Odion Ighalo scored his first goal for Manchester United tonight and appeared to dedicate it to his late sister, who tragically passed away back in December.
The 30-year-old made his full Red Devils debut in their 5-0 thrashing of Club Brugge at Old Trafford, getting on the scoresheet as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer ’s men secured a place in the last 16 of the Europa League.
After tapping home from close range to double United's lead on the night, Ighalo lifted up his shirt in a touching tribute to his sister, with his shirt underneath showing a picture of her and the date she is believed to have passed away on.
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He took to Instagram to mourn his sister’s death in December, posting pictures of them together with the message: “R.I.P sister @blackboldbeautifull 12-12-19”.
Ighalo sealed a last-ditch move to United in the January transfer window, returning to England three years after he left Watford to join Chinese Super League outfit Shanghai Shenhua.
Marcus Rashford ’s long-term injury left Solskjaer in desperate need of attacking reinforcements in the winter window and he opted for the Nigerian at the last minute.
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Following three substitute appearances, the United manager handed him a first start this evening, with the aggregate score poised at 1-1 before tonight’s last-32 second leg.
Brugge defender Simon Deli made it a simple night’s work for the hosts, nevertheless, when he gave away a penalty and was sent off for producing a goalkeeper-like save in his own area after 22 minutes.
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Bruno Fernandes swept the subsequent penalty home, before Ighalo completed a slick United move when he tapped into an empty net in the 34th minute.
Scott McTominay then virtually passed the ball past Simon Mignolet to move them out of sight four minutes before the half-time break.
Solskjaer’s men took their foot off the gas slightly in the second half with progression to the next round of the competition in the bag.
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Nevertheless, there was a late double to come from Fred, who first touched the ball home from close range in the 82nd minute.
And the Brazilian midfielder put the icing on the cake deep into stoppage time, producing a clinical finish from the edge of the box to make it a five-star showing for United against the Belgian outfit.
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