MX23RW : Thursday, December 13 09:14:45

Live Commentary: Young Boys 0-3 Manchester United - as it happened

Relive Manchester United's 3-0 win over Young Boys as two goals and an assist from Paul Pogba give the Red Devils a winning start to their Champions League campaign.
Live Commentary: Young Boys 0-3 Man Utd - as it happened
© Reuters

Manchester United got their Champions League campaign off to a winning start this evening courtesy of a 3-0 victory over Young Boys at the Stade de Suisse.

The visitors took their time to get going, but swung the balance of the game in their favour with two goals from Paul Pogba in the final 10 minutes of the first half.

Pogba then turned provider by teeing up a third for Anthony Martial, wrapping up the points to leave United as the early leaders of Group H.

Find out how all of the action unfolded courtesy of Sports Mole's minute-by-minute updates below.

7pmGood evening! Thank you very much for joining Sports Mole for tonight's Champions League Group H clash between Young Boys and Manchester United!

The English clubs got off to a mixed start yesterday with defeat for Spurs and victory for Liverpool - both late on - and now it is the turn of United to get their campaign underway on a plastic pitch as they bid to continue their recent revival.

We will have a look at both teams in depth a little later, but first let's check out the team news...

7.02pmYOUNG BOYS STARTING XI: Von Ballmoos; Mbabu, Camara, Von Bergen, Benito; Fassnacht, Sow, Sanogo, Sulejmani; Hoarau, Assale

7.02pmYOUNG BOYS SUBS: Wolfli, Bertone, Ngamaleu, Nsame, Schick, Aebischer, Garcia

7.04pmMAN UTD STARTING XI: De Gea; Dalot, Smalling, Lindelof, Shaw; Fred, Matic, Pogba; Rashford, Lukaku, Martial

7.04pmMAN UTD SUBS: Romero, Bailly, Young, Fellaini, Pereira, Mata, Sanchez

7.06pmWhat can we make of those two sides, then?

Well, we'll start with the visitors and the first thing to note is that there is a debut for summer signing Diogo Dalot at right-back due to the absence of Antonio Valencia, whose knee was not trusted to hold up against the rigours of a plastic pitch.

Dalot - a 19-year-old defender capable of playing on either side - has been working his way up to full fitness since his arrival at Old Trafford, but finally gets his first chance tonight.

7.08pmThere is also a change on the opposite flank in defence as Luke Shaw returns at left-back, replacing Ashley Young in the side after missing out at the weekend due to the concussion he suffering with England during the international break.

Mourinho does appear to have settled on a first-choice centre-back duo in the absence of Jones, though, with Smalling and Lindelof once again preferred to Bailly at the heart of the United defence this evening.

7.10pmFurther forward, there are also notable starts for Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial, both of whom have been forced to wait for chances this season and have subsequently been linked with moves away from the club.

Tonight is a big chance for both to prove that they deserve a more regular role in the team, with Sanchez and Mata only making the bench for tonight's game. Rashford will be suspended at the weekend - as will Matic - so it makes perfect sense for Mourinho to give them both a runout tonight.

7.12pmIn all there are five changes to the United starting lineup for tonight's match, including a return for Fred in midfield as he replaces Fellaini, despite the Belgian earning plaudits for his performance against Watford at the weekend.

Paul Pogba makes up that midfield trio alongside Matic, and the World Cup winner will once again have the spotlight on him going into the game. Rumours regarding his future and relationship with Mourinho mean that he is never far from the headlines, but he will be desperate to start making them for on-field matters again.

7.14pmRomelu Lukaku leads the line for United tonight, and he comes into the match in fine form having scored four goals in his last five Premier League games - including three in his last two.

Indeed, the Belgian has six goals in his last four outings for club and country and also has a good record against Young Boys, having scored five times against them during his time with Everton - including a hat-trick on his last visit to this stadium.

Romelu Lukaku in action for Manchester United on August 19, 2018© Reuters

7.16pmAs for Young Boys, they are able to welcome Serbia international Miralem Sulejmani back into the squad for the first time since he suffered concussion last month, and he has already made an impact upon his return by scoring off the bench at the weekend.

Sulejmani's return is one of three changes made by the home side tonight, with Schick and goalkeeper Wolfli dropping out of the starting XI.

7.18pmKevin Mbabu is one of the players to come into the team, and his is a name fans of English football may remember following a brief spell at Newcastle United earlier in his career.

Von Ballmoos and Sulejmani are the others to return to the starting XI, while summer signing Mohamed Camara retains his place having scored the 120th-minute winner in the second round of the cup at the weekend.

7.20pmThe main dangerman United will need to look out for tonight is veteran striker Guillaume Hoarau, who has seven goals in 10 appearances across all competitions so far this season.

The former Paris Saint-Germain man is joined in attack by Assale, with Young Boys deploying a classic 4-4-2 formation this evening.

7.22pmWe will get to Manchester United in a short while, but Young Boys certainly deserve to share the billing tonight as they make their first ever appearance in the Champions League proper after five previous failed attempted to make it this far.

The most recent of those attempts came just last season when they beat Dynamo Kiev in the third qualifying round only to lose to CSKA Moscow in the playoffs, but tonight they can finally celebrate reaching the group stages for the first time.

7.24pmA 3-2 aggregate victory over Dinamo Zagreb - including a 2-1 away win in Croatia - earned them their historic place in the group stages, although any hopes of making it further than the first hurdle were severely dampened by the draw was made.

Young Boys have been placed alongside United, Juventus and Valencia in Group H, and the Swiss champions would do well to avoid becoming anything other than whipping boys for those teams over the next few months.

7.26pmThat said, tonight's hosts come into this match with a winning habit and, while the Champions League will provide tests much greater than those that they will face domestically, they should still be full of confidence given their recent form.

Gerardo Seoane's side are unbeaten in their last 10 matches across all competitions so far this season, winning nine of those including a perfect record of six wins from six in the Swiss top flight.

7.28pmIncredibly, the defending Swiss champions already sit eight points clear of their nearest challengers after only six games of the league season, which is the largest gap at this stage of a campaign since Switzerland introduced a 10-team league in summer 2003.

St Gallen are their nearest challengers on 10 points, while Young Boys also boast the best attack (19) and the best defence (4) in the league too - putting them well on course to retain the title for the first time in 60 years.

7.30pmGiven that recent form, you would be forgiven for thinking that Young Boys are the superpower of Swiss football, but last season's title triumph was actually their first since 1986, ending a 32-year wait for their 12th crown.

Young Boys also reached the final of the cup and could have sealed a first double for 60 years, only to lose to Zurich in the final. A big match against fellow title hopefuls Basel awaits at the weekend, and another win in that match would be a major statement that they are here to retain their title this season.

7.32pmDespite this being their first match in the Champions League proper, Young Boys do also have some former European experience to call upon before the rebranding of the tournament in 1993.

The Swiss side last featured in the European Cup in 1986-87, and their most recent home match in the continent's top-tier competition actually saw them beat Real Madrid, only to be knocked out in the reverse at the Bernabeu.

Young Boys have still made it further than most in the predecessor of the current tournament, though, making it all the way to the semi-finals in 1958-59, where they lost to Stade de Reims.

7.34pmThat was a long, long time ago, though, and Young Boys come into tonight's match having won just two of their last 10 European outings - a Europa League triumph over Skenderbeu last season and the qualifying win over Zagreb earlier this term.

Victory tonight would see them string together back-to-back Champions League wins - including qualifying - for the first time since August 2010, when their second win also came at home to an English club in the form of Tottenham Hotspur.

7.36pmThere is no doubt that United come into this match as favourites, though, particularly given that they have steadied the ship after an early-season wobble had many predicting that it would not be long before Jose Mourinho was sacked.

Defeats to Brighton and Tottenham Hotspur not only saw them lose back-to-back games for the first time since September 2016, but it was also the first time that they had conceded three goals in successive games since January 2012.

7.38pmMourinho strongly insisted that his side played well despite the defeat to Spurs, though, and his comments have begun to bear some fruit in the last two games with victories over Burnley and Watford getting themselves back on course.

The Red Devils are now bidding to win three matches in a row for the first time since April, although one area they still need to improve is defensively, having kept only one clean sheet in their five outings so far this season.

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho watches on during his side's 3-0 defeat at home to Tottenham Hotspur on August 27, 2018© Reuters

7.40pmHopes of making a stronger push for the Premier League title have certainly been hampered by their two defeats so far, though, particularly considering Chelsea and Liverpool have won five from five and defending champions Manchester City are still unbeaten.

United currently find themselves eighth in the table, six points adrift of the leading duo but now level on points with Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal, so they have not lost too much ground in the top-four race at least.

7.42pmUnited will also be hopeful of an improved showing in the Champions League following their last-16 exit at the hands of Sevilla last season, when they recorded a respectable goalless draw in Spain only to lose the home second leg 2-1.

Mourinho's side had finished top of their group in their first season back in the Premier League, although the only match they failed to win in the group did come on Swiss soil when they lost 1-0 to Basel.

7.44pmThe draw and defeat in the two legs against Sevilla means that United could tonight make it three Champions League games without a win for the first time since March 2013, while they could also lose successive games in this competition for the first time since December 2012.

However, in all European competition they have won 13 and lost only three of their last 20 games - a tally helped by their run to the Europa League title in 2016-17.

7.46pmUnited's record is less impressive when you single out their away form in this competition, though, with the Red Devils having only just three of their last 14 Champions League outings on the road - drawing five and losing six in that time.

Indeed, Mourinho's side have failed to even score in their last two such outings, having been on a seven-game European away unbeaten streak prior to their loss to Basel on Swiss soil last season.

7.48pmTonight will be United's this away game in a row across all competitions, but they will make their long-awaited return to Old Trafford against Wolves on Saturday in their first home match since that 3-0 defeat to Spurs.

It is worth remembering that the Red Devils have not been fixtures of this competition in recent years too, although their overall tally of 22 group-stage appearances in the Champions League is fewer than only Real Madrid, Barcelona and Porto (all 23).

7.50pmPREDICTION: Right, we're 10 minutes away from kickoff at the Stade de Suisse, which means that it is time for a prediction!

There is sure to be a good atmosphere inside the stadium for this historic occasions, and Young Boys are in fine form, but United look like having the quality to keep them at bay tonight. I am going for an away win.

SPORTS MOLE SAYS: Young Boys 0-2 Man Utd

7.52pmThis will be the first ever meeting between these two sides in any competition, although United do arrive in Switzerland looking to overcome a poor record in the country.

The Red Devils have lost on their last two visits to Switzerland in European competition, with both defeats coming at the hands of Basel - first a 2-1 loss in December 2011 and then last season's 1-0 reverse.

7.54pmIndeed, Young Boys are the first Swiss side other than Basel that United have faced, and their previous record against them stands at two wins, two draws and two defeats from the last six meetings.

As previously mentioned, those two defeats have both come on Swiss soil, so United may feel as though they have something of a hoodoo to break tonight despite never having faced this particular opponent before.

7.56pmYoung Boys, meanwhile, have only ever won one of their six previous meetings with English clubs, with that coming in their very first such match when they overcame Spurs 3-2 at home in a 2010-11 Champions League qualifier.

Spurs won the return leg 4-0 to progress, though, and most recently Young Boys have been beaten by a 7-2 aggregate score by Everton, with Lukaku - now of United, of course - scoring five of those goals.

7.58pmRight, the players are on their way out to the field as the anthem blares around the stadium. A reminder of the team news before we do get started...

YOUNG BOYS STARTING XI: Von Ballmoos; Mbabu, Camara, Von Bergen, Benito; Fassnacht, Sow, Sanogo, Sulejmani; Hoarau, Assale

MAN UTD STARTING XI: De Gea; Dalot, Smalling, Lindelof, Shaw; Fred, Matic, Pogba; Rashford, Lukaku, Martial

1 minKICKOFF:  Here we go, then! Hosts Young Boys get us underway for this match on their artificial pitch!

3 minYoung Boys make their first break forward as they hit United quickly from a counter-attack, with Benito charging down the left flank but putting his cross too close to the keeper.

4 minUnited win another corner, but once again Young Boys break in the blink of an eye. This time it is Mbabu who shows great pace and power down the right, but once again the final ball lets the hosts down.

6 minThe hosts will be pleased with their start to this game - they do not seem to be overawed by the occasion and have made the two brightest breaks forward so far.

8 minCHANCE!  The first chance of the night falls to Young Boys, and they probably should be ahead here! Mbabu swings a cross in from the right flank and Hoarau gets in front of Lindelof to glance a header just wide of the far post! I don't think De Gea would have got to that one.

9 minUnited respond by advancing forward through Rashford, who drills a low cross into the box which Lukaku tries to flick goalwards, but fails to get enough contact on.

11 minUPDATE: The first goal of the 8pm Champions League kickoffs this evening has gone to Bayern Munich, with Robert Lewandowski giving them the lead at Benfica.

12 minAlmost a chance for the home side again as Camara sends a header from a corner high into the air which Hoarau then turns goalwards. Assale almost gets a touch on the ball on the way through, but in the end it runs comfortably through to De Gea.

13 minAssale is the latest to test the United defence as he bursts forward through the middle before being eased off the ball by Lindelof. He wants a free kick, but the referee says no.

14 minCHANCE!  United's best chance of the match so far falls to Lukaku as he collects the ball on the left side of the area, but he is slow to get his shot away and the angle is eventually against him as he puts it into the side-netting.

16 minSAVE!  Young Boys are brimming with confidence here! This time Camara strides out of defence before letting fly from a long way out, and De Gea needs to tip it over the crossbar. It looked as though it might be heading just over, but De Gea could not take any risks.

18 minYoung Boys have been very impressive so far tonight, and if any team deserves to be ahead then it is the home side at the moment. They will need to make the most of this time in the ascendancy, though!

20 minYoung Boys are pouring forward whenever they win the ball back, and this time it is Sulejmani who leads the charge. There is some nice football as they advance to the edge of the area, but ultimately it comes to nothing.

21 minMbabu is having an absolute blinder at the moment - to the extent that it is hard to see why things did not work out for him at Newcastle. He has shown great pace and power so far, and has just earned the biggest cheer of the night so far with a good tackle on Pogba.

22 minOFF THE POST!  United come close to opening the scoring against the run of play as Rashford darts across the front post to meet Shaw's low delivering, flicking a clever effort against the outside of the near post.

24 minGood possession from Young Boys, who are playing with such confidence at the moment despite the level of their opponent. Only the players will know whether the surface is playing a part, but the hosts certainly look more comfortable at the moment.

26 minUPDATE: News from the other side of Manchester, and it is news which I'm sure will cheer up plenty of United fans - Man City have fallen behind against Lyon at the Etihad Stadium through Maxel Cornet's goal!

28 minIt is the final piece of quality which is lacking for Young Boys at the moment. They are getting into plenty of good positions - including one just now which saw Smalling slip - but Hoarau could not make the most of it.

29 minMore evidence of that as Fred gives the ball away and Hoarau has the chance to release Assale clean through on goal, only to misplace a relatively simple pass.

30 minCHANCE!  Fassnacht breaks into the box and lifts it past Dalot, who is left in a heap on the floor. The Young Boys midfielder could not get his shot off early enough, though, and his eventual effort is blocked before Sow fires a long-range rebound wide of the target.

32 minUPDATE: Some big news coming out of the group's other game tonight as Cristiano Ronaldo has been sent off on his Champions League debut for Juventus against Valencia!

Elsewhere, Viktoria Plzen have taken the lead against CSKA Moscow.

34 minSAVE!  Young Boys need to make the most of these chances! This time it is Fassnacht who finds himself in shooting space just outside the area, but his rising strike is central and De Gea just throws up a glove to help it over the crossbar.


35 minGOAL!  Where did that come from?! After offering precious little in the opening 35 minutes, United take the lead 10 minutes before half time courtesy of a lovely goal from Paul Pogba!

The ball broke to the United skipper after Fred had been tackled on the edge of the box, and he showed great footwork to shift it onto his left foot before firing it into the top corner. It just looked so easy, but that was some finish!

37 minSuddenly Young Boys find themselves behind after playing very well for the vast majority of this match so far. It is harsh on the hosts, but it goes to show the importance of that extra sprinkling of quality in the final third.

39 minCHANCE!  Now it is United applying the pressure and this is half a chance for the visitors as Fred's corner is met by Lindelof, who nods it into a dangerous area. The keeper flaps at it a little, but gets away with only conceding another corner.

41 minHere is that fine Pogba opener for your viewing pleasure...

43 minPENALTY!  Penalty to United as Mbabu is penalised for a handball inside the area! It looks like a terribly harsh one!


44 minGOAL!  United have two, Pogba has two, and Young Boys have a mountain to climb right before half time.

It is a harsh penalty, with Mbabu having very little chance to move out of the way of Shaw's cross into the box, but Pogba doesn't care - he uses his trademark run-up before placing his spot kick into the top corner. The keeper got a hand to it, but could not keep it out.

45 minSHOT!  Young Boys hit back as Hoarau takes the ball down beautifully before finding Sulejmani, who fires a deflected drive over the crossbar from the edge of the box.

45+1 minThere will be just one minute of added time at the end of this first half.


8.56pmThe first half comes to an end at the Stade de Suisse, and it is Manchester United who have a two-goal lead at the interval despite Young Boys impressing for much of the opening 45 minutes.

United have been nowhere near their best, but pulled clear in the closing stages of the second half and are now in complete control of the match.

8.58pmThe opening goal arrived 10 minutes before the interval, and it was a stunner from Pogba as he picked out the top corner with his weaker foot from the edge of the area.

The captain-for-the-night did really well to shift the ball onto his left under pressure from a defender, and his finish left the keeper no chance.

9pmPogba doubled both United's tally and his own personal one shortly before half time, but this time the goal came in more controversial circumstances as Mbabu was harshly adjudged to have handled the ball in the area.

Pogba stepped up to the resulting spot kick in his trademark fashion and, despite the keeper getting a hand to the ball, he still put enough on it to fire it into the top corner.

9.02pmUnited have enjoyed the majority of the possession in this match so far, but Young Boys' main threat comes on the counter-attack, so that is to be expected.

The hosts have also had more shots than Jose Mourinho's side, but it is that crucial stat of two goals to nil which is the difference, and that is down to the quality both sides have in the final third.

46 minKICKOFF:  Manchester United get us back underway for the second half!

48 minUPDATE: There was a flurry of goals at the end of the first halves elsewhere, including a second for Lyon at the Etihad through Nabil Fekir. Real Madrid also now lead Roma, while 10-man Juventus have broken the deadlock against Valencia in this group's other game.

48 minCHANCE!  Decent chance for Martial as he turns away from one defender before breaking into the box, but once again he is a bit too slow and his eventual effort is blocked.

49 minRashford plays a clever reverse pass into the area for Lukaku, who beats the keeper to the ball but then cannot find a teammate in the middle with Von Ballmoos still out of position.

50 minYELLOW CARD!  Fred is the first name in the book this evening for a trip on Sow.

52 minUPDATE: Who needs Cristiano Ronaldo?! After losing the Champions League record all-time scorer to a red card, Juve are now 2-0 up away to Valencia courtesy of Pjanic's second penalty of the night!

54 minUnited are looking more determined and more in control of proceedings in this second half so far. They took their time to get going in this match, but those two goals have left them in complete control.

55 minCHANCE!  Half a chance for the hosts as Sulejmani breaks down the left channel and reaches the byline before drilling a low cross into the middle. Assale flicks a leg at it in an attempt to flick it towards goal, but it bobbles wide of the target with De Gea watching it all the way.

57 minSHOT!  This time Assale tries to do it all alone as he breaks down the left flank before cutting inside and letting fly, but his effort is always rising and ends up comfortably off target.

58 minYoung Boys are beginning to threaten again here, with Fassnacht leading the breakaway this time. The midfielder tries to put the ball in the box, but he cannot get his foot around it and De Gea collects at his near post.

59 minYOUNG BOYS SUB: The hosts are forced into a change here as Sow is replaced by Michel Aebischer.

60 minSAVE!  Rashford tries his luck from range with a powerful effort, but it is straight at the keeper, who collects it with minimum fuss.

62 minWe have half an hour remaining in this match now and it will be interesting to see how United approach the game. They are in control with this two-goal lead and Mourinho may allow himself to begin resting players as he head towards the closing stages.

63 minFree kick to the visitors in a dangerous position as Martial darts across the path of Aebischer and is brought down by the sub...

64 min...but nothing comes of it.

65 minYOUNG BOYS SUB: The hosts make a second change as the impressive Fassnacht is replaced by Moumi Ngamaleu.


66 minGOAL!  Game over at the Stade de Suisse as Manchester United add a third through Anthony Martial!

Pogba has an assist to go with his two goals, striding forward from midfield to lead the counter-attack. He is spoilt for choice ahead of him and opts to find Martial, who takes his time but eventually sees his effort deflect in off the foot of Camara.

There is an element of luck about it, but Martial will not care one bit - that is his first goal since January.

68 minUPDATE: Elsewhere, Manchester City have halved the deficit against Lyon through Bernardo Silva.

69 minMANCHESTER UNITED SUBS: Double change for the visitors here as Juan Mata and Marouane Fellaini replace Rashford and Fred.

71 minThis has been a very satisfactory night for United in the end. They had to withstand some pressure in the first half, but those two goals at the end completely turned the game in their favour and now they looked set to cruise to three away points in the Champions League.

72 minCHANCE!  Chance for the hosts to pull one back as Smalling can only clear a cross as far as Aebischer, who lashes his effort over the bar.

74 minCHANCE!  BIG chance for Young Boys to get on the scoresheet, but Camara somehow misses from point-blank range! The centre-back steams into the box to meet Sulejmani's corner, but his volleyed effort clips the post on its way behind. Golden opportunity!

75 minYOUNG BOYS SUB: Change for the hosts as Jean-Pierre Nsame replaces Hoarau.

76 minMAN UTD SUB: United also make their final change of the evening, with Andreas Pereira coming on for Pogba.

78 minThere have been so many half-opportunities for Young Boys tonight which a better team may have exploited. The quality in the final third has been the difference between these two sides.

80 minJust 10 minutes remaining in this match, and you feel as though both teams would be happy with the final whistle coming now! This one is over as a contest.

81 minCHANCE!  Almost a fourth for United as Shaw feeds a low cross into the box which Mata sends narrowly wide with an instinctive first-time drive. That would have been a very smart finish.

82 minYELLOW CARD!  Assale gets a delayed yellow card for a sliding challenge on Mata. Good refereeing there.

84 minSAVE!  The ball drops to Ngamaleu just inside the area and he swings his left boot at it, but it is straight at De Gea.

86 minUPDATE: Manchester United still trail Lyon going into the closing stages at the Etihad, while Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Juventus and Plzen are all on course for victory elsewhere.

88 minMbabu may feel the victim of double standards here; he delivers a cross into the box which appears to hit Shaw in a very similar fashion to when the roles were reversed for United's penalty. Nothing given by the ref on this occasion, though.

90 minThere will be three minutes of stoppage time at the end of this match.

90+1 minUPDATE: Real Madrid have a third, and there is a late equaliser for CKSA Moscow against Plzen too!

90+3 minDISALLOWED GOAL!  Lukaku thinks that he has got in on the act, but his goal is quickly ruled out for offside after he turned home Dalot's cross.


9.58pmA comfortable victory for United in the end, then, as they cruise to a 3-0 triumph over Young Boys in Bern - although for much of the first half such a convincing scoreline seemed a long way off.

Ultimately it was two goals in the final 10 minutes of the second half from Paul Pogba which turned the game in United's favour, though, and Anthony Martial added a third shortly after the hour mark to wrap up the points.

10pmRight, that is all we have time for this evening!

Thank you very much for joining Sports Mole for tonight's match as United ease to victory over Young Boys courtesy of a man-of-the-match display from Pogba in Bern. I will leave you with our match report, and be sure to stick around for reaction too.

From me, though, it is goodbye for now!

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Marcus Rashford in action for Manchester United on August 19, 2018
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