Luke Shaw suffered an horrific suspected broken leg as Manchester United’s return to the Champions League ended in a disappointing 2-1 defeat to PSV Eindhoven. Luciano Narsingh and Hector Moreno found the net as the Dutch champions recorded a narrow triumph over United on their first Champions League match in 17 months.
But Moreno should have not been on the pitch to head PSV level after Memphis Depay’s opener. With 15 minutes gone, the Mexican slid in with a late two-footed challenge on Shaw in the box.
The England defender was carried off on a stretcher while receiving oxygen eight minutes later. Disturbing replays showed Shaw’s right foot bent at a 45-degree angle, which meant he had surely broken it.
Incredibly, referee Nicola Rizzoli did not award a penalty and Moreno was allowed to equalize Depay’s stunning solo opener with a header.
Then, just before the hour, Narsingh took advantage of some slack marking from Shaw’s replacement, Marcos Rojo, to finish off a counter and give the hosts an historic win and an early advantage in Group B.
Even though Anthony Martial impressed on his full debut, manager Louis van Gaal will be disappointed that United’s return to Europe’s biggest club competition ended in a loss.
As a former Ajax coach and player, Van Gaal would have expected a hostile reception at the Philips Stadion. Before the first whistle, it was clear the United manager and his team would not be made welcome by the supporters of Ajax’s great rivals. Van Gaal’s name and that of former Ajax player Daley Blind were booed loudly when they were read out on the public address system.
The atmosphere turned flat in the 15th minute, however, when Shaw was sent flying into the air and dumped on to the turf by Moreno’s challenge. The left-back ran into the box at full pace only to be chopped down by Moreno from behind. He lay in agony on the floor with his right foot at an angle, which indicated a break. After lengthy treatment, Shaw was carried off on a stretcher and driven to hospital.
With such a subdued atmosphere, the game struggled to spark into life. Martial headed a free-kick wide, but, despite lots of possession, United lacked a killer touch.
Thankfully for Van Gaal, Depay was in the mood to show his former employers what they were missing. The Dutchman received a pass from Blind, skipped past Santiago Arias and Jeffrey Bruma before slotting the ball through the legs of PSV goalkeeper Jeroen Zoet. As he had promised, Depay celebrated, but not wildly.
Any celebrations were short-lived, however, as PSV equalized five minutes later. Moreno shrugged off Matteo Darmian to head in Maxime Lestienne’s corner. Blind tried to clear but instead ended up helping the ball in with his head.
The game turned full circle as PSV took the lead after halftime. Lestienne was the provider again. He latched on to a crisp volleyed pass from Andres Guardado and floated a ball over Rojo’s head for Narsingh, who nodded in.
United had a chance to reply soon after when Bastian Schweinsteiger chipped into the box, but Juan Mata mis-controlled with the goal gaping.
Luuk de Jong missed a good chance to score a third, but the PSV fans were happy to settle for a 2-1 win.
TWEET OF THE MATCH
Thank you everyone for your messages , words can't describe how gutted I am , my road to recovery starts now, I will come back stronger.
— Luke Shaw (@LukeShaw23) September 15, 2015
David De Gea: 6 (out of 10)
Matteo Darmian: 5
Chris Smalling: 7
Daley Blind: 6
Luke Shaw: 7.
Ander Herrera: 5
Bastian Schweinsteiger: 6
Ashley Young: 5
Juan Mata: 4
Memphis Depay: 7
Anthony Martial: 7
Marcos Rojo (on for Shaw, 23mins): 4
Marouane Fellaini (on for Herrera, 75mins): 5
Antonio Valencia (on for Young, 86mins): 5
Maxime Lestienne: Matteo Darmian has not had a tougher game since he moved to United thanks to Lestienne’s pace and ability to whip in early crosses. The Belgian provided assists for both PSV goals and was a constant danger to the visitors.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH
Memphis Depay’s opener: A goal of sheer beauty. Depay cut in from the left flank, dropped his shoulder, beating Santiago Arias and Jeffrey Bruma before slotting the ball through Jeroen Zoet’s legs. It was exactly what the United fans have been yearning for from the Dutch forward.
VIEW FROM THE BENCH
Van Gaal handed Anthony Martial his full debut because Marouane Fellaini was suffering from illness. With the 19-year-old in the team, United had far more pace and incision. Unfortunately, Van Gaal’s decision to deploy Ander Herrera as a holding midfielder cost United. He is far more suited to a more advanced position behind the main striker. Van Gaal’s protege Phillip Cocu cleverly stretched the pitch by placing Lestienne and Narsingh right on the touchline. They hugged the touchline, rather than cut inside, and that caused United problems all night.
MOAN OF THE MATCH
Referee Nicola Rizzoli’s failure to dismiss, or even blow for a foul against Hector Moreno when he chopped down Luke Shaw in the box. The Mexican also deserves some flak for walking away from the United defender as he lay on the floor, rather than going over to see if he was okay.
WHO’S UP NEXT
Southampton vs. Manchester United (Premier League, Sept. 20)
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