Manchester United remained in control of their Europa League destiny with one group game to play as Wayne Rooney made history in a dominant 4-0 win over Feyenoord at Old Trafford.
The captain, returning to the starting line-up, became United’s all-time leading scorer in Europe on 39 goals with a composed finish to give the Reds a deserved 1-0 lead at the break.
In the second half, Juan Mata slid home his fifth goal of the season to double the lead before Zlatan Ibrahimovic laid on the third strike of the night as his cross was diverted into his own net by Feyenoord’s goalkeeper Brad Jones.
Substitute Jesse Lingard capped off a stunning move with a curling shot in stoppage time, as Jose Mourinho’s men ran out comfortable winners following a fine all-round display.
It means the Reds, who can still top the group, will book a place in the last 32 of the competition with a point away to Zorya Luhansk in the final Group A match on December 8.
Mourinho named a strong team despite making six changes from Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Arsenal as Henrikh Mkhitaryan made only his second United start and Sergio Romero replaced the rested David De Gea in goal.
After Fenerbahce’s 2-0 win over Zorya Luhansk earlier in the evening, United kicked off knowing that a defeat would lead to elimination from this season’s competition while a win would almost be enough to go through.
English side, Manchester United are close to elimination from the Europa League after losing 1-2 to Fenerbahce.
Moussa Sow’s 65th second goal was the opener as Jose Mourinho’s side travelled to Turkey on Thursday night.
The visitors dominated possession but saw world record signing Paul Pogba go off with a leg injury in the first half.
Jeremain Lens also curled in a brilliant free-kick in the second half as the Red Devils struggled harder to get a goal.
Their effort later turned to celebration as Wayne Rooney smashed in a 25-yard consolation goal in less than two minutes to the end of the game.
Manchester United are now third in Group A with one point behind leaders Feyenoord and Fenerbahce.
They have two games left against the Dutch side at Old Trafford and away to Ukraine’s Zorya Luhansk.
Manchester United Manager, Jose Mourinho has rued his side’s tight fixture schedule as he contemplated a potentially tough run of matches in October.
United got their Europa League campaign off the ground with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Zorya Luhansk at Old Trafford on Thursday and host Group A leaders Fenerbahce in their next game on October 20.
Prior to that, they face a Monday night match at arch rivals Liverpool, with a trip to Chelsea next in the Premier League, and a crunch game against Manchester City in the League Cup to follow.
“We could play Liverpool on the Saturday, we could play Liverpool on the Sunday but we play Liverpool on the Monday,’ he said.
“We have this kind of poisoned gift of playing on Monday which creates a very difficult situation but we want to try to qualify for the next round.
“There’s a long way to go but we will play against Fenerbahce with a good team,” he said.
His team needed the intervention of Zlatan Ibrahimovic to beat Zorya 1-0 on Thursday.
Ibrahimovic, who turns 35 on Monday October 3, headed home a second-half winner to see off the Ukrainian outfit.
Mourinho had signaled his intentions by picking a strong side that also featured world record signing Paul Pogba, Juan Mata and Marcus Rashford.
He was rewarded with a third consecutive win in all competitions to lift the mood at the club after they had previously suffered three straight losses.