Manchester United defender Chris Smalling has stated that the Red Devils' performance in Moscow was as "dominant" as they have been, as goals from Romelu Lukaku, Anthony Martial and Henrikh Mkhitaryan gave them a 4-1 win over CSKA Moscow.
As dominant as we have been
The Red Devils have had an excellent start to the campaign having yet to taste defeat ahead of their trip to Russia, but many highlighted that the clash with CSKA could be the most difficult for the campaign thus far.
However it proved to be a breeze for José Mourinho's men as Lukaku opened the scoring inside four minutes, Martial doubled that up with his spot kick and another from Lukaku to all but wrap up the points.
It didn't stop there as Mkhitaryan added another just before the hour mark, Konstantin Kuchaev got one back right at the end but it couldn't dampen the victory and Smalling was full of delight post-match.
"I think that’s as dominant as we have been,” Smalling told BT Sport post-match. “Scoring those goals in the first half, it was probably the best first half we have played all season."
“To come here with this atmosphere," the defender stated. "In arguably one of our toughest games in the group, I think it is a true testament to our team.”
“We’re showing we can adapt," the England international proclaimed. "We can change formation and we can come to different atmospheres and play in different ways."
“I think [the win] is a big step towards qualifying, it sets us up nicely and we can’t ask for any more," Smalling added. "If we can keep this form up, hopefully we can finish top of the group.”
A nightmare to play against
It would be difficult for any side to handle the ferocity and form that Martial and Lukaku showed in the VEB Arena, with the strikers proving devastating to the Russian defence.
Lukaku added to his excellent start to the campaign with ten goals in nine games and Martial was just as deadly with two assists and his fifth in eight matches, and Smalling could only praise their deadliness.
“He’s just a beast,” he said on the Belgian striker. “You can play it into him and he can hold it up, people can run off him, and he’s just a nightmare to play against."
“Right from pre-season, Anthony’s been leading the way in training,” Smalling added. “He’s terrifying one-v-one, as we’ve seen tonight, I’m glad he’s on my team.”