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Match Report: Young Boys 2-1 Manchester United

After a brilliant result at the weekend, United travelled to Switzerland to play their first Champions League match of the 2021/22 campaign. They faced Young Boys, who were the easiest opposition on paper, but we knew not to think like that after United’s Champions League campaign last season.

An early goal from Cristiano Ronaldo would’ve suggested an easy night for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men, however after Aaron Wan-Bissaka was shown a red card mid-way through the first-half, the game became very difficult and Moumi Ngamaleu found the equaliser after 66 minutes.

It seemed as though United would secure a decent away point considering the circumstances, however a horrid back pass from Jesse Lingard gave Theoson Siebatcheu the chance to snatch all three points for the hosts and he did exactly that.

Story of the game

Solskjaer and his men expected the hosts to come out and attack rather than defending in a deep block and that’s exactly what they did. Within two minutes Meschak Elia went close after Jadon Sancho lost the ball on the half-way line. The Young Boys striker shot just wide of David de Gea’s post.

Around ten minutes later, their no.15 put in a teasing cross from wide left after getting half-a-yard against Victor Lindelöf, but no one was on hand in the middle to put the ball in the back of the net.

While Young Boys started well, United were the ones to open the scoring after 12 minutes. Bruno Fernandes played the pass of the night to set up you know who; Cristiano Ronaldo; to score his 135th goal in the competition.

After United turned the ball over in the middle third, Luke Shaw began to parade down the left-flank and he finds Fernandes, who had drifted over to the left-wing. The Portuguese midfielder had his eyes on Ronaldo, who was lurking behind the left-back, and then executed a exquisite outside of the foot cross into the space between the backline and the goalkeeper.

Ronaldo pounced onto the chance and finished between the goalkeepers legs to score his third goal in just two United appearances since his return to the club. It was also on the night where he became the joint-highest appearance maker in the competitions history.

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However, the hosts continued to show that they aren’t a side which will sit back and they went close to equalising when Christian Fassnacht forced De Gea into a save through a shot from distance on 31 minutes. United then came close on the counter-attack when Ronaldo stung the gloves of David von Ballmoos with a fierce strike from the left hand side of the box.

Then, minutes later, United experienced a big blow when Aaron Wan-Bissaka was sent off for a sloppy challenge on Christopher Martins. The right-back attempted a one-two with Donny van de Beek and a poor first touch meant that he needed to go in for the challenge against the Young Boys midfielder and his studs were showing as he went in against the players ankle. A clear red card and one that gave United a much tougher job than they should’ve had. Diogo Dalot was brought on for Jadon Sancho afterwards.

The home crowd were in fine voice and found even more confidence in their side after United were down to ten men and their side should’ve equalised on 37 minutes, where Fassnacht was found brilliantly at the back post from the left side and his volley went just past the post.

United made it to half-time unscathed and further defensive enforcements were brought on as Van de Beek was replaced by Raphael Varane. The team shape changed to a 3-5-1 with Ronaldo as the lone forward.

And it was United’s no.7 who could’ve doubled the lead and his own tally in the match after 53 minutes. The 36-year-old picked Mohamed Ali Camara’s pocket and had a free-run towards the goal. Making his way towards the box, Ronaldo went down with Camara making contact with the strikers back, but with minimal contact it wasn’t much of a surprise to see the goalkeeper wave play on.

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It wasn’t long until the side with the player advantage equalised. It was their danger man Elia who received on their right-wing with tons of space, he put in a lovely low cross which was turned in by Moumi Ngamaleu and the scores were levelled.

United were pinned in their own half for the remainder of the half and it was a long-range effort from Sandro Lauper in centre-back which was the biggest test for David de Gea, who tipped the effort over his crossbar.

It seemed that United were going to get a point from a tough match, however a shocking back pass from Jesse Lingard in the last minute of the match gifted Theoson Siebatcheu the easiest chance of the night and in turn gifted Young Boys all three points in the match.

Déjà vu…

Last season we saw United victims of a shock loss against İstanbul Başakşehir and earlier last week Solskjaer claimed that the result would not happen again this season. Yet, the match tonight seemed like Déjà vu for The Reds.

Two massive mistakes from two players were reasons for the loss, but then having almost zero control in the game was unacceptable even when with just 10 men. It has made a difficult Champions League group even more challenging.

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United will have to dust themselves off with a game against David Moyes’ impressive West Ham on the weekend.

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