David De Gea has been ruled out with injury in the warm-up as Louis van Gaal targets a winning start to the competition in Denmark tonight.
Hello and welcome to tonight’s first liveblog.
Far from the glamour of the the Nou Camp, San Siro or the Bernabeu; Manchester United travel to FC Midtjylland’s MCH Arena to take on the Danish side tonight, kick-off 6pm.
Donald Love gets his first start for Manchester United while Memphis Depay has earned a recall as Louis van Gaal starts planning without Wayne Rooney for the next six weeks or so.
In case you were asleep yesterday, the England striker is out with a knee injury suffered against Sunderland last weekend.
So this is where FC Midtjylland play, a far cry from wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen. But, of course, you knew that already.
How do you see this one panning out tonight? Don’t be shy.
It’s currently 1C, but dry, in Herning, in the western part of Jutland.
It makes conditions in Dublin balmy in comparison.
And the news you’ve all been waiting for … the FC Midtjylland team:
Manchester United fans are planning a protest over ticket prices tonight, just with banners though, it is believed.
FC Midtjylland have charged £71 per ticket despite Southampton supporters having to pay just £22 for a Europa League play-off match at the same venue in August.
Tonight’s game is live on BT Sport 2.
Oasis’s Wonderwall playing around the ground in Denmark as Owen Hargreaves attempts to sound excited about the Europa League. Not a great actor that lad.
David De Gea is now limping off the field. When it rains it poors eh?
De Gea is having treatment in the dressing-room at the moment and apparently will be OK to start.
Romero is in reserve but United didn’t take a third goalkeeping option with their travelling party.
Forget that about De Gea being fit to play, he has now been RULED OUT of tonight’s game after picking up what looked like an ankle injury in the warm-up.
So Romero will come into the starting XI and they will have no goalkeeper on the bench.
Midtjylland are mad for the set-pieces, as you most likely have heard already.
Tonight’s game is also live on Setanta Ireland. Fiorentina v Spurs in on Setanta 1.
For the 8.05pm kick-offs, Augsburg v Liverpool (Setanta 1) and Valencia v Rapid Vienna (Setanta Ireland) will also be shown live.
Kick-off just five minutes away.
We’re under way in Denmark.
Midtjylland’s right back, Hansen, has a monstrous throw-in, he’s already had two of them. And they’re causing concern already for United.
Good start from the Danes.
That was all a bit bizarre. Smalling had gone off to change boots but wasn’t allowed return to the action while the ball was in play.
United players and officials were losing the rag as attempts to get the centre-half back on were ignored by referee Artur Soares Dias.
GREAT BLOCK — Memphis denied by a Hansen block after an excellent United counter-attack.
United nearly score from the resulting corner too after Mata forces a low save from Andersen. Good stop.
GREAT SAVE — Romero gets down low to his left and a strong hand keeps a Midtjylland header out.
After all the talk of Midtjylland and their set-pieces (they have scored more than half of their goals this season from them), United allowed them to get a free header from their first corner. Sloppy.
This was when De Gea suffered an injury in the warm-up. It looked like his studs got caught in the turf. Apparently he has suffered an ankle injury. Romero has made a good start in his absence though.
GREAT CHANCE — A superb, in-swinging corner from Love finds Smalling unmarked but the big centre-half heads it back across goal with no United man in sight.
He was at a bit of an angle when he met the cross but should have done better.
Memphis has looked lively so far, he turns Kian Hansen excellently and earns a corner.
Blind’s delivery finds Herrera but the Spaniard gets under it and the ball sails well over the bar.
Martial is getting into this a bit more, which is a massive positive for United.
They’re starting to boss this a bit now.
PENALTY SHOUT — But it looked like a dive from Martial. The referee just waves play on and leaves it at that.
As United games go these days, this hasn’t been too bad to watch.
Take the positives where you can, I say.
Swede Kristoffer Olsson has impressed for the home side, a classy footballer with plenty of speed. He was once on the books at Arsenal.
A bit of a lull here at the moment, some loose passing from both sides.
Free-kick to come from United in a dangerous area.
Memphis goes for a goal but Andersen deals with it well, pushing it away from goal.
Chance for Martial from a Blind cross. But the Frenchman mis-times it and it comes off his hand.
Midtjylland have generally been dealing well with United’s crosses. Van Gaal’s side have struggled to break them down in central areas.
Midtjylland 0 Manchester United 1 (Memphis ’38)
What a chaotic couple of minutes.
Midtjylland clear the United corner and catch the English side on the break. But Romero stands tall in a one-on-one and makes a solid stop with his legs.
United break quickly down the other end and a Lingard ball is somehow controlled by an awkward, off-balance Memphis and the Dutchman managers to squeeze it into the corner as Martial, who was in an offside position, carefully gets out of the way.
Midtjylland 1 Manchester United 1 (Sisto ’44)
HT: Midtjylland 1 Manchester United 1
Great goal by the Midtjylland midfielder, who has looked lively tonight. The Uganda-born Danish international buries it from the edge of the area after Carrick gave away possession.
And that sees us through to the second period.
That was a mad half of football, not too much structure and both teams playing counter-attacking games at times.
Sisto’s goal on the stroke of half-time will come as a hammer blow to LVG.
Can they turn it around in the second half?
Elsewhere, Spurs lead 1-0 at Fiorentina thanks to a Chadli penalty (Kane is on the bench).
Anderlecht 0 Olympiacos 0
Borussia Dortmund 1 (Piszczek) FC Porto 0
Saint-Etienne 2 (Bayal Sall, Monet-Pacquet) Basel 1 (Samuel)
Sevilla 1 (Llorente) Molde 0
Villareal 0 Napoli 0
No changes made for the second period.
CHANCE — Great play by Martial down the left-hand side. He squares it to Lingard on the edge of the area but the English youngster blazes way over.
Much better from Martial.
We’re back under way in Denmark.
MATA MISSES A SITTER — Memphis has more joy down the left flank and his cross finds the diminutive Spaniard unmarked. But Mata can’t time it right at all and sends it wide. That was poor.
United are having some joy down the left-hand side. This time it’s Memphis who causes Midtjylland problems with some tidy footwork.
But the Danish side manage to squeeze him out and clear their lines.
WOODWORK — Great ball from Herrera to the back stick. Lingard connects with it well on the volley and his effort rattles the crossbar. United looking dangerous.
United are really bossing this now. Herrera, this time, fires wide from distance as LVG’s team continue to attack down that left flank.
WHAT A SAVE — David De who?
Romero with a stunning left-handed stop at full stretch from a Onuachu header. The substitute had only been on the field a matter of minutes. That was special from the Argentine.
Spurs have been pegged back in Florence. Bernardeschi makes it 1-1 for Fiorentina.
Midtjylland have had their best spell of the second half. It looks like there are more goals to come in this one.
Schneiderlin on for Herrera as the home crowd start to find their voice. The Danish champions are just shading this one now.
Disaster strikes for United.
Onuachu has been causing United serious problems since his introduction. And the big striker fends off Carrick and Mata before firing into Romero’s bottom corner.
Midtjylland 2 Manchester United 1 (Onuachu ’77)
This is incredible stuff. United have been on the backfoot since the home side took the lead.
Surely this would be a new low for LBG?
Four minutes of injury time to play. United could really do with another away goal, to avoid an embarrassing defeat if nothing else.
FT: Midtjylland 2 Manchester United 1
Wow, not many people saw that one coming even considering how poor United have been this season.
First, LVG said this competition was his priority, it’ll be interesting to see what he says after this.
Report and reaction to follow on The42.
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