MATCH REPORT: MANCHESTER UNITED 2-1 VILLARREAL, RONALDO STRIKES DEEP INTO INJURY TIME TO SNATCH ALL THREE POINTS AGAINST A VALIANT VILLARREAL SIDE
Manchester United faced Villarreal in the rematch of last season’s UEFA Europa League final. United were without skipper Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka while Francis Coquelin was suspended for the visitors.
The first shot on target came from the Yellow Submarine, with Danjuma shooting straight at De Gea. United were just about shading possession, with their first chance falling to Ronaldo’s head from a corner which went way over. Danjuma went close again at the 10th minute mark, his strike towards the far corner being pushed away once again.
— Villarreal CF (@VillarrealCF) September 29, 2021
Danjuma was causing Dalot all sorts of problems, crossing for Alcacer whose near post header was pushed over by De Gea. The Dutchman got away once again but poked his shot wide. Alcacer went close right after, with Varane misjudging a pass and allowing the striker through who pulled his shot wide. Solskjaer’s men were struggling to linkup in the final third, being derived off the ball for long periods.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) September 29, 2021
United did start to get more of a foothold as the half went on, with their creative players seeing more of the ball in dangerous areas. They were getting more balls into the box, with one almost causing Moreno put it into his own net. However, Emery’s side remained a threat on the counter with Pino forcing another fine save from the Spaniard in goal as it remained goalless at halftime.
#UCL | 0-0 ⏱45' | HALF-TIME.
A hugely impressive Villarreal go into the break at Old Trafford level, despite having a number of chances to take the lead. pic.twitter.com/OCVvYpdV4L
— Villarreal CF English (@VillarrealCFen) September 29, 2021
The second half started with a reenergized United looking to take control but it was Villarreal who finally took the lead. A perfect through ball from Trigueros found Danjuma, once again getting the better of Dalot. His pass towards the near post was poked home by Alcacer to break the deadlock.
The Red Devils were not behind for too long however. Fernandes’ clever free kick found Alex Telles at the edge of the box whose smashed a first time volley into the net. The home side were certainly feeling like they could add a second soon though Villarreal remained content with their plan of attacking when possible. The game was now seeing a lot more fouls and substitutions from the Yellow Submarine mainly, with United bringing on Cavani and Matic as well.
WHAT A HIT! ⚡⚽
Alex Telles with a superb equaliser for @ManUtd 🔴 from outside the the box, canceling out Paco Alcácer's 53rd minute opener seven minutes later #MUN 1⃣ – 1⃣ #VIL#UCL #MUNVIL #MUFC pic.twitter.com/LyL2NPXgSe
— FootTheBall (@FootTheBall) September 29, 2021
Cavani glanced a header wide from a good cross as the match entered the final 10 minutes. Danjuma’s shot was pushed by De Gea straight into Dia’s path who had two bites off the cherry but some desperate last ditch defending avoided a goal. United piled on the pressure as time went on which eventually led to a winner deep into stoppage time. Fred’s cross was knocked down by Ronaldo and with the Yellow Submarine failing to clear their lines, the Portuguese forward finished the chance off for all three points.
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) September 29, 2021
Here are the three key takeaways from the match:
UNDETERRED UNITED COME BACK AGAIN
With three key players out and coming off the back of two consecutive losses, it was imperative for the Red Devils to put up a good showing. Unfortunately, that was not the case at all in the first half. United were overrun all across the pitch, getting caught out on numerous occasions. Dalot was getting torched by Danjuma time and again while even Varane was having an off night. Going forward there was not much rhythm either which took until after they conceded to get right.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) September 29, 2021
A clever routine from the free kick got them level before they had some good amount of time on the frontfoot. However, just when it looked like their domination towards the end would count for naught, Ronaldo found a bit of space and stroked the ball home for a late, late winner.
PLUCKY VILLARREAL LOSE AT THE DEATH
They have had five draws in La Liga already and tonight was no different. Villarreal dominated the first half with Danjuma and Alcacer having great chances to forge their team ahead. However, their wasteful nature meant they did not take the lead and had to wait until 10 minutes into the second half for the opening goal. It was the same pair who combined for a lovely finish but their defence was caught napping for the leveler.
🚨💛 GOOOOOL VILLARREAL – Manchester United 0-1 Villarreal
Paco Alcácer breaks the deadlock! 💥
His first UCL goal since October 2018 and his first against English opposition.
— La Liga Lowdown 🧡🇪🇸⚽️ (@LaLigaLowdown) September 29, 2021
They were put on the pump from there on in, but Dia did have a good chance of snatching all three points. With the game just minutes from finishing, some terrible judgment by the defenders allowed the ball to drop for Ronaldo whose clinical finish was enough to break Yellow Submarine’s hearts.
UNITED WIN FINALLY
Their season has hit a bit of a bump, with just one win in three games coming into this match. However, their trend of coming from behind to win continued with Ronaldo’s last gasp finish. It was not a pretty game and Villarreal did create the better chances but Solskjaer will take a lot of heart from this match. The form of Sancho and durability of the midfield is a worry of sorts, but expect that to be sorted out soon enough.