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Europa League challenge starts with Feyenoord defeat
By Chris
September 18 2016


Tonny Vilhena; goalscorer

Manchester United's pursuit of a first ever Europa League trophy triumph started in disappointing fashion, with a 1-0 reverse to Feyenorrd in the Netherlands.

Jose Mourinho's men produced a largely insipid display against the in-form Feyenoord, with Tonny Vilhena driving home the winning goal on 79 minutes, despite Nicolai Jorgensen appearing to be offside in the build-up.

Despite making eight changes from the side beaten by Manchester City, Mourinho named a strong XI, thankfully not emulating many other Premier League managers, who have shown this competition such little respect.

However, the likes of David de Gea, Paul Pogba and Juan Mata could not inspire the Red Devils. Though the visitors left with more shots and possession, few from the travelling Red Army will have many complaints about the game's outcome - though the goal itself was controversial.

Jorgensen supplied the pivotal cross, but should have been flagged offside before supplying match-winner Vilhena.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic's late introduction couldn't help United. He headed wide, and saw a free-kick ultimately blocked by former Liverpool stopper Brad Jones, as a fourth successive European away defeat was confirmed.

In the group's other game, Fenerbahçe drew 1-1 at Zorya Luhansk. Southampton, the competition's other remaining Britons, hammered Sparta Prague 3-0, whilst Dundalk of the Republic of Ireland claimed a famous point at AZ Alkmaar.

Full Time - Feyenoord 1-0 Manchester United
Attendance - 31,000