Henrikh Mkhitaryan dismisses fitness fears after equalling seven-year Manchester United record

It was the third consecutive European game the Armenian had scored in

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The Independent Football

Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s Europa League goal against Rostov in Russia on Thursday night saw him equal a seven-year Manchester United record held by Wayne Rooney.

The goal, wonderfully set up by Marouane Fellaini’s chest down and Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s quick feet, was Mkhitaryan’s third European goal in successive games, after goals against St-Etienne in France and Zorya in Ukraine.

Rooney was the last player to achieve in the feat in 2010, when he netted twice at the San Siro in United’s 3-2 win over AC Milan in the last-16 first leg, before adding two more in the second leg back at Old Trafford.

He also went on to score in the Allianz Arena as United lost 2-1 to Bayern Munich in the next round.

Mkhitaryan was back in the United team for the first time since the end of February after shaking off a hamstring injury, but was substituted before the final whistle with Jose Mourinho insisting he couldn’t play the full 90 minutes.

He said: "We know that he cannot play 90 minutes, we knew he was going to play 60 minutes no matter the result.

"We make that decision together because he was not in best condition and gave him a chance to play attacking positions with Zlatan and possibility to score goal.

"He did his job well and managed to finish the game without injury which is important for us."

Speaking about his injury to BT Sport after the game, Mkhitaryan said: "Hopefully I’ve got no injuries so we will keep fighting and get ready for the next game.

"The first-half was more quiet, they were nothing special beside the goal so I’m happy to score and we were happy to lead but unfortunately we conceded the goal and everything changed.

"We’ve tried to win today, maybe we were not very focused at the start of the second-half we’ve played as good as we could on this pitch so I don’t want to even speak about the pitch because for both sides the pitch was an awful thing but for part of football it was not a very interesting game but we tried to do everything.

"You have to win everything, it doesn’t matter if you score and you are winning 1-0, you have to be ready for everything, so we conceded the goal, they equalised and I think we did a mistake there but we don’t want to speak because there is still a second game to play."

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