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Manchester United defeated in Europa League opener

Manchester United fell to a disappointing defeat in their opening Europa League encounter tonight.

The Red Devils were beaten away to Dutch side Feyenoord in their Group A clash at the De Kuip. The only goal of the game came through Tonny Vilhena

Manager Jose Mourinho had rested a number of players after the Manchester City defeat at the weekend. Wayne Rooney, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Jesse Lingard, Antonio Valencia and Luke Shaw were all dropped, while Phil Jones was absent through injury.

In all, Mourinho made eight changes. Marouane Fellaini and Zlatan Ibrahimovic were named on the bench as others were given their chance, with Matteo Darmian, Chris Smalling, Marcos Rojo, Ander Herrera, Morgan Schneiderlin and Marcus Rashford all gaining their first start under the Portuguese boss.

United had good memories of visits to Rotterdam in the past, having won the 1991 Cup Winners Cup Final in the stadium nicknamed ‘The Tub’.

But this time it was United left sunk, falling to a second consecutive defeat.

Feyenoord have enjoyed a fine start to the Dutch Eredivisie season, with five wins from five earning them top spot. And it was the home side who had the first shot on target, David De Gea saving smartly from Steven Berghuis.

On 24 minutes, tidy interplay between Rashford and Darmian saw Anthony Martial fire the cross wide. Jens Toornstra shot just over the bar as the first-half ended all-square.

In a bid to find the winning formula, Mourinho made a triple change on 63 minutes: Rashford, Martial and Juan Mata made way for Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Memphis and Ashley Young.

However, after a game of not that many clear chances, it was the hosts who made the vital breakthrough in controversial fashion. Jorgensen powered down the right, seemingly in an offside position. The flag remained down, and his cross fell to Vilhena who made no mistake with the finish.

Young and Ibrahimovic tried to force an equaliser in stoppage time, but United were once again left frustrated.

 

By Steve Osborne                    @BlizzardSteve75

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