Manchester United are yet to reach 'top gear' in Europa League campaign, says Glenn Hoddle

Marcus Rashford's curling free-kick was all that was required to see off an average Celta Vigo

Mark Critchley
Friday 05 May 2017 11:22
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Manchester United took a significant step towards the final in Stockholm by winning away at Celta Vigo
Manchester United took a significant step towards the final in Stockholm by winning away at Celta Vigo

Manchester United are yet to move into ‘top gear’ in their Europa League campaign, according to the former England manager Glenn Hoddle.

Jose Mourinho’s side took a significant step towards this month’s final in Stockholm by beating Celta Vigo 1-0 away in the first leg of their semi-final tie on Thursday.

Marcus Rashford’s curling free-kick was all that was required to see off an average Celta, and Hoddle believes the standard of opposition in European football’s second-tier competition has not tested United so far.

“They weren't as free flowing and controlling in that game as you would expect from Manchester United,” he said while analysing United’s victory on ITV.

“For me, I still see them as not in top gear yet, and in this trophy, the opposition they have played, they have only needed to get into third gear. I am waiting for them to go into top gear.

“In the second leg, if Celta Vigo get an early goal, I think United will go through the gears and trounce them.”


United reached the last-four of this year’s Europa League after edging past Anderlecht, who took Mourinho’s men to extra time at Old Trafford before succumbing to a Rashford goal.

Paul Ince, the former United midfielder appearing alongside Hoddle on ITV, suggested that United could struggle at home once again when Celta visit for next week’s second leg.

“I just think at Old Trafford they seem to struggle, like in the Anderlecht game, I think it will be a tough game,” he said.

“Celta Vigo, in the semi-final of the Europa League, they looked in awe of Manchester United today, they were a poor team for the semi-final of the Europa League.”

United have drawn 10 Premier League home games this season, with five of those draws coming against teams currently in the bottom half.

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