Manchester United drew 1-1 at home against Young Boys in the Champions League this evening as Ralf Rangnick gave chances to youngsters and fringe players.
A much changed United side, with a youthful bench, faced an out-of-form Young Boys.
Though the pressure was off the team, there were obvious nerves amongst the players who were desperate to impress new manager, Rangnick.
Youngster Amad Diallo had the first chance of the night in the third minute but he couldn’t get any power behind his shot which the goalkeeper smothered to his right.
It was proven goalscorer Mason Greenwood who made the breakthrough, a calm and collected cross from Shaw was met skilfully by his England teammate. The ball, slightly behind him, was hooked into the bottom corner.
With less than ten minutes gone, Robbie Savage on commentary was calling for a substitute, eager to see his son make his debut. There was time for that though.
Goalkeeper Dean Henderson was also looking to impress and though he didn’t have any saves to make in the opening twenty minutes, on a number of occasions he showed some smart goalkeeping as he raced out to quash the counter attacks Young Boys were trying to make.
Twenty five minutes in and the home side had put on a dominant display. Mata stood over a free kick but blasted it over the bar.
Meanwhile, at the other end Henderson was tested for the first time, a curling shot from outside the box saw the keeper make a save to his left, managing to hold onto the ball despite the slippery conditions.
United had plenty of chances, first from Diallo who cut back around the defender in the box but dithered and instead of taking the shot, passed to an unexpectant Lingard.
The next chance came from Mata but his shot from six yards out was deflected twice, first by a defender, then the keeper’s trailing leg and it went out for a corner.
Toward the end of the first half a mistake from Donny van de Beek let the visitors pick the ball up on the edge of the box and Rieder curled it into the top corner. 1-1.
The second half got under way with Elanga making a bright start and had a chance for United in the first minute with the keeper just getting his fingertips on it to take the ball out of the path of Greenwood.
Further chances ensued for Elanga who had a shot that was well saved by the keeper. However, Young Boys needed a victory and kept knocking at the door, it forced Diallo into a risky but well-timed challenge in the penalty area.
Rangnick had said he wanted to give others a chance and sure enough he substituted Henderson to give 35 year old Tom Heaton who rejoined his first club back in summer and he had the chance to play for United’s first team for the first time.
With Young Boys on the break, substitute, Mengi slipped as he tracked back but he got to his feet and never gave up, managing to make the block.
A proud moment came for commentator Robbie Savage as he announced his son coming on for Juan Mata. He made a good clearance as well to keep Young Boys at bay in injury time whilst his friend and fellow academy graduate, Zidane Iqbal, made a good tackle on the edge of the box.
Though it wasn’t the result Rangnick would have wanted, it was the night for the youngsters and a chance for the manager to take stock of the quality he has coming through the ranks.
Team: Henderson (Heaton 68), Wan-Bissaka, Bailly, Matic, Shaw (Mengi 61), van de Beek, Mata (Savage 89), Lingard (Iqbal 89), Diallo (Shoretire 68), Greenwood, Elanga