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Ibrahimović hat-trick puts United in command

Zlatan Ibrahimović continued his splendid debut season for Manchester United, his first hat-trick for the club putting José Mourinho's men in pole position against St-Étienne.

Highlights: See Zlatan hat-trick for United

Zlatan Ibrahimović struck his first Manchester United hat-trick to give the Premier League side a commanding 3-0 lead over St-Étienne in their UEFA Europa League round of 32 tie.

United's fortunate opener came after 15 minutes when Ibrahimović's free-kick deflected off Vincent Pajot and trickled slowly over the line. However, not until the 75th minute did they add to their lead when Ibrahimović turned the ball in from close range after good work by substitute Marcus Rashford. The 35-year-old secured the match ball from the penalty spot late on.

The visitors had their fair share of chances, raining in a number of shots on the United goal in the first half and spurning their best opportunity just prior to Ibrahimović's second when Nolan Roux lifted over the bar having gone clean through.

Hat-trick hero Zlatan's delight
Hat-trick hero Zlatan's delight

St-Étienne keeper Stéphane Ruffier was also busy, making a trio of saves from Anthony Martial, as well as a fine double-stop from Juan Mata, while Paul Pogba nodded against the crossbar.

Although the Ligue 1 side's 3,400 travelling supporters maintained their noisy backing, it was United who controlled the second period. Ibrahimović did not dwell on the goal he had ruled out for offside and went on to complete his hat-trick from the spot after he himself was felled.

Yeo, mother of Pogba brothers Paul and St-Étienne's Florentin, watched in a red-and-green-halved top. It is advantage to the red half of the family after this first leg.

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