It was 20 minutes after the final whistle, but no one in yellow and black was going nowhere: neither the players, nor the staff, and certainly not the 30,000 Young Boys fans, who jumped and stomped and rejoiced in a victory that will remain as one of their biggest ever. Meanwhile in the opposite corner of the stadium, the last little shard of Manchester United fans filtered towards the exits, a night of indignities and humiliations finally complete.
A draw would have been perfect. Embarrassing, perhaps: especially after scoring early, but certainly manageable in the long run. And despite all their blunders and blunders, a draw was what that United had secured as the ball rolled towards Jesse Lingard in the fifth minute of added time. But inexplicably Lingard decided to play the ball straight into the path of Young Boys replacing Jordan Siebatcheu, and in the blink of an eye United were beaten. They are now - already - in a scrap yard for qualifying.
The celebrations in this The sleepy Swiss town lasted long into the night,but for an exhausted and distracted United, it was a reminder that despite all of their shiny new talents, some old familiar flaws remain. After a Who Else? S first goal, you would have had a good chance that United would play a good part of the second half with a mystified Lingard as the only attacker. But Aaron Wan-Bissaka's red card in the first half was a game-changer, leading Ole Gunnar Solskjær to a confusing ro. announcing substitutions and tactical changes that often seemed to baffle his own players.
Subsequently, Solskjær criticized Wankdorf's artificial surface for tiring his players, but there were more obvious scapegoats everywhere you looked: Wan-Bissaka, Lingard, a midfielder who seemed to crumble in on himself as the game progressed. Even the famous Cristiano Ronaldo offered next to nothing beyond his goal, and although you couldDid you say that is pretty much Ronaldo's goal these days, Solskjær was right to pull him out in the 72nd minute, although the decision to replace him with Lingard rather than Mason Greenwood or Anthony Martial was bizarre.
In a sense, Solskjær had taken a calculated bet here, sacrificing a little midfielder cover in the confidence that their weight of attacking talent would end up. overwhelm. Ronaldo's goal, the product of a cheeky cross from Bruno Fernandes and a trademark run from Ronaldo to the back post, seemed to confirm this. But even before the red card, David Wagner's impressive young side were enjoying plenty of counterplay, feasting on spaces behind what was effectively a United front five, taking advantage of chances thanks to Christian Fassnacht and Michel Aebischer.
Then came the dismissal, and while a more lenient official could have let it slip, Aited might have few complaints. Wan-Bissaka lost the ball with a bad touch and rushed a little too enthusiastically on the loose ball in response. No sooner had his crampons squeezed Christopher Martins 'ankle than Frenchreferee François Letexier prepared the red card, so began the third phase of the game, in which Jadon Sancho was hanging on for Diogo Dalot and United s ' installed in a compact 4-4. -1.
Prior to the red card, United had enjoyed 66-34 possession. After that, the Young Boys dominated 72-28, and although Raphael Varane's introduction for the watery Donn y van de Beek and a move to 5-3-1 gave United control of their own area of repair, their ineffectiveness on the ball allowed the home team to control everywhere else. Ronaldo was not helping: at the start of the second half he threw himself to the ground, again threw himself to the ground when he surrenderedreckoned he wouldn't get a penalty kick, and went on to perform in the kind of prize funk that ends with either a spectacular 30 -yard bike kick or - as here - a series of ever more elaborate dives.
The equalizer arrived, and it came from Moumi Ngamaleu sneaking in front of Varane to regroup the center deviated from Meschack Elia. Once again, Solskjær rang for the changes. It's Ronaldo, who's been getting angry since about the 50th minute. Lingard and Nemanja Matic replaced them in an attempt to replace cunning with industry.
With three minutes remaining, David de Gea made a superb save of Sandro Lauper's Long Range Shooting, and despite all their courage and common sense, the locals seemed to have blown themselves up. But with practically the last action of the match, Lingard played a terrible back pass to his goalkeeper, Siebatcheu passed De Gea, and in the most drastic circumstancesfriendly, the Young Boys had snatched the points.
"It's in football in general, not just the data component Champions League , discipline is a huge part of the game," Solskjaer said afterwards. "Aaron is normally a very good tackler. nifty - one of the best in the world. "Of course we lost the opportunity to get three points, but we have two home games afterwards and we have to focus on them.
" Today in the dying seconds, Jesse just wants to play it safe and just a misplaced pass and you conceded a goal, "Solskjær added. " This is football at the highest level. . Lack of focus, make a mistake, and you're done. There is plenty of time, of course, for United to learn their lessons. But for now, this new star team has met sfirst bump on the road.