Partizan 0-1 Manchester United: Ole Gunnar's men take control of Group L with important win
Partizan 0-1 Manchester United: Ole Gunnar's men take control of Group L with important win
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Partizan 0-1 Manchester United: Ole Gunnar's men take control of Group L with important win

Anthony Martial's first-half penalty was enough to give Manchester United a narrow 1-0 win over FK Partizan on Thursday night in the Europa League. 

The Frenchman, who was returning from injury found the bottom corner on the 43rd minute to give United the all-important win, which takes them atop the table standings. 

A drab first-half

The match lacked any colour in the opening 15 minutes, as both teams struggled to possess the ball and stamp their authority. 

United were the first to carve out any real chance on the 16th minute, but their attempt ended going out for a goal kick.

Juan Mata found the head of Scott McTominay with a clever free-kick, but his powerful close-range header at goal flew past the left post.  

There was little action in the first half-hour, but United again came close to taking the lead as Jesse Lingard's thunderous effort from the edge of the box crashed against the right post. 

Three minutes later, it was Partizan's turn to try their luck, and Umar Sadiq's shot from mid-range ricocheted off the right post in what could have been a sweet goal.

United were then handed the chance to take the lead from the spot following a foul inside the box, and Frenchman Anthony Martial coolly finished to give United the lead. 

The match roars to life in the second half

The match came to life after the restart, as both sides attacked with real intent and served an exciting contest. 

Seven minutes into the second period, Seydouba Soumah dribbled his way to the edge of the box and drilled a low shot towards the middle of the goal, but Sergio Romero was equal to the effort and made a good save.

Ole Gunnar made a double save on the hour-mark, with Marcus Rashford replacing Martial, while Daniel James came in for Aaron Wan-Bissaka. 

Partizan fights back

The hosts kept knocking on their visitors' door for long periods in the second half, but could not break the defence led well by Harry Maguire. 

Umar Sadiq, however, made a good attempt on the 75th minute, collecting a pass and managing to hold off Rojo before rifling in a shot from mid-range which unluckily swerved inches past the left post.

The hosts were back again with seven minutes remaining, this time Sergio Romero forced to make a good save from Takuma Asano's header following a corner-kick ball that was cleverly floated in. 

There was little in the remaining minutes, and the hosts could not find a way past United's defence despite three added minutes as the visitors left with three points. 

United are now top of Group L on seven points, two ahead of AZ Alkmaar

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