Michael Owen reacts to Eric Bailly’s performance in Man United’s 3-0 win over Saint-Etienne

The former Manchester United striker has his say on Eric Bailly's performance

The Sport Review staff
By The Sport Review staff

Michael Owen was critical of Eric Bailly’s sluggish first-half performance after Manchester United were 3-0 winners against Saint-Etienne on Thursday night.

The 20-time English champions hosted the Ligue 1 side in the first leg of their last-32 clash in the Europa League as Jose Mourinho’s side looked to secure a commanding aggregate lead ahead of the return trip to France.

And Zlatan Ibrahimovic made a 15th-minute breakthrough thanks to a deflected effort past the St Etienne goalkeeper with help from a deflection off Vincent Pajot.

However, Manchester United centre-half Bailly handed the visitors a chance to equalise after his sloppy back pass was intercepted only for Sergio Romero and the rest of the home side’s defence to smother the chance.

Indeed, Mourinho’s £30m summer signing struggled throughout the first half which led to criticism of the Manchester United defender during half-time from the club’s ex-striker Owen.

“Eric Bailly has been pretty poor this half – I must say. Saint-Etienne looked very dangerous,” said Owen.

“There was a mix-up at the start which was Bailly’s fault. Herrera was in control and out his arms out. Bailly under no pressure gives away a free-kick. He is getting walked past. A lot of the chances are coming from his left-hand side. They’re exploiting Bailly. He looks a bit sleepy.”

Ibrahimovic scored his second of the night after half-time before a late penalty sealed his hat-trick and a 3-0 win.

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Bailly moved to Manchester United in a £30m deal from La Liga side Villarreal in the summer transfer window.

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