United and Young Boys drew 1-1 in the Champions League Wednesday night to wrap up the group stage. Young Boys were knocked out of Europe.
It was a litany of changes by Ralf Rangnick and it was expected. Plenty of youth in the side and on the bench were combined with fringe starting XI and first team players.
Maybe so many youth players was a bit of a shock, but a welcome sight in a meaningless game, no need to risk too many players to injuries. Rest is needed for most.
With both sides missing regulars, the lack of familiarity showed in the opening few moments. Wayward passes were common, but it was United players who settled down a bit first.
Two players with familiarity combined well for the opening goal. Luke Shaw found space down his wing. Shaw took his time to pick out Mason Greenwood who finished superbly with an acrobatic volley. Nothing the Young Boys keeper could do.
The 10th minute goal settled the match down. Dean Henderson played sweeper-keeper well a couple of times early and it was United who got the next good couple of chances.
In the 30th minute Amad Diallo had a nice opportunity in the Young Boys box with the defender in front of him looking off balanced, but he played a pass instead that was poor. Juan Mata got the next opportunity in the box, but the Young Boys keeper saved well to deny the Spaniard.
Young Boys leveled in the 42nd minute with a brilliant goal by Fabian Rieder, his curled shot from outside the box had no chance of being saved by Henderson. The goal came after a bad pass by Donny van de Beek on the outside of his box.
Nemanja Matic did kind of put DVB in trouble with the pass and put United in trouble again a minute later with a bad giveaway. Young Boys almost capitalized, but Eric Bailly was there too clear a shot that might have found the corner.
United got a chance in the first 30 seconds of the second half after Anthony Elanga, who had a quiet first half, stormed down the right wing but his deflected shot/cross was saved. Elanga got the next chance, a better one then first, when Jesse Lingard slipped him in, but again the Young Boys keeper was strong.
United got into a little bit of trouble, but Young Boys could not capitalize. Sivlan Hefti was great down his right and troubled United at times. Most chances came after Matic gave the ball away in his center back position.
Debuts plenty for the Red Devils, 35-year-old Tom Heaton got his debut, Charlie Savage and Zidane Iqbal got some minutes.
Other than that it was a tame second half. Young Boys had some good possession, it was them who needed to go after the win to keep themselves in Europe, but could not do it.
United’s Key Performances
It was an average match for most players involved. Even Greenwood who scored the goal, maybe only had one other bright moment when he stole the ball and created a chance for Mata. Greenwood would probably get MOTM.
It does not really seem like anybody deserved the MOTM. Henderson was good, most of the time this year, United goalies only give up worldies or get put under pressure by mistakes in the midfield or defense.
Shaw had a decent game at left-back, Bailly looked solid in defense and Mata had some good passes. DVB was meh, and was at fault for the goal. Amad was okay, but looks a little indecisive and weak on the ball after a long lay off. Elanga should have scored.
Wan-Bissaka looked shaky early, but settled down and Matic was poor in a position he does not play. Wan-Bissaka looked like he got banged up at the end of the game.