Manchester United’s surprise loss to Young Boys was an energy sapping loss for this Red Devils side.
The team were floating on a real high, and this 2-1 defeat punctures the balloon of positivity which the club had been inflating since Cristiano Ronaldo’s return.
The defeat brought back horrible memories. The low point of last season’s Champions League campaign were not narrow losses to PSG and RB Leipzig, who sides which had reached the last four of the 2019/20 Champions League.
Instead it was the 2-1 loss to Turkish also-rans Istanbul Basaksehir, who finished last season in 12th place in the Super Lig, with just 12 wins from 40 matches. This defeat rendered the later losses to PSG and Leipzig costly.
Solskjaer pledge goes up in smoke in Switzerland
This match was fresh in Solskjaer’s mind leading into this one, still bemoaning the loss.
Speaking to the club website this week, Solskjaer said: “We started brilliantly last time and then it changed against Basaksehir, that was the game that we shouldn’t have lost.”
In an interview with Beyond The Pitch at the weekend, Solskjaer vowed: “That Basaksehir game, we are going to make sure that doesn’t happen this season.”
That pledge is now obselete. This loss away at Young Boys, is the second year United have now lost away to the group’s fourth seed.
With harder games upcoming, this defeat could be damaging when it comes to qualification.
While Solskjaer can’t account for an uncharacteristic red card to Aaron Wan-Bissaka and a poor backpass from Jesse Lingard, his own substitutions left plenty to be desired and felt similar to the PSG home game last season.
Ronaldo wanted the positivity to last
Cristiano Ronaldo’s return was huge for Manchester United and we have been riding a wave of positivity over the last fortnight.
His return at Old Trafford at the weekend was one of the most memorable days at the stadium in years and one supporters in attendance will never forget.
Ronaldo sent a message ahead of the Champions League game thanking fans for the support and expressed a desire to keep the buzz around the club as long as possible.
This loss was not on Ronaldo, he scored from one of his only two shots on goal and he was one of only two players to have an attempt.
But Ronaldo’s hopes that the ‘good vibes’ keep running are probably out of the window now until United can put this Champions League result right with a win over Villarreal in the next game.
What will the effect of defeat be?
This is a question United have to answer. With a winner like Cristiano Ronaldo in the squad, he will demand an immediate response.
United face West Ham at the weekend in a tricky away game, aided by a suspension to their top scorer Michail Antonio.
There is then a Carabao Cup match against West Ham at Old Trafford followed by a Premier League game at home to Aston Villa.
Three wins will put a spring back in United’s step, and the Carabao Cup game is an important one. United won’t want an early exit, so have to be careful with rotation.
Then comes the Champions League game with Villarreal. United hoped to come into the tie on the back of a win, but instead are under more pressure than we would have hoped.
A draw will not be much use heading into back to back games against Atalanta. United have turned Old Trafford into a fortress in opening Premier League games, and need to continue that in cup competitions too, but both West Ham and Villarreal will be dogged opponent who will attempt to frustrate Solskjaer’s side.
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