Falling 2-1 against PSV Eindhoven was not the biggest loss suffered by Manchester United in their Champions League match on Tuesday. Manchester, in their first Champions League game in 17 months, also manged to lose their star left-back to a broken leg.
As reported by The Guardian, Manchester United lost defender Luke Shaw when PSV Eindhoven’s Héctor Moreno — who UEFA would later name as the man of the match — attacked Shaw with a two-footed tackle. That double-footed tackle resulted in a double fracture for Manchester’s Shaw. United described UEFA’s choice as “strange and disappointing.”
Moreno, who apologized to Luke Shaw and Manchester United after the game, was not carded for the incident, and no penalty was awarded to Manchester. The referee’s decision was supported by Howard Webb, formerly the technical director of Professional Game Match Officials Limited (the body that resides over the referees in England). According to Webb, the Manchester United left-back was merely the victim of unfortunate circumstances; the referee made the right call.
Moreno’s right leg struck the ball cleanly. His left foot caught Manchester United’s Shaw, which lead to the injury. The left foot, however, was not aimed at Shaw, and the damage done seemed to be completely unintentional.
As the BBC Sports breakdown shows, the injury to the United defender came at about the fifteenth minute, when Manchester United and PSV Eindhoven were both scoreless. Manchester’s Marcos Rojo subbed in for Shaw, who is expected to be out for six months.
With less than five minutes of regulation time remaining in the first half, Manchester United’s Memphis Depay was the first to sneak one past the goalie. Depay, who actually began his professional career with United’s Tuesday afternoon opponents, was transferred to Manchester earlier this summer. United’s Daley Blind was awarded the assist. His goal — the only goal for Manchester United — wasn’t enough to put his former team away, however.
About ninety seconds into stoppage time in the first half, Eindhoven’s Moreno placed a beautiful header to the top right corner to even the score. Maxime Lestienne was credited with the assist. The goal, accompanied with Shaw’s injury, were too much for Manchester United to overcome in the second half.
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Eindhoven’s Luciano Narsingh mimicked the first goal scored against Manchester United, when he, too, scored a header in the top right corner during the 56th minute. This marked Maxime Lestienne’s second assist of the game.
On the preceding Saturday, Manchester United defeated long-time rivals Liverpool 3-1. They were expected to defeat Eindhoven as well.
Manchester United’s next scheduled game is September 20 when they travel to Southampton for a Barclays Premier League match.
[Image by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images]