Manchester United eased into the last 16 of the Europa League with victory at Saint-Etienne but goalscorer Henrikh Mkhitaryan could be out of Sunday’s EFL Cup final after limping off.
Leading 3-0 from the first leg thanks to a Zlatan Ibrahimovic hat-trick, United started sharply in front of a noisy home support at a stadium often referred to as ‘The Cauldron’, with Mkhitaryan flicking in Juan Mata’s cross early on to leave the hosts needing five goals.
The Armenian departed shortly after and clutched his hamstring as he entered the tunnel, an injury which could impact on manager Jose Mourinho’s team selection for Sunday’s Wembley meeting with Southampton.
And although United had defender Eric Bailly sent off for two bookable offences in the second half, they rarely looked under pressure in securing a place in Friday’s last-16 draw.
Short of a Loic Perrin header, which was easily held by Sergio Romero in the first half, United – who had made six changes – were comfortable throughout, with Marcus Rashford poking wide when well placed in the second period.
The first leg of their next game in the competition will arrive days before an FA Cup tie at Chelsea but with just one defeat in 25 matches, Mourinho continues to shuffle his pack efficiently and the challenge for three cup successes remains in tact.