An injury-time strike from Marouane Fellaini fired Manchester United to a narrow win over BSC Young Boys at Old Trafford on Tuesday night.
Manchester United secured qualification to the Round of 16 of the 2018-19 UEFA Champions League, as they defeated Swiss champions BSC Young Boys 1-0 on Tuesday night at Old Trafford.
It was another lackadaisical performance at home from Jose Mourinho’s men, as they struggled to carve out any meaningful chances. Marcus Rashford had the best opportunity of the first half, but the England international chipped over the bar from a one-on-one situation.
Manchester United continued to underwhelm in the second half as well and were kept in the game by the brilliance of David de Gea, who produced a spectacular save to keep Ulisses Garcia out. And when it seemed like the Red Devils were set to play out another goalless draw in the space of four days, Marouane Fellaini struck in the stoppage time to bag three points.
The victory, coupled with Valencia’s defeat to Group H leaders Juventus meant Manchester United are now through to the knockout stages of the Champions League. And, here’s how Mourinho’s men fared on Tuesday night.
David de Gea: 7/10
The Spanish international had very little do all game long, with Young Boys struggling to muster up a shot on target. But, de Gea made a sensational stop down to his right side in typical fashion, to keep out a deflected strike from Garcia midway through the second half. About time the Red Devils handed him a new lucrative contract.
Antonio Valencia: 5.5/10
The Manchester United captain returned to the team after over a month out and put in an assured display. Hardly troubled in defence by the visitors, but once again lacked the endeavour going forward. Booked for a rash challenge and withdrawn with less than twenty minutes left to be played.
Chris Smalling: 7/10
Another steady display from the England international at the heart of the Manchester United defence. Stood up to everything that the Swiss Super League leaders threw at him, which wasn’t all that much. Played a couple of eye-catching forward passes to start attacks. Showed good composure and solidity overall.
Phil Jones: 7/10
Starting in the backline in place of the injured Victor Lindelof, the Englishman did not disappoint on his return to the side for the first time in two months. Was physical and aggressive at the back, flying into challenges and making key interceptions to keep the visitors at bay. Solid, if not spectacular on his comeback.
Luke Shaw: 7/10
Shaw showed good intent and energy, as he constantly looked to romp forward down the left flank. Set Rashford up for a chance with a peach of a delivery early on. Defended diligently throughout, although he was booked for a cynical foul. Crossed the ball into the box leading up to the winning goal.
Back into the side after his disastrous performance against Bournemouth, the Brazilian international showed glimpses of promise in the first period, coming close to scoring with two well-taken efforts. Drove forward with purpose and looked to make things happen, but faded after the break and was replaced by Paul Pogba.
Nemanja Matic: 5/10
One of the four outfield players to be retained in the side from the Crystal Palace game, the giant Serb was booked halfway into the first period, but kept his senses for the rest of the game. Was sound defensively and screened his backline effectively. But, once again, looked off pace at times and offered very little in terms of forward play.
Marouane Fellaini: 6/10
Starting over Pogba and Ander Herrera in the middle of the park, the Belgian failed to impact the proceedings in any way for almost the entirety of the game. Fellaini should have buried home a volley after the break, but he fired over the bar with the goal gaping.
Produced a fine cross for Romelu Lukaku, which the Belgian headed wide. Turned saviour in the dying minutes though, with a fine piece of control and sharp strike to clinch the victory for Manchester United.
Jesse Lingard: 5.5/10
Retained in the lineup by Mourinho, the England international was sharp in the final third and demonstrated good link-up play with Rashford. But, Lingard seemed to lack that bit of quality to make the difference for his team. Worked diligently before being withdrawn for Lukaku.
Marcus Rashford: 5/10
Rashford offered a threat with his pace and movement, but he was once again too wasteful in front of goal. Had a number of decent opportunities to open the scoring for United, but failed to take those, while his decision-making was also iffy at times. Rashford has so much potential, but he needs to take his chances if he is to establish himself as the Red Devils’ main man.
Anthony Martial: 5/10
The Frenchman seems to have regressed post his injury during the international break, as he put in another underwhelming display following his poor performance against Crystal Palace. Martial looked dangerous at times as he drove at the Young Boys defence, but he was let down by poor decisions and was too predictable at times.
Romelu Lukaku: 6/10
Came on to replace Lingard a little after the hour mark. Headed wide from a promising position, before setting Fellaini up for the winner with a glancing header.
Paul Pogba: 5/10
Came on for Fred in the 64th minute as Manchester United went in search of a winner. A couple of good-looking touches and crisp passes aside, Pogba did not make the desired impact.
Juan Mata: N/A
Replaced Valencia with a little over 15 minutes left on the clock. Made little difference to the proceedings.