Manchester United’s Champions League campaign got off to a woeful start as they suffered a 2-1 loss to BSC Young Boys in Switzerland.
Cristiano Ronaldo had given United an early lead after an exquisite ball from Bruno Fernandes just 13 minutes in.
But a rash challenge from Aaron Wan-Bissaka earnt him his first red card in United colours, changing the game entirely with 55 minutes to play.
And the Swiss took full advantage, with goals from Moumi Ngamaleu and a 90+5-minute winner from Jordan Siebatcheu sealing a memorable win.
Here’s three things we learnt from today’s game:
No easy games in the Champions League
United were handed a somewhat favourable group alongside Atalanta, Young Boys and Europa League rivals Villarreal in group F and were heavy favourites to progress before a ball had been kicked.
And while Ole Gunnar Solskjaer named a strong team against Young Boys, tonight’s game will act as a harsh reality check for the Red Devils.
Highlighting just how tough the competition is, with one mistake costing United dearly, the club cannot afford many more slip-ups if they harbour ambitions of accruing major honours.
In last year’s competition United were drawn in the group of death with PSG, RB Leipzig and Istanbul Basaksehir, ultimately finishing third after a bright start.
Perhaps the low point was a 2-1 away defeat at the hands of the group minnows Istanbul Basaksehir, Ole will be hoping for a different overall outcome this year.
Diogo Dalot is a better option in Europe
While hindsight is a beautiful thing, it really does seem that Ole missed a trick not opting for Diogo Dalot at right back instead of the more defensively minded Wan-Bissaka.
Much of the fanbase felt Dalot’s more attacking nature would be better suited to this particular game, one in which in theory United should have dominated.
Throwback to when Diogo Dalot made his #mufc debut against Young Boys 🔥
Should he start tomorrow?👇 pic.twitter.com/rVitV8oh4j
— UtdXclusive 🔴 (@UtdXclusive) September 13, 2021
Dalot made his United debut against Young Boys three years ago in a 3-0 win in which he impressed down the right-hand side.
And with AWB suspended he now has a chance to stake his claim for European games going forward.
Donny can’t catch a break
Poor Donny Van de Beek just can’t catch a break in a United shirt.
Finally given a long overdue start to show what he can do in United’s engine room, the Dutchman put together a solid first half, keeping it simple in the pivot.
— Suyash 🔴⚪️ (@SuyashShettyUTD) September 14, 2021
But after the sending off, Van de Beek was sacrificed at halftime for Raphael Varane as United switched to a back five.
Yet again being robbed of any consistency, VDB looked comfortable in the two-man midfield and off the back of that HE deserves much more gametime at Old Trafford. Whether he’ll get it though is a different story.