UEFA Champions League
PSV Eindhoven vs. Manchester United
Venue: Philips Stadion
Date: Tuesday, 15 September 2015
Kick-off: 19:45 BST
It was a night to forget as Manchester United’s return to the Champions League ended in defeat, crashing 2-1 to PSV Eindhoven.
Despite Memphis’ goal giving Louis van Gaal’s side the lead, Hector Moreno’s header went in off Daley Blind in what was eight minutes of additional time at the end of the first half due to a nasty injury suffered by Luke Shaw early on.
A second header won the game, as Luciano Narsingh finished off Maxime Lestienne’s cross, as the home team collected all three points inside the Philips Stadion.
Juan Mata’s through ball to Memphis early on saw the latter cut back onto his right foot, but his low cross evaded both Anthony Martial and Ander Herrera, on the way into the save hands of Jeroen Zoet.
Then came the devastating moment, when Shaw’s promising run was stopped by Moreno, which led to a lengthy delay of nearly 10 minutes, with Shaw being forced off on a stretcher, with oxygen required amongst other things.
Once play resumed with a United corner, Lestienne cleared Herrera’s effort off the line before a couple of threatening PSV attacks were dismissed via the offside flag, as the visitors seemed shaken by the horror injury to their teammate and friend.
Mata’s free-kick was headed wide by Martial as Lestienne sliced wide at the other end, before Matteo Darmian saw a shot blocked.
Then came the opening goal, as Blind fed his international colleague Memphis, who expertly dribbled his way through the middle of Santiago Arias and Jeffrey Bruma, and slotted the ball underneath Zoet.
Two glorious chances then went begging for United, as Bastian Schweinsteiger released Mata, who played in Memphis too late, forcing him wide, and the latter’s left foot shot was off target.
Captain Chris Smalling then won the ball off Lestienne in a dangerous position, and his skill led to him having a weaker foot shot saved by Zoet.
These chances proved costly as Smalling headed Lestienne’s cross behind for a corner, and the latter’s resulting kick was won in the air by Moreno, with the ball flicking off Blind on the way through.
Into the second half and a neat one-two between Memphis and Martial led to the former’s shot being held.
Then came the winning goal as sloppy play by Darmian allowed Andres Guardado to play in Lestienne down the left, and his delightful cross was dually headed home by Narsingh.
Fantastic hold up play by Martial was wasted after Mata blazed over from distance, before the Spaniard miscontrolled Schweinstieger’s exquisite ball over the top of the PSV defence.
Ashley Young set up Herrera, whose shot was held, before Young himself saw a shot blocked on two separate occasions.
A great through ball by Memphis saw Martial latch onto the pass, but he dragged his effort wide after beating the offside trap.
Lestienne had an attempt held before Jorrit Hendrix played in Luuk De Jong, only for the PSV captain to fire his effort over the bar from close range.
Substitute Marouane Fellaini had United’s last chance of the game, shooting wide from distance, as United later wasted a free-kick attempt to get the ball into the box.
A frustrating night in Holland to say the least, as United’s dominance of the ball meant nothing, with PSV taking two of the few chances they had.
Unlike in other fixtures this season, United did manage to muster up a number of goalscoring opportunities, but they need to be finished off in order to win football matches.
A 15 day wait lies ahead before the next Champions League game, when Wolfsburg visit Old Trafford.
Southampton away is up next in the Premier League, however, with a trip to St. Mary’s far from ideal on the back of this defeat.
Manchester United: De Gea; Darmian, Smalling, Blind, Shaw (Rojo 25); Schweinsteiger, Herrera (Fellaini 75); Young (Valencia 86), Mata, Memphis; Martial.
Subs: Romero, Rojo, McNair, Carrick, Schneiderlin, Valencia, Fellaini.
Manager: Louis van Gaal
PSV: Zoet; Arias, Bruma, Moreno, Brenet; Hendrix, Propper, Guardado (Schaars 71); Narsingh, De Jong, Lestienne (Locadia 86).
Subs: Pasveer, Pereiro, Schaars, Poulsen, Locadia, Vloet, De Vrijs.
Manager: Phillip Cocu