8th, 2016

Manchester United is on to the UEFA Europa League knockout stage, after goals from Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Zlatan Ibrahimovic cemented a 2-0 victory over Zorya in Ukraine in their group finale on Thursday. United goes through in second place, after Fenerbahce won the group with a 1-0 victory over Feyenoord.

Mkhitaryan opened the scoring in the 48th minute with his first official goal for United since joining the club from Borussia Dortmund in a lucrative summer transfer. The goal was a magnificent solo effort, as Mkhitaryan glided through the Zorya defense before finishing low and to the far post. 

Ibrahimovic iced the match in the 88th minute, taking a long pass from Paul Pogba and finishing from close range for his seventh goal in the last six games.

For United, the Europa League has great value, as winning it would let the club clinch a place in next season's Champions League. Considering the club's Premier League standing as of now–it sits nine points out of fourth place–the option could come in handy, if the Red Devils are able to successfully continue to navigate the competition. 

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