After a convincing display against Fulham over the weekend with a 4:1 win to match, Manchester United traveled to Spain to face Valencia at the Mestalla Stadium. Valencia have been struggling to recapture their form of last season sitting in 15th place after 15 games into the Spanish La Liga. I expected United to at least pick a point from this one because toppling Juventus who are top of the log never crossed my mind. The Red Devils have not lost in 9 games against Valencia , winning 4 and 5 ending in a stalemate. This also added to my confidence of at least picking up a point.
Both Valencia and United made 8 changes to the sides that drew with Sevilla and beat Fulham respectively. Valencia had nicked a Europa league slot before the night’s game but a decent result against Man Utd was also key. I was also glad to have seen Andreas Pereira in the starting line up for my beloved United team. Manchester United kicked the game off but it was Valencia who did all the playing coming close to grabbing a lead in the 3rd minute . Los Che however got a goal through Carlos Soler in the 17th minute. The 21 year old beautifully put the ball pass Sergio Romero who started in goal in place of David De Gea for Man Utd. A draw was still possible was all I could mutter afterwards.
Valencia came close a couple of times later with United left with just flashes but no meaningful threat at goal. After Michy Batshuayi missed a chance to put Valencia 2 nil up in the 43rd minute, the confidence I had earlier disappeared. Valencia went into the break with a 1:0 lead.
It wasn’t long after the kickoff of the second half that Phil Jones clumsily put the ball in the back of his team’s net to give Valencia a 2:0 lead. At this juncture it was game over for me.
It however took the resilience of Marcus Rashford to salvage a consolatory goal for the Red Devils in the 87th minute to end the tie 2:1. For me it was an awful performance from the Red Devils. It was 10th time the charm for Valencia after picking up a first win over United for the first time in 20 years.
In the final analysis, United remain in the Champions League for another 2 months at the least. Manchester United might face any of the following sides in the second round; Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Porto, Real Madrid, Dortmund and P.S.G. The round of 16 draws will hold on Monday December 17, 2018.
Next up for Manchester United is a trip to Anfield on Sunday evening to face Liverpool.
Thanks for your time as always. BLESS!!!