Sheriff v Manchester United: Europa League – live

Key events

22 min: Sheriff come this close to equalising. Rasheed probes down the left flank and cuts back up the wing for Atiemwen, who strides purposefully infield and lashes a fierce daisycutter towards the bottom-left corner. Inches wide. Had that been on target, De Gea wasn’t getting there.

21 min: That’s also a great response from Sancho to being left out of the England squad. He celebrated with the quiet air of a man who feels he’s just proved a point.

19 min: Sheriff had been the better side up until that goal, although United had spent the couple of minutes before it finding their range, and slowly building up to something. And here we are!

GOAL! Sheriff 0-1 Manchester United (Sancho 17)

United come again, and take the lead with a lovely goal. Eriksen takes a step down the middle, surveys the terrain, then rolls a pass into the Sheriff box for Sancho, who shifts the ball to his left, then swivels and sweeps a precise shot into the bottom right. That’s such an assured finish.

16 min: McTominay slides a ball down the left. Sancho picks it up and sashays along the byline and into the box. Kiki comes across to clear, but United are beginning to make a few in-roads now.

15 min: Eriksen, quarterbacking from deep, launches long down the inside-right channel. The ball drops over Ronaldo’s shoulder. He prepares to shoot, but he’s barged off the ball by Kiki. The ball bounces out for a goal kick. An incensed Ronaldo demands a penalty, but the referee – who has already shown a willingness to let things go – isn’t interested in awarding one at all. It’s the correct decision: Ronaldo went down far too easily and it looked a fair shoulder barge anyway.

13 min: McTominay makes a no-nonsense challenge on Badolo, then nearly slips Ronaldo free with a long pass down the middle. Kpozo intercepts to put a stop to the caper.

12 min: Diop has a rake from distance. Always flying miles over.

11 min: Ouattara runs at Malacia down the right again. He’s dragged back as he prepares to pick up speed, and the United full back is slightly fortunate not to go into the book. He might have used up all his early-game benefit of the doubt, though.

9 min: Ronaldo’s poor touch, while under no pressure whatsoever, allows Badolo to nick the ball off his toe. That pretty much sums up United’s ponderous start in a nutshell.

7 min: Diop whips into the United box from the right. Varane clears under pressure from Atiemwen. This is a confident start by Sheriff.

6 min: Ouattara is barged over by Malacia as he skitters down the right touchline. He simply bounces straight back up and begins dribbling again. A refreshing attitude.

4 min: De Gea passes the ball out of play under pressure from Rasheed. Nothing comes of the resulting throw, deep in United territory, but Sheriff look up for pressing the keeper, who is never the most confident with the ball at his feet.

2 min: Kiki goes long, looking for Rasheed up front. Varane comes across to sweep up easily enough.

United get the ball rolling. They pass it around a bit before Dalot ships possession. Kpozo tries to make good down the left but runs out of room. United get the ball back.

Here come the teams! Sheriff in black, United in second-choice white. No word from Erik ten Hag. We’ll be off in a minute.

Pre-match postbag. “You have to wonder if Casemiro was the manager’s choice or another ‘commercial decision’ (panic buy) by the board,” writes Neil Carter. “Martinez and Antony both go straight into the team and yet Casemiro languishes on the bench due to the ‘amazing form’ of McTominay. You pay £70 million for a 30 year old YOU PLAY HIM surely? Jeez.”

Match-fitness issues, maybe? Still not quite up to speed with the United / Ten Hag Way, perhaps? Having said that, BT Sport have just shown a montage of the erstwhile Real Madrid man spreading it gloriously about Old Trafford last week, so he can’t be that far off. Paul Scholes was particularly purring over a pass that took out half of Sociedad’s midfield with one cute round-the-corner dink. Of course he was.

A reminder of what happened against Real Sociedad last Thursday …

… and how that left the Group E table.

Manchester United make five changes to the starting XI selected for the 0-1 home loss to Real Sociedad. Bruno Fernandes, Jadon Sancho, Scott McTominay, Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane step up; Harry Maguire, Fred, Casemiro, Anthony Elanga and Victor Lindelof are benched. Given United haven’t played for a week and won’t play after tonight until the Manchester derby on October 2, Erik ten Tag is giving us a fair idea of his optimal first XI here. Poor Harry.

The teams

Sheriff: Koval, Zohouri, Gabi, Radeljic, Kpozo, Badolo, Kyabou, Diop, Rasheed, Atiemwen, Ouattara.
Subs: Celeadnic, Heron, Felipe Vizeu, Darankoum, Salifu, Pernambuco, Pascenco, Guedes.

Manchester United: de Gea, Dalot, Varane, Martinez, Malacia, McTominay, Eriksen, Antony, Bruno Fernandes, Sancho, Ronaldo.
Subs: Lindelof, Maguire, Fred, Casemiro, Heaton, Shaw, Elanga, Garnacho, Iqbal, McNeill, Vitek.

Referee: Pawel Raczkowski (Poland).


“When you lose the first game, you have to win the second, so we know what our task is.” Erik ten Hag, ladies and gentlemen, distilling this match into pure dramatic tincture. Sip up! Kick off is at 5.45pm BST. It’s on!