Manchester United’s shock defeat at Young Boys earlier this week took many by surprise. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his side were runaway favourites to come out of the encounter with all three points.
United took the lead early in the game through Cristiano Ronaldo but after Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s dismissal after roughly 30 minutes, the landscape changed for the travelling Reds.
The home side took control of the game and scored two goals in the second half to steal all three points, with the winner coming in the last minute of added time.
Manchester United share their group with Villarreal and their manager, Unai Emery, has explained what United’s defeat in Switzerland means for the ‘complicated’ group.
“This group gets complicated with Young Boys beating Manchester United. I wouldn’t rule out a surprise, because I’ve already experienced them in the Champions League and in the Europa League,” he is quoted as saying by the official Villarreal website.
“Teams in Europe have a touch more motivation. Young Boys are group leaders, and Manchester United, who are the favourites, are last. Atalanta and Villarreal are there, fighting for our space. Every game played makes it that little bit harder.”
If Villarreal’s trip to Old Trafford later this season wasn’t highly anticipated enough after the Europa League final in May, there may have been an added dynamic to the fixture.
Villarreal drew with Atalanta in the other game, leaving United still as firm favourites to win the group. As showcased last season, getting past Emery’s side will be no easy feat, however.