Manchester United 1-1 Young Boys: Four Things We Learned

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Manchester United finish top of their group in the UEFA Champions League, following a 1-1 draw against Young Boys. The Red Devils have lost to the Swiss side in the group stage opener, but have went on to win 10 points from the next four games.

On Wednesday night, they needed just one point to be sure of the first place before Atalanta’s and Villarreal’s final match in the group. Mason Greenwood scored the opener just nine minutes into the game, before Fabian Rieder equalised after 42 minutes. That turned out to be the final score, with many fans probably not being too satisfied with just a point against the weakest side in the group.

However, there are plenty of things we learned from this match, as we had the chance to see Ralf Rangnick drastically change the team that featured in this match.

Unexpected Starting Lineup

If there was one thing we learned from this match, that thing came even before kick-off. Rangnick’s starting lineup surprised many in terms of just how many changes there were. Looking at the usual starters, we could say only Luke Shaw and Aaron Wan-Bissaka featured, with Mason Greenwood another contender for such description.

But apart from that, there were many surprises. Nemanja Matic was the captain and he started as a centre-back for the first time ever. Dean Henderson was in goal, with Amad Diallo and Anthony Elanga as the two starting wingers. Donny van de Beek played behind Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata, making this a very unorthodox starting XI for what we have been accustomed to.

Mason Greenwood Shines Up Front

With this many changes in the team, Mason Greenwood’s place as the number nine felt like something very usual. But that has not always been the case in recent months. Greenwood, however, managed to shine in that role once again, scoring the opener following Shaw’s cross. The youngster also did very well without the ball when he was supposed to press and at one point, his aggressiveness provided a great chance for Mata. This was a performance Rangnick will be happy about and it will be interesting to see whether it will warrant him a place in the team alongside Cristiano Ronaldo this coming weekend.

Rangnick Gives Chances To Other Youngsters

If we thought his starting XI was a surprise, then his choices for the substitutes were even less expected. Rangnick decided to give senior players some much needed rest, with the German opting for youngsters to get off the bench. Teden Mengi and Shola Shoretire featured in the second half, while Charlie Savage and Zidane Iqbal both got the chance to make their debuts. Also, an unorthodox change was also when Tom Heaton came on in goal instead of Henderson. Only Matej Kovar and Bjorn Hadley did not feature in this match, which shows just how much Man United fans had the chance to see their youngsters get their opportunities at such a stage as Champions League is.

Weekend Is What Matters

This match should not be looked at too much in terms of something that will give us answers for some future performances. It was a decent match by a very much changed side. This match was a perfect opportunity to rest the players this team will need against Norwich. That will be the chance for everyone to see what this team worked on during the week. The point against Young Boys was not ideal, but it is not something that should matter in the grand scheme of things if United keep winning in the Premier League during the coming months.

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