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Dublin: 17 °C Friday 10 July, 2020


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Hello, and welcome to tonight’s liveblog.

As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts on the game. E-mail, tweet @the42_ie, post a message to our Facebook wall, or leave a comment below.

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Kick off for the game is at 8pm.

A reminder of how things stand in the group. United still could finish top if they win and Juventus lose.


A reminder of a past Champions League clash between the sides, when a certain Irish midfielder was among the scorers.

Source: TJS Sports/YouTube


We’re under way…


Valencia have made the brighter start.

Romero gets down well to parry Santi Mina’s dangerous low cross from the right, before the United defence fully clear the danger.


The ball breaks to Kondogbia inside the box, but the 25-year-old midfielder can’t quite get a clear shot on goal.

United have started with the look of a side who aren’t taking this game particularly seriously.


Valencia gets booked for a really poor late challenge on Toni Lato.

He’s lucky there, as a more strict referee would have issued a red.


Valencia get the goal that their early superiority has warranted.

After good work down the right, a cross is only half cleared and falls to Carlos Soler inside the box.

The 21-year-old Spanish midfielder leaves Romero with no chance, as his clinical finish finds the far corner of the net.


A United throw-in breaks to Juan Mata inside the area.

However, Diakhaby does well to block the Spaniard’s powerful shot, which deflects just wide.


Eric Bailly gets booked for taking out Jaume Doménech, as the goalkeeper jumps to collect the ball in the air.

This has been a surprisingly bad-tempered opening, given the low-stakes nature of the occasion.

Down the other end, Cheryshev puts in a good cross, but Batshuayi fails to properly connect with a header, and his attempt goes well over the bar.


Somewhat surprisingly, Juventus are losing 1-0 to Young Boys in Switzerland.

If that result stays the same, United could finish top of the group with a win tonight.


United are coming more into the game now.

Pogba gets on the end of Fellani’s flick-on from a corner, but the French midfielder slots the ball wide from close range, though the linesman (incorrectly as it turns out) has his flag up anyway.


Cheryshev crosses low for Parejo.

Fred does well though, making a last-ditch block to prevent the attacker getting a shot on target.



Valencia v Manchester United - UEFA Champions League - Group H - Mestalla Stadium Manchester United's Antonio Valencia (right) and Valencia's Antonio Toni Lato battle for the ball. Source: EMPICS Sport


Santi Mina plays through Batshuayi, who can’t find the target with a shot from the edge of the area while under pressure from the defender.

Valencia continue to look the more threatening and technically superior side, as half-time approaches.


So half-time and Valencia deservedly lead having outclassed United for much of the half.

Jose Mourinho’s men have been playing in second gear for the most part.

The visitors have had a couple of decent attacking moments, but it’s largely Valencia in the ascendancy and United will be even more relieved that the last-gasp Fellaini goal against Young Boys previously ensured their progress to the round of 16.


Here’s a look at that awful Antonio Valencia challenge…

Did it deserve a red?


The omens do not look good for United in the second half.


The second half has begun…


Valencia double their advantage and it’s a head-in-hands moment for Phil Jones.

The defender chases a through ball with Batshuayi and gets to it first, but his attempted back-pass goes by Romero and into the net.

It’s hard to see a way back for the visitors now.


Amid all that excitement, I didn’t get a chance to mention a half-time change for United.

Young is on in place of Rojo.


Valencia break with speed before Cheryshev’s shot from the edge of the area is deflected out for a corner.

This could get really ugly for United if they’re not careful.


Valencia v Manchester United - UEFA Champions League - Group H - Mestalla Stadium Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho (centre) speaks with coach Michael Carrick (right). Source: EMPICS Sport



United have made another change, with Rashford replacing Fred.

It was another disappointing showing in midfield tonight from the Brazil international.



Soler deftly plays it through to Mina, but Romero gets down well to make the save. 

Valencia continue to dominate midfield.


Torres controls a long ball from Kondogbia, before producing an audacious effort that goes just over the bar.

That moment epitomises the confidence that Valencia are playing with currently.


United make a final change, as the ineffectual Lukaku is replaced by Lingard.

According to the BBC, United have yet to register a single shot on target with less than 20 minutes remaining.



This game is petering out uneventfully.

United have at least now registered two shots on target, but a comeback continues to look improbable.


Pogba forces a decent save from Jaume Doménech, after audaciously shooting from out wide.

The tempo of this match has become so slow that it currently resembles an end-of-season friendly.


Young crosses for Rashford, who heads home unmarked.

It’s a nicely taken goal, but it’s surely too little too late for United.


Mata almost scores an unlikely equaliser.

Pogba puts him through, but the Spaniard on the turn fails to properly connect with his effort, which goes just wide.

So that’s that. United miss the chance to finish top after another lacklustre performance.

Valencia largely dominated, despite a late rally from the visitors, and ultimately deserved their win.

It may have been a relatively unimportant fixture in the general scheme of things, but the display is likely to provide further ammunition for Jose Mourinho’s critics.

Right, that’s all from me. Thanks for reading and commenting.

You can read our match report here.

We’ll have more reaction to follow.

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About the author:

Paul Fennessy


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