Manchester United v FC Rostov

Manchester United v FC Rostov

In the first leg, United took the lead through Henrikh Mkhitaryan's goal - the third game in a row he has netted in the Europa League, leaving him behind only Ruud van Nistelrooy (nine goals in a row in 2002-03).

Manchester United host FC Rostov this Thursday in the second leg of their Europa League last-16 tie, with the game exclusively live on BT Sport.

The superb Old Trafford surface was always going to make the return leg a different prospect and so it proved in a dominant first half, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic twice hitting the woodwork as United got away 12 attempts and enjoyed 76 per cent possession.

A 1:1 draw will have to suffice before returning to Old Trafford to advance to the quarter-finals.

Pogba is unlikely to wilt in the face of scrutiny that will again be rife when United line-up against Rostov on Thursday.

Manchester United's season has been filled with ups and downs so far.

Given that Jose Mourinho initially stated that he would think about the Europa League, only after the match with Rostov, I think that the defeat in the cup from Chelsea, just makes him think about it earlier.

"He was injured for the Chelsea match, he couldn't be selected for the Chelsea match", Mourinho said.

A surprisingly hard second half for the Red Devils became even more uncomfortable when Paul Pogba went off with a hamstring injury on 48 minutes. They are now sixth in the EPL but they do have a few games in hand on some of their direct rivals as Mourinho's club are trying to climb back up the standings.

Not only had the pitch been unused for several weeks during the winter break for the Russian Premier League, but it was frozen and covered in sand.

Mourinho and his team will aim for a win to bounce back from their FA Cup elimination and have been priced by SportyBet at odds of (1.28) to win this tie and qualify to the quarter-finals of the competition they are tagged as favourites. The United man also only achieved a 27 percent success rate in duels while Kante's doggedness saw 79 percent of duels won.

United have won all four of their Europa League home games, and the last three of those wins were by two goals or more.

United were reminded of that fact within minutes of the restart, when Rostov mounted their first unsafe counter of the game. However, he managed to find his way back to Old Trafford, unlike numerous others who have left.

However, Rostov, who have already defeated Bayern Munich in the Champions league in their first ever season in European, will be eager to claim another major scalp.