CR7 & Sancho seal United's last 16 spot

UEFA Champions League

Manchester United advanced to the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League with a match to spare in Group F after defeating Villarreal 2-0 on Tuesday evening.

United interim manager Michael Carrick made four changes as Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes and Nemanja Matic dropped to the bench while Luke Shaw missed out with a concussion injury and in came Anthony Martial, Fred, Donny van de Beek and Alex Telles.

Villarreal were all over the Red Devils in the opening exchanges and Moi Gomez came close to giving the hosts the lead in the fifth minute with a strike across goal that was saved by goalkeeper David de Gea.

Unai Emery's charges kept United with their backs against the wall and Manu Trigueros had a chance to break the deadlock for the Spanish side just before the half-hour mark after a square pass by Yeremi Pino but his first-time shot was parried away by De Gea.

Carrick's troops were finding breathing space, fashioning chances in the closing phase of the first stanza but they could not trouble shot-stopper Geronimo Rulli.

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With the game opening up in the early stages of the second stanza, Villarreal had a big chance on the hour-mark after a rebound fell to Trigueros but he was denied by De Gea, who managed to make a good save.

Carrick made a double change in the 66th minute as Fernandes replaced Van de Beek for fresh legs in midfield and Rashford came on for Martial for the same reason upfront.

United had the momentum after that and Cristiano Ronaldo eventually broke the deadlock for the visitors 12 minutes before time with a chip over the on-rushing Rulli after Fred forced a mistake from a high press.

Jadon Sancho sealed the deal for the visitors in the last minute with a clinical strike into the roof of the net after he was teed up by Fernandes from a counter-attack, as the Red Devils advanced to the knockout round.

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