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Football | United top Group F with win over Villareal in Spain

Manchester United have beaten Villareal 2-0 in Spain to finish top of Group F and qualify for the Champions League knockout stages.

Late goals from Cristiano Ronaldo (78) and Jadon Sancho (90) secured a victory for caretaker manager Michael Carrick in his first match, with Young Boys' 3-3 home draw with Atalanta in the group's other match meaning that United have won their group with a game to spare.

Ronaldo continued his recording of scoring in every group game of this season’s competition when he lifted the ball over Villareal goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli in the 78th minute, after Fred had dispossessed Etienne Capoue.

United, who sacked Ole Gunnar Solskajaer in the wake of Sunday’s humiliating defeat away at Watford, had David de Gea to thank, with the Spanish goalkeeper producing two sublime one-handed saves to deny Manu Trigueros when it was goalless.

The result delighted the travelling United fans, as scenes emerged at full-time with Carrick hugging his players as some of the doom and gloom that lurked over the shadows of the red side of Manchester seemed to be lifted.

It was safe to say it was far from vintage champaign from United, but the result far more significant that the performance as the club looks forward to the future. It is still decided to who will be appointed to take the reigns at United, with club looking to appoint an Interim manager until the end of the season before a permanent successor to Ole is appointed.

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