Manchester United suffered a shock 2-1 defeat to PSV in their Champions League opener on Tuesday evening.
The defeat was not the only disappointment though, as Luke Shaw suffered a double leg break after getting chopped down by Hector Moreno.
HOW THE GAME PANNED OUT
Memphis Depay impressed on his return against his former club and scored an excellent goal, tip-toeing in and out of two defenders before calmly slotting the ball through Jeroen Zoet’s legs.
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Depay was involved in many of United’s attacks and caused his old team no shortage of problems. If he had been a little more composed in the final third, he could have easily bagged himself a first half hat-trick - given the chances he wasted.
United were the superior team but were punished in injury time of the opening half, when PSV’s centre half Moreno out-jumped Matteo Darmian to head home following a corner kick.
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United were well organised at the back but Moreno just seemed to want it more than Darmian did. His header was decent but would have been blocked by Ashley Young if not for the slight deflection off Daley Blind. The nick off Blind’s head wrong-footed Young who was on the goal line, and he could not keep the ball out despite his best efforts.
This made it 1-1 which would have no doubt infuriated the Manchester United manager, Louis Van Gaal, given his team's dominance.
Manchester United were then punished in the second half again, when Darmian gave the ball away cheaply in his own half. Darmian did not have his best night in a Manchester United shirt and was yet again at fault for the second goal, as his poor pass was intercepted, which left United open down the right side.
A good delivery into the box floated over the helpless Chris Smalling and Marcos Rojo which meant Luciano Narsingh could head home to put PSV into the lead.
The young 20-year-old fullback had been in the form of his career and has played every match for United this season. He was also involved in England’s recent qualifiers and was a major attacking threat down the left side giving the team another attacking dimension.
Shaw sustained a double break in his right leg and had to be stretchered off the pitch in the early stages of the match against PSV. He rode two challenges before he was horrifically chopped down by Moreno in the box.
Van Gaal said it was a “very bad” tackle but Moreno was not even cautioned with a booking and no penalty was awarded. That was no doubt a red card offence as Moreno had no control over his body and as the last man, decided to take-out Shaw, rather than let him go all the way through on goal.
The injury is a major setback in his career and former clubs, teammates, managers and friends have all voiced their sympathy and have wished him a speedy recovery.
Shaw was obviously distraught and Van Gaal said he was crying in the dressing room after the match. These types of tackles should not be allowed and can end player’s careers. The fact that Moreno was not punished for the challenge was atrocious and unacceptable.
Moreno has apologised for the tackle and said he felt “really bad” and “really sorry” that he was “involved in the accident”.
WHO WILL PLAY AT LEFT BACK?
Luke Shaw will be out for some time, which will be a concern for Van Gaal but the ever versatile Daley Blind will no doubt fill the void. Blind won’t offer the same attacking pace down the wing as Shaw does but is less likely to be caught out of position.
Blind is defensively a better player than Shaw and was excellent last season when fielded in this position.
Rojo could also play at left back if Van Gaal is eager to keep the impressive centre back partnership between Blind and Smalling.
If he changes that partnership it could unsettle what has been a very good defensive unit so far this season.
WHERE DOES THIS LEAVE UNITED NOW?
The defeat is a poor one but United were the better team and on another day would have won the match. They need to start converting chances into goals or they will struggle to win anything this season.
United are still favourites to win the group and their next Champions League fixture will be against Wolfsburg at Old Trafford. Wolfsburg won their opener 1-0 against CSKA Moscow but are considerably weaker now, having lost star player, Kevin De Bruyne to Manchester City.
United will fancy their chances in this game but must be more clinical in the final third to avoid another upset.
Losing the next game in the Champions league is not an option for the Red Devils but with the quality in the team, and experience in this competition, they are fully aware of how to overcome most opponents.
Will Manchester United win the group? How far can they go in the Champions League? Have your say in the comments section below!
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