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Review & Ratings: United beaten in Kazakhstan; Lingard’s first goal of 2019, Chong miss was costly and youth taking their chances

Manchester United were beaten 2-1 by Astana at the Astana Arena in Kazakhstan. It was a game that saw United ahead in the tenth minute of the match through Jesse Lingard, who scored his first goal of 2019. However, second after Tahith Chong missed a sitter, Astana were level and seven minutes after that, they were winning.

United took the lead in the tenth minute of the match after a good start in the game, despite the number of teenage players in the starting XI. Luke Shaw was involved in the build up, driving the ball into the box before laying the ball to Jesse Lingard, the captain during this game, who then fired into the back of the goal to put United ahead.

United had the chance to take a 2-0 lead around ten minutes into the second half by Tahith Chong, yards from a seemingly open goal, missed the target which was costly for United as Astana equalised seconds later through Dmitry Shomko. Seven minutes later, the Kazakhstani champions took the lead after the ball was deflected off Di’Shon Bernard.

Manchester United

13 Lee Grant

A first start in a competitive match for Lee Grant during his two-year spell at the club could not result in a clean sheet, despite the veteran goalkeeper looking aware throughout the match, despite not having a lot to do.

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Ethan Laird

I was impressed with Ethan Laird. His pace is great and he did himself proud in his position, getting forward at times to help the attack. He will be seen in the first team again, no doubt.

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Di’Shon Bernard

This was always going to be a tough task for the teenager but he held him self well at times. Unfortunately for him, a deflection meant that he scored an own goal seeing Astana take the lead in the 62nd minute of the match.

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38 Axel Tuanzebe

The academy graduate looked rusty against Astana but it was great to see him back in the team after an injury layoff. I am sure he will be back to his best soon enough, putting pressure on Victor Lindelof in the coming weeks.

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23 Luke Shaw

Granted he's been out injured since August but when I look at him and Brandon Williams, it is the latter that I see making this position his own. He got an assist for Jesse Lingard's opener and put some work in for the chance that Tahith Chong missed. Still work to be done to get back ahead of Williams.

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James Garner

I think James Garner did well alongside Dylan Levitt. They both need opportunities in the first team in the future.

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Dylan Levitt

The Welsh midfielder did well with James Garner in the centre or midfield. Deserving of more opportunities in the future. A talent like him should be well ahead of Andreas Pereira, who offers nothing much in the squad.

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Tahith Chong

The 19-year-old played well at times against Astana but just under ten minutes into the second half, he has a great opportunity to put United 2-0 up, missing from close-range. Seconds later, Astana had scored the equaliser. The writing is on the wall with him now, knuckle down or your career at United will be behind you.

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14 Jesse Lingard

The 26-year-old scored his first goal in 2019 after Luke Shaw layed the ball to him against the Kazakhstani side. The captain of the evening rose to the occasion, but would need to do so consistently in order to offer something to his club and more importantly, his manager.

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28 Angel Gomes

The player was in and out of the game and really needs to push himself to succeed. His free-kick late in the game was a good one which produced a great save from the goalkeeper.

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11 Mason Greenwood

The young forward led the line well and gave Astana something to worry about at times. Saw a shot on goal saved, had some good runs and looked the part, minus a bit of experience, which this will have brought for him.

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Substitutes

49 D’Mani Bughail-Mellor

Replaced Chong 65'. Seemed much better in this position over Tahith Chong. Added some direct play to the attack and saw a lot of the ball at times. A debut to make him proud, maybe?

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59 Largie Ramazani

Replaced Garner 84'. I was excited to see him play today and would have liked to have seen him start. Did well, despite having six minutes pluse added time on the pitch. Not a bad debut.

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54 Ethan Galbraith

Replaced Gomes 89'. Literally had a minute plus added time on the pitch. Not nearly enough time to get involved in the game.

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Goals: Dmitry Shomko 55′, Di’Shon Bernard 62′ (og); Jesse Lingard 10′

Assists: Roman Murtazaev 55′; Luke Shaw 10′

Manchester United: Grant; Laird, Bernard, Tuanzebe, Shaw; Garner (Ramazani 84′), Levitt; Chong (Bughail-Mellor 65′), Lingard, Gomes (Galbraith 89′); Greenwood

Substitutes Not Used: Kovar; Mengi, Taylor; Galbraith, Puigmal; Ramazani

Bookings: Runar Mar Sigurjonsson 39′, Yuri Logvunenko 69′, Abzal Beysebekov 81′, Dmitry Shomko 83′; Dylan Levitt 59′, Jesse Lingard 88′

Confirmed Starting XI: First team debuts for Laird, Bernard and Levitt against Astana; Greenwood leading the line with Chong, Lingard and Gomes supporting

Manchester United will play their penultimate UEFA Europa League group stage match against Astana in the Astana Arena in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan this afternoon (in the United Kingdom). The match will kick off at 15:50 GMT, 21:50 local time. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer named a very young squad with ten players who have not yet made their debuts for the United first team.

There are also four players who have played for the first team this season, some of them sparingly and four players who are considered experienced, either seeking minutes of a way to get back into the first team after injury or a year of poor form, guess who?. The blooding of youth is going to be great for United as there are so many talented players in the youth teams seeking their chances.

Astana have been eliminated from the Europa League this season, despite having two more matches to play, which will end their 2019 season, of which they were crowned as the Kazakhstani Premier League champions once again. United will be seeking to bounce back from their 3-3 draw against Sheffield United on Sunday but will be rested ahead of the important visit of Aston Villa to the Theatre of Dreams on Sunday afternoon. Come on United!

Manchester United:

Grant;

Laird, Bernard, Tuanzebe, Shaw;

Garner, Levitt;

Chong, Lingard, Gomes;

Greenwood

Substitutes:

Kovar; Mengi, Taylor; Galbraith, Puigmal; Bughail-Mellor, Ramazani

Astana:

Eric;

Rukavina, Postnikov, Logvinenko, Shomko;

Beysebekov, Maevski, Sigurjonsson, Rotariu;

Khizhnichenko, Murtazaev

Substitutes:

Mokin; Muzhikov, Pertsukh, Zhakipbayev, Janga, Zhalmukan; Prokopenko

United and Astana have played one in the history of both clubs. That match was played on the 9 September at Old Trafford in a match which saw Mason Greenwood score his first goal for the first team in a season which could see him becoming a much more relied upon player in the squad. Solskjaer has made a big decision to let youth prevail in this match and if they do well, we could see something exciting this season.

How Manchester United could look against Astana; 4-3-3 with five debutants – Ramazani, Levitt, Laird, Mengi and Bernard

Manchester United will play their penultimate UEFA Europa League group stage match against Astana in the Astana Arena in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan on Thursday afternoon (in the United Kingdom). The match will kick off at 15:50 GMT, 21:50 local time. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer named a very young squad with ten players who have not yet made their debuts for the United first team.

There are also four players who have played for the first team this season, some of them sparingly and four players who are considered experienced, either seeking minutes of a way to get back into the first team after injury or a year of poor form, guess who?. The blooding of youth is going to be great for United as there are so many talented players in the youth teams seeking their chances.

Astana have been eliminated from the Europa League this season, despite having two more matches to play, which will end their 2019 season, of which they were crowned as the Kazakhstani Premier League champions once again. United will be seeking to bounce back from their 3-3 draw against Sheffield United on Sunday but will be rested ahead of the important visit of Aston Villa to the Theatre of Dreams on Sunday afternoon. Come on United!

Goalkeeper: Lee Grant

The veteran goalkeeper made one appearance last season, coming on for Sergio Romero against Derby County in the Carabao Cup, which United lost on penalties. He has played for the U23s as the overage goalkeeper, the most recent appearance last weekend, presumably to ensure he is ready to face Astana on Thursday in the penultimate Europa League group stage match this season. He can add some experience in what will be seen as a very young squad.

Defenders: Ethan Laird, Teden Mengi, Di’Shon Bernard, Luke Shaw

The defence, if I am right in my prediction, will have one experienced player; Luke Shaw, despite him coming back from a nearly three months injury layoff. Ethan Laird, Teden Mengi and Di’Shon Bernard could all make their debuts for United in what will be seen as an exciting time for supporters who have seen this trio play for the U23s and the U18s in the last few seasons. It is a gamble for Solskjaer, but a gamble which little to lose and a lot to gain.

Midfield Three: James Garner, Tim Fosu-Mensah, Dylan Levitt

I would imagine that Solskjaer may not opt for a 4-3-3 formation, but rather a 4-2-3-1 formation. I think this formation would enable Solskjaer to test Tim Fosu-Mensah in a defensive midfield position, which would benefit both he player and the club. Adding James Garner and Dylan Levitt in midfield would add pace, creativity and determination into the midfield, something that has been lacking for the past few months because of injury, inexperience and such a small squad.

Forward Three: Largie Ramazani, Mason Greenwood, Tahith Chong

The attacking trio are just as exciting as the rest of the team. Largie Ramazani has scored nine goals and assisted two more whilst playing for the U23s this season. He is such an exciting player and one who could grow into becoming a decent winger in the first team. Tahith Chong has played 152 minutes in the first team this season, playing a lot more at youth level. Yet to score for the first team, he has scored four times at youth level, assisting two more goals. Mason Greenwood has scored four goals at first team level this season, assisting another. At youth level, he has scored twice. There are definitely goals in this trio.

Substitutes: Matej Kovar; Max Taylor; Ethan Galbraith, Arnau Puigmal, Jesse Lingard, Angel Gomes; D’Mani Bighail-Mellor

On the bench, there will be five more players who are yet to feature for the first team; Matej Kovar, Max Taylor, Ethan Galbraith, Arnau Puigmal, and D’Mani Bughail-Mellor, and at least three of them could gain that on Thursday. In terms of experience, Angel Gomes and Jesse Lingard could also make an appearance. Perhaps Lingard will start, however, he’s done nothing, at least for me, to warrant a place in this team, let alone a starting position. No goals this calendar year. Worrying.

Preview: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to blood in the youth against Astana in a match that could be great for the future of the club

FC Astana -v- Manchester United

UEFA Europa League

Astana Arena, Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan

Thursday 28 November 2019, KO 15:50 GMT

Referee: Andre Marriner  Assistants: Simon Long; Sian Massey-Ellis Fourth Official: Andy Madley

Manchester United will play their penultimate UEFA Europa League group stage match against Astana in the Astana Arena in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan on Thursday afternoon (in the United Kingdom). The match will kick off at 15:50 GMT, 21:50 local time. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer named a very young squad with ten players who have not yet made their debuts for the United first team.

There are also four players who have played for the first team this season, some of them sparingly and four players who are considered experienced, either seeking minutes of a way to get back into the first team after injury or a year of poor form, guess who?. The blooding of youth is going to be great for United as there are so many talented players in the youth teams seeking their chances.

Astana have been eliminated from the Europa League this season, despite having two more matches to play, which will end their 2019 season, of which they were crowned as the Kazakhstani Premier League champions once again. United will be seeking to bounce back from their 3-3 draw against Sheffield United on Sunday but will be rested ahead of the important visit of Aston Villa to the Theatre of Dreams on Sunday afternoon. Come on United!

Form: Four wins, a draw and a defeat for United in their last six matches whereas Astana have three wins and three defeats in their last six. This will be a match where youth can prevail.

Manchester United: DWWLWW

Sheffield United 3-3 D, Brighton And Hove Albion 3-1 W, Partizan Belgrade 3-0 W, Bournemouth 1-0 L, Chelsea 2-1 W, Norwich City 3-1 W

FC Astana: LLWWWL

Irtysh 2-0 L, AZ Alkmaar 5-0 L, Tobol 1-0 W, Okzhetpes 1-0 W, Aktobe 5-0 W, AZ Alkmaar 6-0 L

Top Scorers: United need to start finding ways to score goals for fun this season. The blooding of youth may just be a right avenue to start with, before seeking to bring in new faces in January.

Manchester United: 27 goals scored by United this season and if youth taken their chance and produce the goods, that figure could become much higher as the season progresses.

Goals: 10 – Marcus Rashford, 5 – Anthony Martial, 4 – Mason Greenwood, 3 – Daniel James, Scott McTominay, 1 – Andreas Pereira, Brandon Williams

United have shown much better form recently, apart from in the first 70 minutes against Sheffield United at the weekend. The fact the players dug deep and inspired a late comeback, scoring three goals in seven minutes, shows that something is there waiting to be grabbed by the neck and thrown at the opposition. The fact that youth are being blood into the team is something to look forward to.

FC Astana: 80 goals scored for Astana this season and they are the champions of Kazakhstan. Two matches remain of their 2019 season. Will they have what it takes to shoot down this young United squad?

Goals: 26 – Marin Tomasov, 10 – Roman Murtazayev, 7 – Dorin Rotariu, Rangelo Janga, Rúnar Már Sigurjónsson, 5 – Yuriy Logvinenko, 4 – Sergei Khizhnichenko, 3 – Serikzhan Muzhikov, 2 – Abzal Beisebekov, Didar Zhalmukan, Ivan Mayewski, Yevgeny Postnikov, Yuriy Pertsukh, 1 – Ndombe Mubele

Astana won the Kazakhstan Premier League by a single point just over a fortnight ago. They have qualified for next seasons UEFA Champions League first qualifying round and have been eliminated from the Europa League this season. It has been a long season for this team and they might have their minds on their holidays and not the cold Kazakhstani climate as they welcome United before heading to Belgrade for their final match of 2019.

Team News: Youth to be given a massive chance in the Europa League to show what they are made of in a bid to making the first team in the not too distant future. Exciting times.

Solskjaer seems to have taken the best available option for this match in Kazakhstan – leaving players who could be utilised against Aston Villa on Sunday in Manchester and allowing a very young team to travel to face Astana, being that the U23s won’t play again until the 3 December. The likes of Paul Pogba, Scott McTominay, Marcos Rojo, Nemanja Matic, Diogo Dalot and Eric Bailly are out of action.

A very young squad flew to Kazakhstan on Tuesday which included 10 players who have not yet represented the first team for the club; Matej Kovar, Max Taylor, Teden Mengi, Di’Shon Bernard, Ethan Laird, Ethan Galbraith, Arnau Puigmal, Dylan Levitt, D’Mani Bughail-Mellor, and Largie Ramazani. Also included were youngsters James Garner, Tahith Chong, Angel Gomes, and Mason Greenwood.

The other four players in the 18-man travelling squad were Lee Grant, Luke Shaw, Tim Fosu-Mensah, and Jesse Lingard. It is fair to say that Grant, Shaw, and Lingard may need minutes, two of them (Shaw and Lingard) to show something that will put them back into regular first team contention. Fosu-Mensah will be looking for minutes to come back from his knee injury and turn back the time on his career at the club.

Predicted Starting XI: This is going to be a great look for United’s academy as there will be debuts across the pitch against Astana. Hopefully, they can do themselves proud and show the club what it is all about.

It is fair to say that this team will see major changes ahead of this match, which is what is needed at this time. United lead the group with ten points and AZ Alkmaar, United’s next opposition on second place with eight points. Partizan Belgrade sit in third place with four points and Astana lie at the bottom without a single point in four matches. This might be a test for United’s youth, but it is also a test with a low risk.

Match Prediction: One match played and one match won for United. Can the talented youth make it two wins in two matches against Astana? They have a lot of talent and could certainly reach that objective.

United and Astana have played one in the history of both clubs. That match was played on the 9 September at Old Trafford in a match which saw Mason Greenwood score his first goal for the first team in a season which could see him becoming a much more relied upon player in the squad. Solskjaer has made a big decision to let youth prevail in this match and if they do well, we could see something exciting this season.

FC Astana 0-2 Manchester United

copyright: JW