How Odion Ighalo fared on his first Manchester United start

Odion Ighalo made his first start for Manchester United in the 5-0 second leg victory over Club Brugge in the Europa League round-of-32 clash at Old Trafford.

It was a night to remember for the Nigerian striker, on loan from Shanghai Shenhua, as he scored his first goal for the club he supported as a boy.

Here, the PA news agency assesses Ighalo’s performance.

Taking his chance

Many eyebrows were raised when United announced the signing of Ighalo, whose previous Premier League experience came with Watford. After three substitute appearances, Anthony Martial’s injury gave Ighalo the opportunity for a start. And he ticked the box with a goal and a positive display overall.

Leading the line

Ighalo is an out-and-out number nine and he kept Brugge’s central defenders busy throughout. His goal was all about reading the game, the striker getting ahead of Clinton Mata and ensuring an easy finish when Juan Mata squared the ball. He certainly offers something different to United’s other attackers and showed he can be a good option for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Overall threat

Ighalo battling for the ball
Ighalo battling for the ball (Martin Rickett/PA)

Ighalo was always looking to offer an outlet in the box. He did not have many opportunities but came close to a second shortly after his first with a good turn and smart shot that was pushed away by Simon Mignolet. Was caught offside on a couple of occasions after mistiming his runs and was involved only sporadically during a much less eventful second half.

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