Manchester United star’s injury was key to opening night defeat

Manchester United’s first game back in the Champions League wasn’t quite what they were hoping for, and the club as a whole will be looking to forget the trip to Holland in a hurry.

The game started well enough for Van Gaal’s men, they grew into the game and looked like the better side, much as you’d expect from a Manchester United vs PSV tie. But the tone of the game was set when a tackle from PSV’s Hector Moreno took out Luke Shaw.

With Shaw through on goal the tackle had to be made, and although it was clearly dangerous, it wasn’t malicious. It was simply unfortunate. The extent of Shaw’s injury remains to be seen, but it doesn’t look good given the pictures, all of which point to a nasty leg break.

Twitter’s reaction told the whole story – it was one of a touching reaction of sadness and solidarity for a young man in distress, and of anger at the decision not even to give a foul for the challenge. Anger eventually turned onto Moreno himself – as harsh as that is given the lad’s genuine attempt to play the ball. Moreno was clearly in an emotional anguish after the tackle.

Whatever the reaction, there’s no doubt that the injury simply changed the game. Manchester United played like a team worried for their mate, but Memphis Depay found the breakthrough against his old club. It was somehow predictable that he would be the one to find the net.

But then another predictable event took place: the unpunished Moreno popped up with the equaliser for the Dutch.

From then on it never looked good for United. They pushed forward looking for a winner, but left themselves exposed at the back. Their wastefulness in the final third was to be their downfall as the mix of misplaced passes and attacking mentality allowed PSV the chance on the counter. A chance they made full use of.

United tried again to push men forward after the goal, but it wasn’t to be for United on their first game back in the Champions League. It won’t be the end of the world for United, but they would dearly have loved at least a point to take back to Old Trafford. As it stands, qualification will be that bit harder from here on in.

 


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