Champions League qualification is a must for Jose Mourinho and Manchester United

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic gave Manchester United the lead against St Etienne in comical circumstances during the Europa League last 32 first leg tie at Old Trafford. The Europa League is not a competition we want to play, but it's a competition we play and we respect it.

Let the game finally commence on Thursday evening...

United's record signing Paul Pogba and his Saint-Etienne defender Florentin, will meet in a professional match for the first time.

Germany's Borussia had the misfortune to be paired with Barcelona and Manchester City, as well as Celtic in its Champions League group, but still picked up five points from six games.

After being knocked out of the Coupe de France by Auxerre, ASSE beat Lyon, lost to Nice and, most recently, trounced Lorient in Ligue 1, where they now occupy fifth place.

"In the Premier League the door is also open, but we still have a long way to go".

It is not the first time Saint-Etienne have faced United in Europe - they met in the first round of the now defunct Cup Winners' Cup in 1977 with the English club winning 3-1 on aggregate. But we can not choose competitions, so we play them to win.

Manchester United have had a weird season so far, dominating games but not being able to win.

The French side are unbeaten in their last 10 games in all European competition (W5 D5).

Jose Mourinho has won eight of his 10 home games as manager in the UEFA Cup/Europa League (D1 L1).

But this was to be Ibrahimovic's night as he turned home at the far post and then fired home a late penalty to take his tally against St Etienne to 17 goals in 14 matches.

The Armenian midfielder wasn't part of Man United's match-day squad for their Europa League knockout clash and fans were immediately concerned as to whether he had picked up an injury like Michael Carrick and Wayne Rooney had this week.

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