It was another stressful evening for Manchester United fans who hosted Villarreal at Old Trafford. Just a few months ago they faced the Spanish team in the Europa League final, but this time they took a step forward and competed in the Champions League.
The guests managed to take the lead, but after a grueling second half, it was the Red Devils who scored with almost the last kick of the match to ensure they took home all three points.
United struggle to move forward
One of the big problems for Manchester United right now is that they don’t exactly come off the blocks. From Diogo Dalot on the back to Jadon Sancho on top, they had a good first 10 minutes before actually falling off the face of the earth until about the hour. They allowed Villarreal to establish themselves in the game and create pleasant spaces and openings, to the point that United really looked worse than they did for long periods of the Europa League final – and that speaks volumes.
Villarreal’s lack of firepower
When you take Gerard Moreno out of a team that loves drawing football matches, there will always be problems. The most frustrating element of last night’s match for Unai Emery will be how her team lost countless opportunities to regain the lead or even extend it. Everything they did in the last third was precise and on time, until they had to put the ball in the net. Sure, they took the lead, but this should have been much more difficult for United.
Ronaldo saves the day again
Cristiano Ronaldo can’t stop scoring, right? The Portuguese feeling actually looked pretty bad during this match and we don’t think that’s a particularly controversial thing to say given his age and how much Manchester United have led since returning in the summer. However, players as big as him can conjure up magical moments with the kind of composure most of us can only dream of – and that’s exactly what happened.
Jesse Lingard played a pivotal role in achieving the goal, but fell at CR7’s feet in the final seconds and would always get the job done from there.