Goodbye for now...
It was another pulsating night in the Champions League. I thoroughly enjoyed that.
Cristiano Ronaldo will grab the headlines, and rightly so.
But I wonder if this masks a troubling first-half performance for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. It was yet another individual winning it for the Red Devils, not necessarily the team.
I think there are still questions to be answered...
And I'll leave you to ponder those questions...
Until next time...
Manchester United fans... How are you feeling? Are you as calm as Rio here ? ^
In the other Champions League fixtures tonight, the big stories were...
Juventus 1-0 Chelsea - Back-to-back defeats for the Blues.
Benfica 3-0 Barcelona - Back-to-back Champions League defeats for Barca.
and Bayern Munich 5-0 Dynamo Kyiv - another brace for Lewandowski
Arguably, United didn't deserve it. Villarreal were sensational in the first half but were made to rue missed chances. Results are the name of the game in the Champions League, and United will feel they did enough in the second-half to deserve a valuable three points.
Ronaldo just knows how to do it in the Champions League.
Old Trafford has witnessed some great nights. This must rank high among them. Who doesn't love a last-minute winner?
Maybe Villarreal... who perhaps deserved better tonight. That's their first loss of the season, incidentally.
FULL TIME -
MANCHESTER UNITED 2-1 VILLARREAL
RONALDO WINS IT IN STOPPAGE TIME. It was practically the last kick of the game.
There was a small VAR check for that goal, (I don't know what over) but nothing was seen and it looks like United have snatched the victory.
It looked like the game was fizzling out!
(90+5 mins) The. Roof. Has. Come. OFF!
Who else? Of course it is...
Ronaldo scores at the death. Fred puts a wonderful cross towards the back stick. It's a proper 'get-in-the-mixer' type of ball, which is headed down from Ronaldo to Lingard, who tries to nick the ball past Rulli. It falls for Ronaldo, who else would you want there? He fires it low past Rulli who gets a glove on it, but it creeps past the front post into the net.
(GOAL 90+5 mins) !!!!!!!!
CRISTIANO RONALDO !!!!!
I SAID THERE'D BE A WINNER
(90+3 mins) Close again for United!
Ronaldo feeds Lingard. Keeper saves.
(90+2 mins) United win the ball back on the halfway line. Fernandes drives forward and feeds Ronaldo. But its a poor first touch from the No.7. He puts a cross in but its cleared.
Someone goes down and there are penalty shouts. Felix Zwayer and VAR are having none of it.
(STOPPAGE TIME) +5 MINUTES
A cheer from the home support.
(88 mins) Lingard and Fred, who have been waiting on the touchline for a while, come on for Greenwood and Telles.
Heading into stoppage time. There's a winner here.
(85 mins) CLOSE !
Villarreal nearly snatch it. Out of nothing! It's a classic goalmouth scramble as the ball comes in from the left for Villarreal. Moi Gomez lined up a shot and De Gea parries straight into the path of subsititue Dia. It comes off his (shoulder? chest?) and hits the goalkeeper again. Dia has another chance from close-range but it is scrambled away for a corner for the visitors. It comes to nothing.
(84 mins) Lingard and Fred are ready to come on. Ronaldo and Telles maybe look a little leggy or perhaps even injured.
(81 mins) Matic breezes past Capoue in the battle of the combatitive defensive midfielders. I enjoyed that...
Villarreal win the ball back, but Cavani presses well and steals the ball before finding Fernandes. It comes to nothing, but the home side are looking more positive.
(80 mins) A rare spell of possession for the visitors. Estipunian does well for Villarreal with a cross from the left. United clear it away and look to counter.
(77 mins) United look more likely to score next. The crowd have been in full voice since the equaliser. Greenwood fizzes an excellent cross towards Cavani. Mandi seems to put the Uruguayan off by missing the clearance. Cavani puts it just wide. Something is brewing here.
Ronaldo looks like he's gone to the left-hand side as Cavani occupies the traditional No.9 role.
(73 mins) Raul Albiol is down. He is injured and is replaced by Aissa Mandi. Ruben Pena and Moi Gomez replace Alberto Moreno and Yeremy, both on yellow cards.
Cavani comes on for Sancho while Matic is on for Pogba. A frustrating evening for young Jadon.
(70 mins) With twenty minutes remaining, Greenwood takes on Moreno on the right wing. He shoots low at Rulli, the Argentine parries away. United looking much improved since the goal.
Any excuse to watch this again...
(66 mins) Yeremy receives a yellow card for a foul on goalscorer Telles. He takes the free-kick, short to Greenwood who floats the ball into the box. It's cleared away, before United's No.11 receives a yellow card for a foul down the other end.
As I'm writing this, Albiol goes into the book for pulling Ronaldo's shirt.
(65 mins) The game has turned in an instant. United now have two chances with Sancho and Pogba. Both go to waste.
(GOAL) ALEX TELLES 60 mins
The atmosphere is stunning. Old Trafford in full voice as Fernandes floats the free kick towards Alex Telles. He finds himself on the edge of the box. On the volley... He can't... Can he? HE CAN!
He hits a low volley through a cluster of yellow shirts, past Rulli, into the bottom right corner. What a response. It's been breathless
(GOAL GOAL GOAL!!!) And what a stunner!
MANCHESTER UNITED 1-1 VILLARREAL
Goalscorer: Alex Telles
(58 mins) Greenwood does really well here. He wriggles his way out of a tight sport, leaving Alberto Moreno on the floor. He goes down under a challenge from the left back who receives a yellow card. Free kick from outside the box ... AND...
(56 mins) United try to respond with a typical Fernandes shot from outside the box. It's sprayed wide.
Fergie doesn't look best pleased on the sideline. How United would love for him to be back at the helm.
(GOAL - 53 mins)
The warning signs were there...
It is so good from Villarreal. They pick their way through the midfield with ease. Danjuma is played in with too much space. He plays it across goal and Alcacer gets a beautiful poacher's finish ahead of De Gea. Well deserved.
A big goal for Alcacer with Moreno out too.
(BREAKING) GOAL !!!
MANCHESTER UTD 0-1 VILLARREAL
Goalscorer: Paco Alcacer
(51 mins) Pau Torres and Raul Albiol look like a solid centre-back partnership. The latter, shows his experience with some good positioning, thwarting the threat from Greenwood's cross.
The United faithful give Cavani a cheer as he warms up on the touchline.
Ooo Villarreal are in here...
(49 mins) United trying to settle back in. Villarreal have a good spell of possession as they beat the press.
JUVENTUS 1-0 CHELSEA
What a start in the 2nd half in Turin... Chisea, one of the stars of EURO 2020(1) fires the Old Lady ahead.
WE'RE BACK UNDER WAY.
I would be surprised, in fact... SHOCKED... if this ends 0-0.
Second half is moments away...
What a second half we have here.
Who will come out on top?
Manchester United look like a group of individuals, talented ones albeit, but they don't seem to be playing as a team.
It's just occurred to me how almost every Manchester United player is trending on twitter at the moment.
It just goes to show, for all the quality they have on the field, it seems Ole can't translate it into good performances... yet alone good results.
I'm wondering whether Solskjaer is the right man at the helm of Manchester United
Let me know your thoughts at @BoarSport or @farmer_Toby
My word... A penny for Ronald Koeman's thoughts at the moment
Halfway through the second round of Matchday Two fixtures...
Well, well, well...
In truth, Villarreal should be at least two or three up. Some of their players actually look a little distraught as they walk towards the tunnel. Plenty for United and Ole to ponder.
I'll be back in 15 for the start of the second half... Don't go anywhere!
(44 mins) Another chance for the visitors! They work the ball very well again. Yeremy, who has looked in fine form tonight, cuts in and out and in again before firing a low shot towards De Gea. The Goalkeeper parries away...
(43 mins) What's happened here?!
For all their positive play, Villarreal fail to clear a high-ball. Greenwood is involved and the ball trickles past Goalkeeper Rulli.
(41 mins) Wasted...
There's a bit of old fashioned argy-bargy for United as they win a corner. It's cleared away, Villarreal are in with a two-on-one, but Alcacer overhits his pass to Yeremy.
United live to survive another day.
(38 mins) United have built up some possession in encouraging areas, but they haven't produced a moment of quality yet... or even a chance of note.
Fernandes gets in behind and floats a ball over Ronaldo's head at the far post, but the main man up front can only get a small connection on it.
It's still 0-0 here, and 0-0 in Turin as well.
(36 mins) I wonder if Villarreal may rue those missed chances...
Let me know your thoughts about an enthralling first-half at @BoarSport
No prizes for guessing who's ahead in xG terms tonight...
(30 mins) CLOSE ! (AGAIN... FOR VILLARREAL!)
Wow... United are lucky not to be two or three goals down. Alcacer is played in and Varane looks in control, but somehow the ball falls for the striker. He has only De Gea to beat but drags his shot wide from just inside the penalty area.
(28 mins) It's been a great battle so far between these two.
As I'm writing this, Danjuma has dribbled at Dalot, Dalot wins the ball back - but Danjuma then takes Dalot again and leaves the defender in his wake with a sensational burst of speed.
It's all very exciting!
(26 mins) United have settled down a bit since Villarreal's cluster of early chances.
(20 mins) A tough start for United...
Dalot already looks tired at the sight of Danjuma. He is found in acres of space yet again and forces a corner. A smart routine leaves Villarreal with a pop at the United goal... Blazed over. Still 0-0.
(16 mins) What a save!
Danjuma, who has looked sensational so far tonight, puts his Aaron Lennon boots on and gets to the by-line, floating a ball to Paco Alcacer. The striker flicks a header towards goal but his comptariot De Gea tips over.
(15 mins) A really energised start.
It's end to end at Old Trafford. Fernandes and Ronaldo nearly combine after some great pressing before Danjuma nearly feeds in the impressive Yeremy at the other end.
(13 mins) Some space opening up for United in possession.
Fernandes stays wide on the right-hand side, he would've been through if Varane found him with his lobbed pass.
(09 mins) CLOSE !!! (AGAIN)
United may have started fast but it's the visitors who have threatened early on here. Its great play from Villarreal. Smart and incisive passing through the midfield before Danjuma cuts in from the wing and shoots down to De Gea's left. The Spaniard parries away.
Troubling signs early on here for the home team.
More woe for Barcelona...
(06 mins) CLOSE !!!
Danjuma is played in with acres of space behind Dalot. He opens up his body to bend it past De Gea but can only hit it straight at the Goalkeeper.
That was too easy for the visitors, as Ronaldo heads over from a Manchester United corner.
(04 mins) Early signs show Solskjaer employing a 4-3-3 system, where McTominay is the sitting midfielder with Pogba and Fernandes either side.
(01 mins) The Red Devils pile forward in the opening stages. It's a thunderous atmosphere as they press Villarreal high up the pitch. They win the ball back and Fernandes shoots over the bar.
An intense start...
KICK OFF AT OLD TRAFFORD!
Manchester United vs Villarreal is underway.
The Red Devils vs The Yellow Submarine.
A great test for Manchester United and a massive game for Solskjaer.
We're nearly there...
The teams are walking out, the anthem is playing, Old Trafford is bouncing.
Who doesn't enjoy Champions League nights?
Full time: Atalanta 1-0 Young Boys
That means Atalanta go top of Group F with 4 pts. Could Villarreal join them or even overtake the Italian side?
We'll find out soon - Kick off in five minutes...
I have to say... I'm very intrigued about tonight's fixture at Old Trafford.
Pogba occupying a deeper role is evident of Ole trying to fit as many of United's star men into the XI as possible.
I'm not sure he has found the balance in this squad.
Will he find it with Pogba, Fernandes, Sancho, Ronaldo and Greenwood as an attacking combination?
15 minutes away...
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been talking to BT Sport's Matt Smith before the game tonight...
He was asked 'If they get a penalty'?
'Let's see'... was Ole's reply.
It has to be Cristiano Ronaldo, surely?
Ronaldo makes some history tonight...
Here we go again indeed...
I can't believe I nearly missed this tweet from @VillarrealCFen.
I'm going to say it won't be scoreless tonight...
Too much firepower in that Manchester United forward line.
There's a famous face at Old Trafford
Manchester United will hope for a fast start in front of the home fans... Something Usain Bolt knows a thing or two about...
HALF AN HOUR UNTIL KICK OFF
Not too long now...
Is this a must-win game for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer? Is the pressure on?
Let me know at @farmer_toby or @BoarSport
What's even more impressive is that the town of Villarreal, situated just up the eastern coast from Valencia, has a population of just over 50,000.
Meaning you could fit the entirety of the town into Old Trafford this evening, with a third of the stadium's capacity to spare.
Another win tonight would surely rank high among the club's memorable moments.
ANOTHER FAMOUS EUROPEAN TRIUMPH FOR VILLARREAL?
Villarreal may be Europa League champions, battling it out with some of football's finest in the Champions League, but they have only recently tasted success on the European stage.
They made their La Liga debut in 1998, but have been almost ever present in Spain's top division since then. Their Europa League win over Manchester United was their first European honour.
Unless you recognise their UEFA Intertoto Cup successes in 2003 and 2004...
No? - Me neither...
MATCHDAY TWO SO FAR
Some things in life are certain. Life, death, taxes, and Liverpool comfortably beating Porto in the Champions League
Liverpool stylishly put five goals past the Portuguese outfit at the Estadio do Dragao, making it an aggregate score of Liverpool 16-2 Porto in their last five Champions League meetings. If you're into that sort of thing.
Donyell Malen also got up and running for Borussia Dortmund in their win over Sporting Lisbon, Club Bruges upset RB Leipzig to win 2-1 in Germany and to remain unbeaten in one of the toughest groups of the competition. And finally, Luis Suarez scored a 97th minute penalty to snatch a win against 10-men Milan at an ear-shattering atmosphere in the San Siro.
A significant goal in Group F...
VILLARREAL'S RECENT FORM
Unai Emery's men have been masters of the draw so far this season. However in Football terms that’s not always such a desirable trait.
They have seven draws in eight games in all competitions, including Matchday One's draw at home against Atalanta and their Super Cup meeting against Chelsea (despite losing on penalties).
That being said, they are one of three teams to remain unbeaten in La Liga, after frustrating Real Madrid on Saturday to a 0-0 draw at the Bernabeu.
TEAM NEWS FROM TURIN...
Juventus: Szczesny, Danilo, Bonucci, De Ligt, Sandro, Cuadrado, Bentancur, Locatelli, Rabiot, Bernardeschi, Chiesa.
Subs: De Sciglio, Chiellini, McKennie, Kean, Pinsoglio, Rugani, Perin, Kulusevski.
Chelsea: Mendy, Christensen, Silva, Rudiger, Azpilicueta, Jorginho, Kovacic, Alonso, Ziyech, Havertz, Lukaku.
Subs: Arrizabalaga, Werner, Loftus-Cheek, Bettinelli, Chalobah, Saul, Barkley, Hudson-Odoi, Chilwell, Sarr.
Reaction to team news...
So... Bruno Fernandes as Captain
Lindelof and Varane as the centre-back partnership
No Gerard Moreno.
Let me know your thoughts at @BoarSport
VILLARREAL TEAM NEWS
Villarreal have former Arsenal midfielder Francis Coquelin suspended, while Spanish International Gerard Moreno is out due to a muscle injury.
Former Bournemouth winger, Arnaut Danjuma, starts on his return to England.
Bruno Fernandes is captain as well!
I wonder if Ole is thinking of boosting his confidence after the playmaker's penalty miss against Villa at the weekend...
As expected, Alex Telles and Diogo Dalot replace Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Luke Shaw.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka was unavailable for the home side tonight, after he was awarded a two-match suspension for his late challenge on Young Boys midfielder Christopher Martins.
The Red devils are also without captain Harry Maguire, who Solskjaer said may be out for nearly a month with a calf injury. Marcus Rashford remains unavailable.
TEAM NEWS (BREAKING!)
Cristiano Ronaldo starts. While full-backs Alex Telles and Diogo Dalot feature.
And in case you missed it...
Lionel Messi claimed his first goal for his new club Paris Saint-Germain, as the Parisiens beat Manchester City in a repeat of last season Champions League semi-final.
The Argentine drove at the heart of the City defence, playing a neat one-two with Kylian Mbappe, before placing a cute finish beyond the planted Ederson.
New club, same old mesmeric Messi.
There's a new Sheriff in town
Shall we talk about last night?
Matchday Two produced another memorable set of Champions League moments.
Group D's Moldovan minnows Sheriff Tiraspol staged one of the great upsets of all time, beating thirteen times European Champions Real Madrid in their own backyard.
Goalkeeper Giorgos Athanasiadis deserved all the plaudits as he made a collection of smart saves to keep Los Blancos at bay, while Luxembourg international Sebastien Thill scored a stunning 89th minute winner on the half-volley to shoot Sheriff up to the top of the group.
RONALDO'S EUROPEAN HOMECOMING
Cristiano Ronaldo marked his return to Manchester United in this competition with a goal, but he'll be hoping to add to his impressive start in front of the home fans this evening.
In fact, his record against Villarreal will get the home fans excited.
Half Time in the Early Kick-off Fixtures...
Atalanta and Young Boys, the other two teams in Group F, are stuck in a stalemate at half-time.
How do you want that game to pan out, Manchester United fans?
OLE'S AT THE WHEEL
So we return to Old Trafford. Manchester United come into this fixture on the back of two 1-0 home losses, coincidentally against teams who predominantly play in claret and blue.
Luckily for Ole's men, Villarreal play in Yellow.
However I'm sure Young Boys fans will be quick to mention what colour they played in too…
If that’s anything to go by, (which I'm sure 100% sure it won't be) then this could be yet another disappointing evening
REVENGE IS A DISH BEST SERVED… RED HOT?
Of course, neither set of fans wont need reminding of the last time these two sides met in Europe.
Perhaps against the odds, Villarreal ended Manchester United hopes of gaining a first trophy in four years, winning an enthralling penalty shootout in the Europa League final in Gdansk back in May.
But this is Manchester United, is it not?
A team always capable of mounting a memorable European comeback… even if this one is four months late.
Or should I say… "Good Ebening"!
I'm delighted to take you through one of the standout ties of tonight's Champions league fixtures, as Manchester United host Villarreal.
I'll also bring you some updates on the other fixtures tonight, including Chelsea's trip to Turin, as they take on Juventus.
Keep your reactions, tweets and debates coming through this evening by tagging @BoarSport
Or alternatively, my twitter account @farmer_toby
To kick off proceedings this evening, Ill open with this; Who out of tonight's managers would you rather have at the helm as the manager of your own football club?
Ole Gunnar Solskjær or Unai Emery?