Manchester United took to the field to play PSV last night, in the penultimate match of their Champions League group stage campaign. They knew that a victory would see them qualify for the next round with a game to spare, however they only managed to draw 0-0. The draw does have a silver lignin though, as it means that they still have their fate in their own hands – they just have the unenviable task of having to defeat Wolfsburg in their final group game.
The opening quarter of the match was all Manchester United, with their high pressing style causing PSV a huge number of problems. United looked hungry for the win and consistently played the game in the PSV half. There was simply no finishing touch to any of the United moves though, with them consistently failing to provide the final killer ball. Perhaps the best chance fell to youngster Jesse Lingard, who had a clear sight of goal, but couldn’t manage to control the ball, tamely poking it into the arms of the keeper.
After failing to capitalise in the first half, United seemed to lose all motivation in the second, and their performance failed to excite the Old Trafford crowd. Measured play was replaced by long balls, and when Marouane Fellaini was introduced, it seemed that United had simply run out of ideas. This allowed PSV to get back into the game, and they could have gained all three points as they finished the game as the stronger team.
Aside from the poor result, perhaps the most disappointing aspect of the game for United fans was the poor performance of Memphis Depay, who has failed to perform since his big money move from PSV. He was largely anonymous during his time on the pitch, and was replaced after around an hour. With performances like last night’s, fans will be questioning whether Memphis is going to fit in at their club.
In the night’s other match involving an English team, Manchester City lost 1-0 to Juventus. This means that City are unlikely to now finish at the top of their group, and leave themselves with the possibility of facing Barcelona, Bayern Munich or Real Madrid in the next round. A goal from Mario Mandzukic separated the two sides. The night was made even worse for City fans by an injury to goalkeeper Joe Hart, who was replaced late on in the game.