Micheal Carrick’s temporal reign as Manchester United manager started on a blistering note on Tuesday as the Red Devils cruised into the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 in style; beating Villarreal 2-0 away from home.
It was Cristiano Ronaldo who produced the moment Carrick had been dreaming when he for the umpteenth time put Manchester United in front against Villarreal.
The Red Devils were made to suffer for many of the 77 minutes that led up to the opener, as the LaLiga side had the best of the chances and forced David De Gea into multiple fine saves.
Carrick threw on Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford from the bench after the hour mark. The match began to turn in the visitors’ favour as Fernandes then played in Jadon Sancho, whose one-on-one effort was denied.
But it was Fred who created the goal, putting on a high press to win the ball back after a Villarreal goal kick.
It was almost 2-0 moments later as another Villarreal error inadvertently played Ronaldo in, only for his lob from a tight angle to drift across the face of goal and past the post.
Sancho made no mistake in the final moments, after being played in by Rashford and Fernandes to hammer in his first United strike at the near post.