Posted by Nelson Dafe | 16 September 2015 | 3,041 times
Louis Van Gaal’s Manchester United on Tuesday evening stumbled to a 1-2 loss in their European Champions League opener against PSV Eindhoven in Holland.
United, who were making their comeback in the Champions League after failing to qualify for the last edition, came into the encounter brimming with confidence after the impressive 3-1 win over Liverpool in the English Premiership last Saturday.
However, in PSV, they faced a more organised and determined opposition and any illusions of an easy night was dispelled when left back Luke Shaw suffered a broken leg after his slaloming run into PSV’s box in the 15th minute ended with him coming at the wrong end of a strong, but legal, tackle from Hector Morenoa defender of the home team.
The defender suffered a double fracture and stayed down for nine minutes in the pitch, receiving treatment and oxygen before being taking off to hospital.
United however recovered from the misfortune immediately after the restart and began piling pressure on their hosts, which resulted in the opener for the away side. Daley Blind began the move by threading a clever pass into Memphis Delay (who was making a return to PSV, having been plucked from the side during the summer) who still had work to do. First, defender Santiago Arias was removed with ease, then Depay paused to make Jeffrey Bruma hesitate. The next touch put Depay past the No. 5 and the finish gave PSV ’keeper Zoet no chance.
Yet PSV were about to equalise. It came after 47 minutes of a half elongated due to Shaw’s injury.
Maxime Lestienne pinged over a corner, Moreno beat Matteo Darmian to the header and the ball flicked off Blind to leave David de Gea no chance and that was 1-1.
The Dutch champions’ second goal came when Darmian spooned the ball to Andrés Guardado. The midfielder fed Lestienne down the left and United were about to suffer a sucker-punch as the blond No. 16’s dipping cross cleared Marcos Rojo, who replaced Shaw, and Luciano Narsingh headed past De Gea.
United shrugged off this blow and continued to probe. Schweinsteiger sand-wedged a pass into Mata as he closed in on Zoet’s goal. But the Spaniard’s touch went awol and the ball slipped under his boot and away to safety.
This summed up an evening United will wish to forget soon. Van Gaal added: “It is fantastic that PSV Eindhoven has won this game against the power of Manchester United, but if we had scored the second goal the game should have been finished. You never know but we can only blame ourselves because we have created so many chances and after [beating] Tottenham [1-0] I said you have to score always one more than the opponent.
“We could have scored much more than that but PSV were very effective because they scored out of nothing.”
It turned out to be a nightmarish evening in Manchester as Manchester City’s Champions League campaign equally got off to a disappointing start with a home defeat by last season’s runners-up Juventus.
City, who have struggled to make a serious impact in the Champions League and have never won their opening home game in the group stage, looked to be on course for victory when Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini headed into his own net under pressure from Vincent Kompany.
Paul Pogba’s superb ball allowed Mario Mandzukic to steal in behind Eliaquim Mangala for the equaliser, then Alvaro Morata pulled substitute Nicolas Otamendi - on for Kompany – out of position before curling a precise left-foot finish beyond City keeper Joe Hart for the 81st-minute winner.
•Photo shows Man Utd gaffer Louis Van Gaal.
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