Report: Marouane Fellaini leads Manchester United to shithouse a victory over Young Boys at Old Trafford


Manchester United beat Young Boys 1-0 in what was a boring encounter at Old Trafford, once again. There were chances galore for United, also for the Swiss side. It took Marouane Fellaini to find the back of the net a minute into stoppage time for United to shithouse their way to victory. They are now into the round of 16 stage of the UEFA Champions League this season, with one game still to play. Youth incoming in Valencia?

United started well in their search for their first goal at Old Trafford in the Champions League this season. Marcus Rashford and Marouane Fellaini linked up well in midfield with the Belgian getting behind the Young Boys defence, with the Swiss side able to clear the danger. Two minutes later, Fred whipped in a cross to Fellaini in the box, the Belgian midfielder passing to Anthony Martial, who was dispossessed after being crowded out. Jesse Lingard then gave away a free-kick for a foul.

In the fifth minute of the match, United had a great chance on goal after Lingard deflected a long ball from Luke Shaw into the path of Rashford, who edged forward and tried tip chip the goalkeeper, clearing the ball over the crossbar and onto the roof of the goal. A minute later, Fred unleashed a fierce left-footed drive which flashed over the crossbar. It was a positive start for United, who were in search of the early goal to get things running at the Theatre of Dreams.

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In the tenth minute of the match, after Young Boys had won a corner, Lingard gave away possession in midfield with the Swiss side breaking through. Phil Jones, making his first start for a period of time, made the interception to thwart the opposition, who could have opened the scoring. A minute later, Martial darted down the left into space, which was created by Shaw’s overlapping run but the Young Boys defence dealt well with the attack, thwarting United once again.

Young Boys had an opportunity in the 13th minute after Jean-Pierre Nsame had the ball played to him in United’s area. The forward was penalised for handball as he attempted to control the ball. A minute later, United had another chance to break the deadlock after Fred found Fellaini on the edge of the area, he then released Rashford in behind with a reverse pass with the England international having the option of squaring the ball to Lingard or going for goal. The effort was fired directly at the Young Boys goalkeeper.

In the 16th minute, Martial isolated Kevin Mbabu on the left as he made the run into danger. However, the Frenchman lacked the conviction to get his shot away. United started well in this game, as would be expected with the Swiss side clearly out of the competition with another match left to play. In the 20th minute, Shaw floated the ball in at the back post but Fellaini, who was in the box, was only able to direct his header off target.

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United then had another chance to create something after Shaw drove the ball into the Young Boys area but the offside flag was raised. It seems Martial may have been the player adjudged to have been offside but the replay revealed it to be an incorrect decision. The yellow card was raised in the 22nd minute after Shaw pulled someone back. However, it was Nemanja Matic who was booked not the England left-back, who could have been booked also.

United were really starting to bang on the door of the Young Boys, not that it was something to brag about, seeking an early goal, which was at the same time not forthcoming. A simple pass carved the Swiss side as Lingard used his pace on the right, looked to feed the ball into the way of Rashford. The pass was a bit too heavy and Rashford could not get onto the end of it, although he did chase it and try.

United then had another opportunity to put the ball into the back of the net after Chris Smalling played a sublime pass to Lingard, who used his instinct to lay the ball off to Rashford. The young English forward then got into a yard of space before unleashing his shot. The England international was inches wide of opening the scoring for United. The form of both Rashford and Lingard was looking lively this evening.

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In the 28th minute, Fred whipped a decent free-kick into the Young Boys area but Matic mistimed his run and was flagged for offside. There was a penalty claim for United on the half hour after Lingard picked up the ball on the edge of the area and got a shot away, which appeared to strike Steve von Bergen’s arm. The central defender was in close proximity, so the referee awarded a corner rather than a spot kick, which came to nothing for United.

In the 33rd minute of the match, Fred spun into space for United, floating the ball forward which released Martial. The Frenchman then squared Mohamed Ali Camara up before knocking it past him. The Young Boys central defender then stood his ground to prevent Martial from reaching the ball in his area. It was unfortunate for United, who needed to finish something to get the much-needed win this evening.

In the 36th minute, Miralem Sulejmani bundled his way into the final third before going to ground on the edge of the United area under the attention of Antonio Valencia. The referee waved him to his feet as United regained possession. Rashford then did brilliantly to get away from Loris Benito after receiving the ball from Smalling’s forward pass but he was isolated in attack and the Swiss side won back possession. There was then a brief pause in play after Von Bergen received some treatment.

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United had another chance in the 41st minute of the match after Rashford pounced on a loose ball, then led United on the counter, cutting the ball back for Fellaini. The Belgian midfielder was unable to take the shot, Fred then gathered the ball on the right, curling a left-footed shot towards goal, which was just wide of the target. United seemed to have all the chances in the first half, not actually gaining anything from them.

There were two minutes of time added to the end of the first half. Before this announced, Rashford had the ball in the Young Boys area, gaining group and unleashing a shot, which instead of being goal bound, went into the crowd in the East Stand. At the end of the half, Young Boys has a great opportunity to take the lead with what would have been a tap-in but they failed to take the chance they had been given. It was going to be another one of those team talks in the Old Trafford dressing room at half-time.

Young Boys made a change at the start of the second half with Von Bergen being replaced by Ulisses Garcia. The Swiss side has also changed formation, seemingly with a back five. United looked to start on the front foot as Rashford got into the Young Boys area, initially overrunning the ball by Mbabu’s attempt to usher it out of play backfired with Rashford keeping it in play, but his eagerness to win the ball back gave away a free-kick.

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In the 48th minute, another yellow card was given, this time for Camara after his late challenge on Martial. In the 50th minute, United played their way out from the back, relieving the pressure with Fellaini winning a free-kick on the halfway line. Two minutes later, Valencia won a free-kick from Garcia on the right. Fred took the set-piece, drilling it into the area but it was gathered comfortably by the Young Boys goalkeeper. A minute later, Valencia made a lunging tackle, avoiding a booking but giving a free-kick away.

Young Boys were close to scoring in the 54th minute after David De Gea gathered a long ball but the Swiss side then manager to recycle play as Mbabu got away from the four defenders and was able to fire a shot on goal, which hit the side netting. United would need to get something in this game, or take it to the final group stage match in Valencia next month, which would be a risk as they could still exit the group and fall into the UEFA Europa League this season.

In the 55th minute, Matic slipped a good low ball into Martial in the Young Boys area. The ball bobbled into the path of Rashford, who arrived late into the area, losing his footing and shooting wide of the near post. This seemed to be the way United were doing things right now. Creating chances only to miss them. A minute later, something similar happened with Martial shooting from the edge of the area, which was deflected into the air and the goalkeeper making a hash of it. The goal was gaping and Fellaini missed it.

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In the 61st minute, Benito was booked for a high foot in Rashford, in a way similar to what Nani was sent off for against Real Madrid a few years ago. Lingard missed an opportunity to score in the 63rd minute, after some great work but United to create the opportunity. Martial had a chance seconds later but his effort was still rising as it went over the crossbar. Jose Mourinho made a double substitution in the 65th minute with Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku replacing Lingard and Fred.

Pogba made an immediate impression after he nearly yielded the opening goal in this game after he plucked a high ball down, drove forward into the area and played the ball into Rashford, who blazed his shot wide of the target. He is missing too many opportunities this evening, which is something to be concerned about. Rashford should be able to take a chance and get that on target, preferably into the back of the net.

Young Boys made a second substitution in the 66th minute with Sulejmani being replaced by Christian Fassnacht. In the 68th minute, the Swiss side won a corner, delivered by Djibril Sow, which was whipped into the United area with Matic and Pogba scrambling clear from danger. United had another chance in the 69th minute with Lukaku holding up play, spinning his marker before releasing Martial into space. The Frenchman took time to shoot and when he did, the Swiss side had the bodies to block it.

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De Gea had to make a save in the 70th minute with United on thin ice against the Champions League strugglers. A shot from the edge of the area took a deflection off Smalling and Mbabu and seemingly had beaten the Spanish number one. However, De Gea somehow managed to clear the ball, which was a yard behind him, off the goal line to spare United’s blushes. Mourinho made a third substitution with Valencia being replaced by Juan Mata in the 73rd minute.

In the 74th minute and clearly seeking a match winner, United had another chance after Fellaini delivered a great cross in from the right, which fell perfectly to Lukaku. The Belgian then headed wide from 12-yards, which seems to be the story of his career at United, especially this season. The number of chances United have had against the Swiss side really should have created at least one goal so far in this game.

The Young Boys had a chance in the 75th minute after Sow got down the left-wing, cutting the ball to Fassnacht on the edge of United’s area, with him having plenty of time to compose himself but his shot wide from 18-yards with United seemingly let off the hook once again. United started throwing more bodies in attack which left them susceptible on the counter, as they would find out. Nsame burst into the final third from a United attack, unable to get a shot away under the attention of Phil Jones and Smalling.

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In the 80th minute, still needed a goal to win this match, Pogba put a diagonal ball into the area, which was cushioned down into the path of Mata but the Spanish midfielder could not get a good shot with his volley sailing over the crossbar. Two minutes later, Jones found Pogba in space on the left and the Frenchman whipped in a great cross to the back post for Smalling to take but his header hit the side netting. So many chances created for United, nothing for them to brag about.

The Young Boys made their third and final change in the 83rd minute with Nsame being replaced by Moumi Nicolas Mgamaleu. Shaw got involved after Nsame took n age to get off the pitch, the player swiping for Shaw as he crossed the line. The referee then spoke to Shaw about the fracas. United were running out of time to get something from this game, which would be right considering their current predicament whereby football seems to be something alien to them.

The Young Boys had a late chance in the 87th minute, a heart in the mouth moment for United after Fassnacht led the counter, releasing Ngamaleu down the left. He then cut onto his right foot and curled a shot just wide of De Gea’s left-hand post. United were cutting it fine to get something from this game, which with Valencia trailing, would see them into the round of 16 stage this evening. Three minutes of added time remained for United.

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Marouane Fellaini put United ahead a minute into added time, plucking a long diagonal ball from Shaw into the box, fending off his man and putting the ball into the bottom corner, seemingly using his hand to control the ball. United managed to shithouse a victory in the dying minutes with Fellaini getting the victory. Mourinho then kicked a bottle holder, spilling the contents before picking up another and smashing it to the floor. There will be some who will say he could have killed someone. Snowflakes.

Goals: Marouane Fellaini 90+1′

Assists: Romelu Lukaku 90+1′

Manchester United: De Gea; Valencia (Mata 73′), Smalling, Jones, Shaw; Fred (Pogba 65′), Matic, Fellaini; Lingard (Lukaku 65′), Rashford, Martial

Substitutes Not Used: Romero; Bailly; Pereira, McTominay

Bookings: Nemanja Matic 23′, Antonio Valencia 72′

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