Manchester United must overcome a shock first-leg defeat to FC Midtjylland in order to progress to the Europa League Round of 16, after a disappointing 2-1 loss at the MCH Arena.
Memphis Depay opened the scoring on 38 minutes after converting Jesse Lingard’s cross, a goal which was quickly cancelled out by Pione Sisto’s deflected effort on the stroke of half-time. United looked the more likely to convert after the break, but Paul Onuachu’s strike was enough to give the hosts an advantage.
Ahead of the game, Louis van Gaal made four changes to the team that lost at Sunderland last weekend by handing young defender Donald Love a first start at right-back, with Paddy McNair, Ander Herrera and Memphis also named in the line-up. A fifth change to the team sheet was then made late on, after David De Gea was injured in the warm-up and had to be replaced by Sergio Romero.
After a cagey opening period, the first chance fell to Memphis on eight minutes with the winger’s close-range shot being diverted away for a corner after a pin-point pass from Lingard. The Reds almost took the lead from the resulting set-piece, as Juan Mata found space at the near post but saw his shot well saved by Mikkel Andersen.
Just 56 seconds later though, the Reds were ahead. Lingard broke down the right-hand side and produced a low cross for Memphis to scramble home his sixth goal of the season, much to the delight of the travelling fans. Van Gaal’s men were pegged back just before the break though, as Sisto cut out Michael Carrick’s pass and fired past Romero with the help of a deflection off Smalling.
A roll of the dice saw Morgan Schneiderlin and Andreas Pereira introduced for the final stages, but the Reds were dealt another blow 13 minutes from time. The substitute Onuachu picked up the ball on the edge of the area and fired a low drive into the corner, leaving United in need of a grandstand finish.