Thursday, 18 February 2016

FC Midtjylland vs Man Utd Match Report


UEFA Europa League | 18 February 2016 | MCH
Arena | Attendance: 9,182 | Scorers: Memphis (37'),
Sisto (44'), Onuachu (77')

Manchester United must overcome a shock first-
leg defeat to FC Midtjylland in order to progress to
the Europa League Round of 16, after a
disappointing 2-1 loss at the MCH Arena.
Memphis Depay opened the scoring on 38 minutes
after converting Jesse Lingard's cross, a goal
which was quickly cancelled out by Pione Sisto's
deflected effort on the stroke of half-time. United
looked the more likely to convert after the break,
but Paul Onuachu's strike was enough to give the
hosts an advantage.
Ahead of the game, Louis van Gaal made four
changes to the team that lost at Sunderland last
weekend by handing young defender Donald Love a
first start at right-back, with Paddy McNair, Ander
Herrera and Memphis also named in the line-up. A
fifth change to the teamsheet was then made late
on, after David De Gea was injured in the warm-up
and had to be replaced by Sergio Romero.
After a cagey opening period, the first chance fell
to Memphis on eight minutes with the winger's
close-range shot being diverted away for a corner
after a pin-point pass from Lingard. The Reds
almost took the lead from the resulting set-piece,
as Juan Mata found space at the near post but
saw his shot well saved by Mikkel Andersen.
Midtjylland were equally keen to make their
attacking intentions known, and were inches away
from converting a corner of their own just three
minutes later, only for Romero to save superbly
from Kian Hansen. In an open contest, both sides
continued to threaten from dead-ball situations, and
it was another corner which brought the next
opportunity. Smalling ghosted in unmarked to meet
Mata's deep delivery, but his header flashed across
the face of goal and was cleared to safety.
There were chances at either end with 10 minutes
of the first half remaining as Memphis's free-kick
forced a good save from Andersen, allowing the
hosts to counter through Vaclav Kadlec and he
was then denied by Romero after racing into the
United box.
Just 56 seconds later though, the Reds were
ahead. Lingard broke down the right-hand side and
produced a low cross for Memphis to scramble
home his sixth goal of the season, much to the
delight of the travelling fans. Van Gaal's men were
pegged back just before the break though, as Sisto
cut out Michael Carrick's pass and fired past
Romero with the help of a deflection off Smalling.

POSSESSION: Midtjylland 38% United 62%
SHOTS: Midtjylland 4 United 7
SHOTS ON TARGET: Midtjylland 3 United 3
CORNERS: Midtjylland 2 United 5

The setback before the break didn't appear to
unsettle United, and it wasn't long before the Reds
created another opening. Great footwork from
Anthony Martial on the edge of the area allowed
Lingard an effort on goal, but the winger's 20-yard
strike sailed over the bar.
With United pressing, Mata almost restored the
advantage on 52 minutes after finding acres of
space in the box, but could only head Memphis's
cross wide. The Reds were on top and came even
closer to a second, as Lingard's vicious drive came
back off the crossbar following an excellent
diagonal ball from Herrera.
While the woodwork had come to Midtjylland's
rescue, it took a piece of brilliance from Romero at
the other end to deny what looked a certain goal.
In a rare attack from the home side, Onuachu rose
highest to meet a cross but the Argentinian keeper
produced a diving save to claw the header around
the post.
A roll of the dice saw Morgan Schneiderlin and
Andreas Pereira introduced for the final stages, but
the Reds were dealt another blow 13 minutes from
time. The substitute Onuachu picked up the ball on
the edge of the area and fire a low drive into the
corner, leaving United in need of a grandstand
Carrick, captaining the Reds in the absence of
Wayne Rooney, had a final opportunity to salvage a
draw but headed over the bar to leave the tie well
and truly in the balance.

POSSESSION: Midtjylland 37% United 63%
SHOTS: Midtjylland 12 United 14
SHOTS ON TARGET: Midtjylland 6 United 3
CORNERS: Midtjylland 2 United 7

Midtjylland: Andersen, Rømer, Kian, Bodurov,
Novak, Kadlec (Royer 85'), Sparv, Olsson, Hassan
(Urena 67'), Sisto, Pusic (Onuachu 61').
Subs not used: Dahlin, Duelund, Banggaard Jensen,
Bak Nielsen.

United: Romero, Love, Smalling, McNair, Blind,
Herrera (Schneiderlin 72'), Carrick, Lingard, Mata
(Pereira 77'), Memphis, Martial.
Subs not used: Poole, Riley, Weir, Keane.
Booked: Love, Lingard, Smalling.


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