Manchester United fans were quick to heap praise on Henrikh Mkhitaryan during their side’s second leg 1-0 win over FC Rostov in the Europa League last 16.
The Armenian, hooked off after just 35 minutes at Stamford Bridge following Ander Herrera‘s red card, was able to fully assert himself against the Russian side, producing a number of clever passes and surges forward.
His pin-point ball from the right hand side, expertly flicked on by Zlatan Ibrahimovic, set-up Juan Mata‘s opener after 70 minutes.
Supporters rushed to laud the 28-year-old in light of what was another mesmerising display in Europe.
Mkhitaryan is class! Not just class, class apart!
— Lowfundwalaa (@WalavalkarRohit) March 16, 2017
Mkhitaryan playing well today. He's been the driving force in midfield today. Herrera and Fellaini acting as good enforcers today #MUNROS
— AV (@_banjaara_) March 16, 2017
Mata-Mkhitaryan is such a beautiful/deadly combination
— Stay at Home Al-Avalathić (@vanwynkle) March 16, 2017
Mkhitaryan is a wizard! Best Armenian player ever
— Scott Johnson (@KingSMJ23) March 16, 2017
Mkhitaryan is our best player alongside De Gea.
— Moonis (@Moeen_MUFC) March 16, 2017
Man United have experienced a few torrid encounters with Eastern European sides at Old Trafford in recent years, despite winning them all: that 1-0 win over Shakhtar Donetsk back in December 2013 (I will not blame you, the reader, if that game has since escaped your memory); a truly agonising 1-0 win over CSKA Moscow last season; and now this – another 1-0 win, once again heralded by a turgid, lethargic tempo in front of a growingly puce home crowd.
But Mkhitaryan refused to descend into the insipidity surrounding him: the Armenian was too nimble, too subtle – too impossible to pin down, above anything – for Rostov to handle. It was indeed evocative of a man who was sacrificed in the first half in one of United’s biggest games of the season just a few days ago. He was out to make every moment count, and it was quite a sight.