UEFA Europa League
Result: Astana 2-1 Manchester United
Date: 28 November 2019
Venue: Astana Arena
Manchester United suffered their first Europa League defeat of the season following a 2-1 loss to Astana in their penultimate Group L clash on Thursday evening.
Ethan Liard, Di’Shon Bernard and Dylan Levitt made their full first team debuts in a youthful eleven set out by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer against the already eliminated Astana side.
Worryingly though the Red Devils had just managed a shot on target in their last two away games in the competition, but Mason Greenwood forced a save off Nenad Eric from a tight angle early on.
Captain on the night Jesse Lingard put an end to his long-standing European drought as his low shot from outside the area deflected into the bottom corner of a gaping net ten minutes gone.
Astana, who have scored only once in the group stages, looked for an equaliser a little later though none of their front men led by Dorin Rotariu troubled Lee Grant in the opposite goal.
United were pegged back right after halftime when a gaping miss at one end from Tahith Chong inspired the hosts to the equaliser as Dmitri Shomko drilled into the far corner 12 minutes in.
The Kazakhstan side had a tail up their sleeve and within six minutes Bernard turned a low cross from the right into his own net to put the hosts ahead whilst looking to clear the danger.
The turn of events instigated a change on United’s dugout in the 65th minute as Chong made way for fellow youngster D’Mani Bughail-Mellor, who also made his debut.
United were on the up in the final 12 minutes and Eric was at full stretched to first tip an Angel Gomes free-kick over the top and Lingard’s first-time strike for a corner.
The Red Devils failed to spring any comeback though and thus suffered their first defeat in this year’s edition.