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Smalling lauds Manchester United spirit after Europa League progress

Chris Smalling was impressed by Manchester United’s handling of Wednesday night’s victory over Saint-Etienne. United were already three goals to the good in the Europa League last 32 tie thanks to Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s hat-trick in last week’s first leg, and Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s first half strike sealed a comfortable aggregate victory. But with the intimidating atmosphere of the Stade Geoffrey-Guichard, and Eric Bailly’s second half dismissal for two bookable offences, it wasn’t necessarily plain sailing.

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Still, the United defender was full of praise for the way that Jose Mourinho’s side handled the occasion when speaking to MUTV after the game:

“It’s testament to our fitness levels and the games we’ve played that we can almost make it look like its 11 against 11 even when we’re a man down”, he said. “We had chances in that period that were better than theirs so overall it’s a good job.”

“We knew we were coming into the game a few goals ahead but it was all about that first goal. The crowd could have inspired them to do anything so it really helped us control the game.”

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By Kevin T

Kevin Thatcher is a freelance journalist who's work has featured in various national and international publications, including Mail Online & The Mirror. Kevin has been a Manchester United season ticket holder in South Stand for many years, and writes for RedMancunian to combine both his love for writing, and club.

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