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Ighalo hailed as ‘natural striker’ after first Manchester United goal

The Nigerian forward opened his goal account for the Red Devils on Thursday as they cruised to the next round of the Europa League

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has praised Odion Ighalo after breaking his Manchester United duck against Club Brugge in the second leg of their Uefa Europa League round of 32 match.

Ighalo opened his goal account at Old Trafford on his first start for the club since his temporary signing from Chinese Super League side Shanghai Shenhua in January.

The 30-year-old finished off Juan Mata’s assist in the 34th minute to give Manchester United a 2-0 lead as they hammered their Belgian visitors 5-0.

The result powered the Red Devils to the Round of 16 of the competition with a 6-1 aggregate win, however, Solskjaer was full of praise for Ighalo’s goalscoring stint.

“Odion was up front there doing what he does. He’s a target man, we can play up to him, he can hold it and he’s got Bruno [Fernandes] and Juan [Mata] next to him so he’s got runners there,” the manager said, per Sky Sports.

“As a fellow striker myself, I know how important that first goal is. He has been close a couple of times, you can see he sniffs goals, he wants to be there where it sometimes hurts but with that goal as well, he is sharp in his head.

“As the ball is played over to Juan, he spins and is on the six-yard line when Juan puts it there. That’s a natural striker.”

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