- United succumbed to a shock defeat to Young Boys in Champions League Group F opener
- Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made a questionable substitution in the 72nd minute, taking off both Bruno Fernandes and Cristiano Ronaldo
- The Red Devils were devoid of attacking creativity after the substitutions and resorted to holding off the hosts in the dying stages
- Young Boys eventually found the winner with the last play of the match
- Solskjaer defended his decision to sub off Ronaldo and Bruno, saying he needed to give the pair a rest since they “ran a lot” over the last two games
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Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has explained why he decided to substitute both Bruno Fernandes and Cristiano Ronaldo during his side’s shock 2-1 defeat to minions Young Boys in the Champions League.
With the game finely poised at 1-1 and United down to 10 men, Solskjaer made a double substitution after 70 minutes, replacing Bruno and Ronaldo with Jesse Lingard and Nemanja Matic.
The move did not augur well with United fans as they took to social media to question the gaffer’s tactics, with some accusing him of encouraging the home side to attack.
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It was even more baffling because the Portuguese duo looked like United’s best chance of a goal, especially after they combined brilliantly to give the Red Devils the lead in the first half.
Asked after the match why he decided to make the substitutions, Solskjaer said:
"The game had gone 70-odd minutes, they had been running a lot, both on Saturday and today,”
"The astroturf takes its toll as well and we wanted Nemanja's experience to keep hold of the ball and Jesse's legs.
United were well in control of the match for a large part of the first half after Cristiano’s third goal in two games gave the side a deserved lead, but things took a turn for the worse in the 35th minute when Aaron Wan Bissaka was given a straight red card for stepping on Christopher Martins Pereira’s ankle.
Solskjaer was the first to admit that his right back deserved to be sent off for the challenge.
"I can understand why he gives it because Aaron take a touch that goes too far. It's never a dangerous tackle because it hits him on the front of his foot,” he went on as quoted by Sky Sports.
United would go on to concede a last-minute goal after a horrendous back pass from Jesse Lingard was pounced onto by Jordan Siebatcheu, who gave David Wagner’s side a deserved win, considering the balance of play.
Chelsea begin Champions League title defence with a win
In the other match involving a Premier League side, Chelsea kicked off their Champions League campaign on a flying note after sinking Zenit St Petersburg 1-0 in their Group H opener played at Stamford Bridge on the night of Tuesday, September 14.
Thomas Tuchel's side had to wait until the 69th minute to break the deadlock through Romelu Lukaku who guided a downward header into the net from six yards.