Man Utd 2-1 Villarreal: player ratings, man of match, heroes and villains as Ronaldo makes more history
Find out who starred for the Red Devils as they were held at home by the Spanish side.
It’s a result that leaves Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men third in Group F with three points, after they fell to defeat in their opener against Young Boys earlier this month.
It was Paco Alcacer who opened the scoring eight minutes after the half-time interval at Old Trafford, only for Alex Telles to bag an outstanding strike on the hour mark.
As the game ticked into injury-time, there was only one man who was going to grab the late winner: Cristiano Ronaldo. The striker sent the Theatre of Dreams ballistic when he netted right at the death to secure victory for United.
- Cristiano Ronaldo: The 36-year-old is accustomed to breaking records and he set another landmark achievement on Wednesday. Ronaldo has now made 178 appearances in the Champions League, more than any other player in the history of the competition and eclipsing his ex-team-mate Iker Casillas who previously held the record. Of course, he marked the occasion in typical fashion with a winning strike for Solskjaer’s men.
- Alex Telles: What a time to get your first United goal and few have ever opened their Red Devils accounts with a better strike. The left-back, who started just his second game of the season, fired in a rocket of a volley from all of 25 yards.
- Atalanta: The Italian side beat Young Boys earlier in the day thanks to Matteo Pessina’s second-half strike. That 1-0 win moved them top of Group F after two fixtures.
- Aaron Wan-Bissaka: The defender was suspended for the clash with Villarreal and even before the match, Wan-Bissaka faced the disappointing news that his ban for his red card against Young Boys had been extended by another game. That means he’ll miss the upcoming encounter with Atalanta in a few weeks time.
- Diogo Dalot: Wan-Bissaka’s replacement had a torrid time up against Arnaut Danjuma at Old Trafford and the former Bournemouth man all too regularly skipped past the Portuguese full-back. Dalot just couldn’t deal with his pace and direct dribbling, and that’s ultimately where Alcacer’s goal came from in the second half.
- Unai Emery: Villarreal gave a great account of themselves and were unfortunate to fall to defeat. Had they come away with victory, the Yellow Submarine would have gone level with Atalanta at the table’s summit, instead, they’re now bottom.
United (4-3-3) De Gea 8; Dalot 5, Lindelof 6, Varane 7, Telles 6 (Fred 89); McTominay 6, Fernandes 6, Pogba 7 (Cavani 75); Greenwood 5 (Lingard 89), Ronaldo 6, Sancho 5 (Matic 75).
Villarreal (4-3-3) Rulli 8; Foyth 7, Albiol 7 (Mandi 73; 6), Torres 7, Moreno 6 (Pena 73; 5), Parejo 6, Capoue 6, Trigueros 6 (Estupinan 61;), Yeremi 6 (Gomez 73), Alcacer 6 (Dia 58; 6), Danjuma 8.
Man of the Match
It has to be Danjuma after a scintillating performance in the first 45, although he was slightly less threatening after the half-time interval. It was pace and trickery which caused United no end of problems, and the 24-year-old’s excellent cross set up Alcacer for his goal.
It’s a third Old Trafford game in a row for the Red Devils, who host Everton on Saturday at 12:30. A win for United would, at least temporarily, take them top of the Premier League table.