Both sets of players take a knee, met by applause from all sides of the ground. The referee, France’s François Letexier, then gets us under way. The hosts are in black and yellow halves, while United wear their blue and white, Cup Winners’ Cup ‘91 inspired away kit.
Oof! An early chance for the hosts as Sancho loses the ball in midfield. Meschack Elia gets Lindelöf isolated, twists and turns but drags a tricky shot beyond De Gea’s far post. United began their Champions League campaign on the artificial turf here back in 2018, when Paul Pogba scored twice in a 3-0 win.
They finished second in the group, shocked PSG in the last-16 and then were well beaten by Barça in the quarters. Young Boys finished bottom of Group H but earned a memorable home win over Cristiano Ronaldo’s Juventus. Him again!
Fernandes prods a through ball on towards Sancho, but it runs through to the keeper. It looks like Pogba is on the left of midfield, with Van de Beek joining Fred in the centre. We had a good day, a professional day [on Saturday] but this is a new game. Coming from Norway, I’m used to the astroturf – the players have trained on it, I’ve got no complaints.
We know what he’s capable of, he’s been working really hard over the summer. He’s stronger, fitter and we’re looking forward to seeing him in action.