Champions League • Group F
  • 2nd Half
  • Manchester United
  • Villarreal CF
  • Cristiano Ronaldo
  • Cristiano Ronaldo
  • Peña
  • TellesFred
  • GreenwoodLingard
  • PogbaCavani
  • SanchoMatic
  • MorenoPeña
  • PinoGómez
  • AlbiolMandi
  • Telles
  • Albiol
  • Greenwood
  • Pino
  • TriguerosEstupiñán
  • Telles
  • Moreno
  • AlcácerDia
  • Alcácer

Manchester United - Villarreal CF

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Anyhow, thanks for your company - night night.


It's also worth noting that Solskjaer nailed his changes tonight - Lingard's enterprise was a huge factor in the winning goal and Fred found a good enough cross when he needed one.


That's a monstrous win for United and Solskjaer. When you have Ronaldo you have a chance in any game, but De Gea's keeping earned that for United in the first half. They didn't play well at all tonight, but kept at it and should be better for the experience.


Full-time: Manchester United 2-1 Villarreal


hat's harsh on Villarreal, sort of - they've had chances and missed the, so ultimately deserve what they've got.


GOAL! Manchester United 2-1 Villarreal (Ronaldo) That was not coming, that was inevitable! Cavani does brilliantly to regain possession, Fred hammers a cross to the back post and Ronaldo knocks down brilliantly for Lingard, who gets himself in front of the keeper and pokes back a brilliant return pass that Ronaldo hammers brilliantly into the top corner, with the aide of a deflection! He is good at football.


United look to pin Villarreal back but Cavani is too eager and gives away a free-kick.


Ronaldo appears on the right and picks a fine cross to the near post, where Lingard extends a leg ... only to poke wide! That was a good effort rather than a bad miss.


Here come United down the right with Lingard, who crosses ... but Ronaldo's first touch is poor. Cavani, chasing the ball too, goes down and wants a penalty ... but nothing doing.


Fernandes floats towards the box and McTominay arrives onto the clearance, controlling a volley that's technically superb, but doesn't have the power to trouble Rulli.


Pena is booked - for a foul I did not see.


There'll be five added minutes.


United have been really poor tonight, again. Solskjaer needs to pick an XI and stick to it, but the problem is that none he picks encourage him to do so again.


United send on Fred and Lingard for Telles and Greenwood.


Villarreal are coming, Foyth picking up the corner and leathering a shot that McTomnay blocks.


OH MY DAYS! Villarreal go down the left with Gomes - no one bothers to stop him - so opens his body and punches a shot goalwards! De Gea shoves out but Dia must score ... no! De Gea saves again, Varane and Telles slide past the ball, but Telles still makes the block when Dia shoots, and the ball skips behind.


Gomez crosses and Telles does well to get the ball away; Villarreal are trying to win this.


I've just learned that Rulli, the Villarreal keeper, has the first name Geronimo. That's tremendous.


Villarreal probe then United counter, Cavani picking the pocket of Mandi on the by-line ... but he can't quite find Bruno.


It's been quiet for a few minutes but then Fernandes stabs out to Greenwood down the right, and delivers a luuuuuush cross for Cavani at the far post. But he can't attack it until he sees was Mandi does, nodding just wide of the far post on the run.


Ronaldo attacks Parejo who does well to slide in, winning a goalkick. Ronaldo wants a corner and rightly so - Parejo got the final touch.


Ronaldo is on the left now, with Cavani through the middle. On which point, United have really missed Marcus Rashford.


United have changed from 433 to 4231 - perhaps to make sure they don't lose, perhaps because they're used to playing it.


United take off Sancho, who's not done loads but not had much decent ball, and Pogba; Cavani and Matic replace them.


Yup, Albiol goes off and so do Moreno and Pino, Mandi, Gomez and Pena coming on.


Telles pulls back Pino and is booked. Oh, and Albiol is down - he's pulled something and will, I imagine, take no further part in the game.


Pogba moves it wide to Greenwood who squares up his man and nips down the side, driving across the face. But Rulli does well to shove away, though there's no one in the six-yard box anyway.


Here come Villarreal again, Danjuma, the best player on the pitch, driving forward at inside-left. But Lindelof allows him to come inside and shoot, reading the line of it and blocking well.


Varane does brilliantly to win the ball from Pino but can't find Greenwood with his pass out wide.


Now United counter and now Albiol is booked for schlepping back Ronaldo.


This has been a pretty decent game and United nearly work the ball through to Sancho from the resultant free-kick, Bruno swinging to the right of the box for Varane to knock down. But Villarrreal clear and Greenwood yanks back Dia, earning himself a booking.


Pino pulls back Telles and is booked.


Looking again at the goal, it reminds me a bit of Rafael's first for United, at Arsenal.


My days United and Solskjaer needed that. My system crashes, but they're pressing much higher up the pitch and Sancho slips when found by Greenwood, then Pogba narrowly fails to get onto the ball when charging into the box. Villarreal also sent on Estupinan for Trigueros.


GOAL! Manchester United 1-1 Villarreal (Telles) Fernandes wedges a gorgeous dink that Telles, backpeddling, watches onto his laces, drilling home from outside the box! What a goal!


Greenwood shoves Moreno and then Danjuma challenges; the ref says no foul but the lino persuades him to the contrary and Moreno is booked for kicking the ball away. Free-kick United on the left edge of the box.


Change for Villarreal, Dia replacing Alcacer.


Solskjaer has to change something now. United are playing poorly and there's no particular reason to think they'll improve if left.


Fernandes works a shooting opportunity 20 yards out, dipping right, but Rulli knows his shot's flying wide.


It really is unconscionable how bad United have been since beating Leeds on the opening day of the season. Solskjaer won't get sacked if they lose tonight, but if they go out of the Champions League and aren't in the title race when that happens, he's got a problem.


GOAL! Manchester United 0-1 Villarreal (Alcacer) Now then! Danjuma, who's been brilliant tonight, races onto a pass from Parejo, alone in an empty midfield, and flicks a fine cross into the middle for Alcacer, who slides in and pokes home. That goal was no more than Villarreal deserved United are in humungous trouble now.


Nice from Greenwood, ducking inside only to have his shot blocked. On the touchline, Cavani and Matic are warming up, and I can see reasons for sending on either or both - Cavani is a goalscorer and Matic a better passer than McTominay. But Matic is slow, and I'd not want to take off either Greenwood or Sancho if I was Solskjaer.


That means they struggle to control midfield which means they struggle to sustain attacks, so have to rely on moments to win games.


What I don't understand about United is why they're unable to pop the ball about in midfield. They'll be doing rondos every day in training, but on the pitch really struggle to move teams around.


McTominay is down and looks in a fair bit of pain after Danjuma catches him off the ball. He's not interested in the forthcoming apology.


United knock it about the back, Villarreal doing a really good job of blocking the passing lanes.


Villarreal were by far the better side in that first half, sharper and more cohesive. United are struggling for rhythm.


We go again.


Half-time: Man United 0-0 Villarreal


United let Pau carry the ball far too far forward and he goes right to Pino, who sends Telles out for a bag of badger's spleens, ducking inside, and shoving a snap-shot that De Gea pushes away! He's kept United in this.


Pogba flips a luscious ball in behind for Greenwood but Moreno reads it well, extending a leg to poke towards his own goal ... and just past the post. Good but almost disastrous defending, and the resultant corner comes to nowt.


Form the corner, Villarreal counter and they've got a two on one! But Dalot does really well to force Pino wide as everyone else charges back, and by the time the cross is behind Alcacer, Lindelof is on hand to clear.


A lovely ball from Pogba out to Telles hands United a crossing opportunity, and Foyth blocks behind.


United need to get Sancho on the ball more often - he and Bruno look United's likeliest route to goal at the moment.


United have been better these last few minutes and Pogba lofts one of his patented oblique balls over the top for Bruno. From the by-line, he lifts towards the back post for Ronaldo, but there's not enough on it for Ronaldo to get the necessary purchase on his header and Albiol clears.


United build down the left, Sancho looking lively and finding Pogba, who drives straight at Rulli.


Fernandes is dropping deeper to get United going. A few minutes ago, he won an important slide-tackle to abort a counter, and it generally trying to make stuff happen.


But here he is, collecting a decent dink over the top by Dalot ... but the flag goes up for offside.


We've barely seen Greenwood tonight, who's been United's best attacker so far this season.


Capoue heads it away but United sustain the attack, Bruno shaping to shoot then dropping the shoulder and ghosting past Parejo. But he can't fight his way past the last man and winds up conceding a free-kick.


Better from United, a terrific diag from Fernandes collected well by Scnho, bursting past Foyth and attacking Pau along the by-line, winning a corner.


Villarreal look like scoring almost every time they go forward; United do not. The question now is whether they've wasted their period in the ascendancy or are just the better side tonight


Dalot has Ronaldo in a decent position but is imprecise with his pass and Villarreal counter, Danjuma moving the ball into the middle where Varane will deal with it easily ... no he won't! He gets his feet caught up, Alcacer nips in, and swivels into a Solskjaer-style shot that scooshes just past the near post!


Danjuma has Dalot on everyone's favourite footd, absolute toast. He slows him up, waves feet over the ball, then just dashes by on the outside, poking a shot wide of the near post.


Again, Villarreal find Danjuma, but this time Pogba helps and Dalot does well to win the ball back.


A bit of decent possession from United now, Sancho then swaying past Pino. But Villarreal do a really good job of isolating him and quickly snuff out the attack.


The ball goes right and Pino, who we've hardly seen so far, slams a shot well over the bar from a narrow angle.


Trigueros finds Moreno down the left and Greenwood chases back for the first time, getting in front of his man but offering just enough hand to concede a free-kick.


United need to be much sharper in the passing and movement. They need players coming towards the ball as well as players running away from it.


Parejo slides the corner towards Danjuma on the near side of the box, and he runs over it, allowing the ball to skid into Moreno's path ... but from the edge, he wellies over the top! Villarrreal look by far the more dangerous side here.


Danjuma is doing terrible things to Dalot, beating him again before finding Trigueros, whose cross Lindelof sticks behind.


Nothing I've seen so far has made me change my mind about Sancho - Dalot needs help dealing with Danjuma that he's not getting from Greenwood and United need to stretch the play on the right.


United counter from the resultant corner but with Fernandes and Sancho taking through the middle, Ronaldo picks out the covering defender.


Again Danjuma goes at Dalot, this time on the outside, then he nips a square ball at Alcacer's head and again De Gea does really well to react quickly, shoving behind. United have had their warnings here.


Varane makes a terrific slideing tackle just when it looks like Danjuma's in, but it turns out he was offside anyway.


Fernandes playing towards the right gives United a greater threat in that area but he next appears on the left, looking to slide a clever reverse-pass in for Ronaldo. It's intercepted.


Nice from United, working it from side to side until there's a diag on from Varane to Fernandes. But with the entire right side gaping, he drills the pass far too hard and the chance escapes.


Dalot swipes a decent ball over for Pogba, on the left corner of the box - he's looking to get into that area as often as possible - but he goes too early and the flag goes up.


Just before that chance, Villarreal had a bit of possession and they're starting to look comfortable, but here comes Bruno down the right, slipping inside to Pogba who looks to sweep a first-time shot ... that Foyth does really well to block, on the slide.


Great save De Gea! Villarreal again find space down their left with Danjuma and when Moreno dashes on his outside, Dalot sways towards him, opening the space for the shot, which Danjuma curls hard towards the far corner. But De Gea knows it's coming and dives to parry with a strong hand.


United win a corner down the left and Ronaldo is up first towards the near post, but he gets under the ball and heads over the top.


Excellent from Danjuma, attacking the space between Lindelof and Dalot to collect a fine pass from Capoue and inside left. But he wants to shoot with his right foot, schlepping his body around the ball to force and angle before smacking straight at De Gea. Decent chance.


And here is McTominay, picking up possession outside the Villarreal box and finding Sancho, who might run at his man but instead tries a cross, which is blocked.


For the first time, it looks like United are playing a 4-3-3, McTominay playing as the number six with Pogba and Bruno ahead of him.


There's a decent noise inside OT, which isn't surprising - the club have allowed like-minded folk to gather in one lower-tier corner, and now every home is like an away.


In commentary, they note that Solskjaer has lost four of his eight Champions League games at United, which isn't good enough. But it is worth mentioning that he's also won in Paris twice and smashed Leipzig 5-0, the three United's best European performances since Fergie, by far.


Nice from United, McTominay winning the bal in midfield and finding Ronaldo, who might slip in Sancho or shoot. Instead, he pikes to Bruno outside him, who opens his body to bend a shot over the top.


United have started well, Telles getting down the left and slinging over a decent cross. There's no one in the middle to get hold of it, but the pattern of the game looks set, United trying to pick a route to goal and Villarreal sitting back.


Peep peep peep!


The players take the knee, likewise Danjuma of Villarreal. Black lives matter.


Elsewhere in this group, Atalanta have beaten Young Boys 1-0 at home. They drew away to Villarreal in the first round of games.


Here come the teams, Bruno leading out United.


It's also a big night for Diogo Dalot. I'm sure United would've shifted him to get Kieran Trippier had that been possible, but he ended up staying at OT and now has a chance to impress as a more attacking alternative to Wan-Bissaka.I really liked the look of him when he first arrived - he was quick, strong and brave - but he's lost a bit of confidence, since then.


Truth is, most penalties are scored so it shouldn't really matter who deals with them.


I think I'd stick with Bruno, as I think he's a better penalty-taker than Ronaldo. But I do think Saturday got the better of him - I could see he was going to miss from how he addressed the ball.


Also, this:


Solskjaer tells BT that he didn't have much choice with the changes he's made at the back. Shaw hasn't trained since Saturday so couldn't play but Telles and Dalot have been waiting for their chance, so here it is. He notes that Varane has really taken to the group, has been authoritative and is very good, while Sancho is being built up. He was taken off against Young Boys which was the call they made after Wan-Bissaka was sent off - the wrong one I'd say - and because Shaw and Maguire went off against Villa, United only had one change left and went for Cavani not Sancho. It's a big night for him though - they've signed him for the next 10 years, but could do with him getting going soon. There were actually signs in the League Cup game against Villa that he's getting there, and should get plenty of the ball tonight.


I said earlier that I hope Sancho is on the right because United need to stretch teams down that side. At the moment, opponents know they can ignore that flank because the majority of United's offensives come down the left. And they also know that Mason Greenwood wants to attack the box so the full-back can pass him on to the centre-backs, but with Sancho, there's the threat he might go on the outside.


Or not, another crash. But we should be ok from here.


Apologies, my system crashed, but we back in the game now.


As I mentioned earlier, Villlarreal are without key players. Moreno, who scored in Gdansk, is a huge miss, likewise Coquelin, their spoiler-in-chief. But Parejo is such a clever schemer and Alcacer knows where the goal is - my guess is he looks to play on Lindelof and assert himself physically.


My guess is Villarreal keep it cagey. They know United will offer them chances to counter and will back themselves to be solid in the meantime; on top of that, United really need a win whereas a draw is absolutely fine for them.


I'm pleased United have left Fred out. He's far too careless in possession, and it what's likely to be a slow game, they need as many lockpickers as possible. Pogba in midfield makes sense, because they don't want him on the left instead of an attacker with pace. McTominay should be fit enough and strong enough to cover for him and Bruno, but both all three will need to put in a shift.


Villarrreal have had a very Villarrreal start to the season, winning one and drawing five of their first six games, scoring six and conceding three. At the weekend, they drew 0-0 with Real Madrid - they're no Sherif - but are without Coquelin, Moreno and Groeneveld tonight. Trigueros and Danjuma come in.


United are without Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw, who are injured and ill respectively; Victor Lindelof and Alex Telles come in. Otherwise, Fred takes a rest with Paul Pogba moving off the left and into midfield, so that Jadon Sancho can start; I imagine he'll be off the left but I'd like to see him go from the right.


Let's have some teams!


In the first instance, United would’ve looked upon this game as an opportunity to extract a modicum of revenge for the Europa League final. But defeat in Bern has turned what looked like a friendly group into a difficult one: Young Boys now have a foothold, while Villarreal and Atalanta are no kinds of mug whatsoever. With each team playing five times, nothing will be settled tonight, but a win for United and they take back control; fail so to do and they’ve got a problem.