Zlatan Ibrahimovic‘s hat-trick gave Manchester United one foot in the last 16 of the Europa League after a 3-0 win against Saint-Etienne at Old Trafford.
The Swede scored in both halves for the Red Devils as they overcame a difficult challenge against a well-organised and dangerous side on the night.
United survived an early scare after a dreadful backpass from Eric Bailly handed Saint-Etienne an early opening, but Sergio Romero covered well to close down the chance.
Marouane Fellaini had a goal disallowed at the other end, but it wasn’t long before United found a breakthrough, even if it did come via a huge slice of luck.
Ibrahimovic won a free-kick in a dangerous position before attempting a cheeky effort under the wall, which found its way in thanks to a huge deflection that wrong-footed goalkeeper Stephane Ruffier.
The 35-year-old continued his quest for goals in the second half but saw another strike ruled out for offside after finding the back of the net with a header.
Still, Ibrahimovic was on hand to tap home after good work by substitute Marcus Rashford on the left-hand side, making it 2-0 and putting United in a strong position.
In the end, they were able to get even more daylight between themselves and their Ligue 1 opponents, with Ibrahimovic slotting away a penalty in the 88th minute to surely put the tie to bed.