Man Utd 1 – 0 Omonia Nicosia

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Scott McTominay struck deep in stoppage time as Manchester United kept their hopes of winning their Europa League group alive with a late 1-0 win over Omonia Nicosia.

Omonia arrived in Manchester having lost five of their last seven matches, including last Thursday’s 3-2 defeat to United, but produced a defiant, heroic stand, epitomised by inspired goalkeeper Francis Uzoho, as Neil Lennon’s side came within seconds of leaving Old Trafford with the unlikeliest of points.

Having seen Uzoho thwart efforts from Marcus Rashford, Antony and Cristiano Ronaldo, and Casemiro rattle the crossbar, United erased a frustrating evening in front of goal in the 93rd minute when McTominay finally found the breakthrough with their 34th attempt on goal.

United stay second in Europa League Group E, three points behind leaders Real Sociedad, but victory in their final two matches can still see them progress into the round-of-16 as group winners without having to face a side demoted from the Champions League in a play-off.

Player ratings

Man Utd: De Gea (6), Dalot (6), Lindelof (6), Martinez (6), Malacia (6), Casemiro (6), Fred (5), Antony (5), Fernandes (7), Rashford (6), Ronaldo (5).

Subs: Eriksen (6), Shaw (6), Sancho (7), McTominay (8).

Omonia Nicosia: Uzoho (9), Matthews (6), Lang (6), Miletic (6), Yuste (7), Kitsos (6), Panayiotou (6), Cassama (5), Charalampous (5), Bruno (6), Kakoulli (5).

Subs: Psaltis (6), Loizou (5), Papoulis (5), Ansarifard (5), Diskerud (n/a).

Man of the match: Francis Uzoho.

Last-gasp McTominay rescues Man Utd

Marcus Rashford missed a number of gilt-edged chances
Image:
Marcus Rashford missed a number of gilt-edged chances

United looked to extinguish any hope Omonia had of becoming the first Cypriot team to win away in England in Europe but were left with a familiar sense of frustration after a fruitless first-half barrage.

Inspired goalkeeper Uzoho singlehandedly thwarted Rashford, United’s brightest attacking spark, from breaking the deadlock inside two minutes and repeated the feat midway through the half to tip the forward’s low shot around the post.

Team news

  • Cristiano Ronaldo, Tyrell Malacia and Fred returned for Manchester United as Erik ten Hag made three changes to the team which beat Everton 2-1 on Sunday.

Casemiro thundered an effort against the crossbar after the half-hour mark and, after Fred squandered a glorious headed opportunity after being found by Antony’s in-swinging cross, United’s profligacy nearly came back to haunt them.

Omonia dangerman Bruno Felipe raced away from Victor Lindelof as half-time approached but, instead of squaring to Andronikos Kakoullis to tap in, he went alone and blazed wildly over the goal, with United counting themselves fortunate to go into the break level after dominating the half.

Omonia's Nikolas Panagiotou (left) and Manchester United's Casemiro battle for the ball
Image:
Omonia’s Nikolas Panagiotou (left) and Manchester United’s Casemiro battle for the ball

The second half followed the pattern of the first, with Uzoho’s performance reaching even greater heights with two double saves in quick succession denying Antony, Rashford, Fred and Ronaldo within two minutes of the restart.

Rashford, who would end the game with 10 shots without scoring, and Bruno Fernandes both squandered chances as frustration built inside Old Trafford, and when Eik ten Hag’s final substitute, McTominay, blazed over in the final minute of normal time, United’s challenge looked to have faded.

But, to their credit, United were rewarded for their relentless pressure with McTominay bringing the ball under control in the area and rifling a low shot past Uzoho to break Omonia hearts and send Old Trafford into raptures.

McTominay harnesses Man Utd spirit – Opta stats

  • Scott McTominay became the first substitute to score a 90th minute winning goal in a European match for Manchester United since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in the 1999 Champions League final.
  • Manchester United have ended a run of three successive European club games at Old Trafford without a win (D1 L2), with their first win since beating Atalanta 3-2 in the UEFA Champions League in November 2021.
  • Omonia Nicosia have lost each of their last four games in European club competition (all coming in the UEFA Europa League), which is their longest such run since September 1990 (a run of seven).
  • Manchester United have recorded their first clean sheet at Old Trafford in a European club competition for the first time since a 2-0 victory over Granada in the UEFA Europa League in April 2021, with the Red Devils conceding in each of their last six such games.
  • Cypriot sides in European club competition are still yet to beat an English side in 18 games now (D3 L15), with this Omonia Nicosia’s first defeat on English soil since October 2008 (2-1 defeat to Manchester City).

What’s next?

Manchester United face Newcastle at home in the Premier League on Sunday at 2pm, before hosting Tottenham in the Premier League on Wednesday at 8.15pm.





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