Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick outlined the differences between "massive talent" Mason Greenwood and Erling Haaland after the Red Devils star scored a stunning Champions League goal.

Greenwood opened the scoring with a spectacular finish before Fabian Rieder equalised for Young Boys prior to half-time in Wednesday's 1-1 draw at Old Trafford.

Already assured of a last-16 berth, Rangnick made 11 changes to the United team that started the 1-0 Premier League win over Crystal Palace, and Greenwood stood out in the final Group F fixture.

Greenwood scored his eighth goal in major European competition (excluding qualifiers) for United – the most of any player for the club before their 21st birthday, overtaking team-mate Marcus Rashford.

Rangnick praised the 20-year-old post-match, telling reporters: "I think, again, today, he also showed – not only because of that beautiful goal – but also the way he set up the opportunity for Juan Mata it was brilliant.

"He is a massive talent. Left foot, right foot, good on the ball. Also, the way that he set up the goal for Fred on Sunday [against Crystal Palace]. But, still, it's about continuity. He still needs to develop physically. But technically, for his age, he's a great player.

"My job is to develop him, to make an athlete out of him. If he manages to do that, he can become a regular player for this club."

Rangnick was then asked about comparisons between Green and Borussia Dortmund sensation Haaland, who has been linked with a move to United.

"I don't think that we should compare those two players," Rangnick, who worked with Haaland at Salzburg, said. "They are different kind of strikers and players.

"Erling Haaland is extremely physical. He's, I don't know, 1.93 or 1.94cm. A different kind of striker. Erling, for me, is a target striker. He can play as a single striker, like a target-man, or with another striker in a 4--4-2. 

"I think Mason is more of a nine-and-a-half. He can play as a striker, he can also come from the wing, he can play together with another striker. And he is very technical - left foot, right foot. As I said, sometimes he looks a little bit not on an athletic level. And, I think, we have to develop him there physically. But, technically, all the things that he can do with the ball are outstanding. So I am not so much worried about his technical level.

"We need to develop him physically and mentally to become the strongest version of himself. If we manage to do that, he can become a regular player and a very valuable player for our club for the future."

Ralf Rangnick accepts Manchester United were "a bit sloppy" in their 1-1 Champions League draw with Young Boys, but insists his side could have won the game.

With United already confirmed as group winners, Rangnick took the opportunity to rotate his squad on Wednesday by making 11 changes to the side that started in the 1-0 win over Crystal Palace.

Mason Greenwood opened the scoring at Old Trafford with a spectacular finish early on as the Red Devils started strongly, but Young Boys equalised through Fabian Rieder shortly before the break and were the better side in the second half, finishing the game with 17 shots to United's seven.

Rangnick feels his men should have scored more during their strong first-half spell, but pointed out their lack of familiarity with each other as a unit. 

"I was fully aware before the game that with this team that we played today, we haven't played together," Rangnick said to BT Sport after the game. 

"The first half-hour we did quite okay. We had a few unforced errors but had control of the game. We should have been 2-0 or 3-0 up. We had some great opportunities but we didn't score. We were a bit sloppy with those situations.

"After we conceded the equaliser we were not defending high enough or proactive enough. If in the end, the score would have been 4-4, then nobody could have complained.

"There were quite a few debuts and game time for players who desperately need game time. I wouldn't say I was happy but it was okay.

"What was a little bit annoying was we gave the ball away and played too many balls into the first line of their area. Whenever we played the ball into the second or third line, we were always dangerous. I told them that before the game but they still played into that first line."

Rangnick also had fitness updates on full-back pair Luke Shaw and Aaron Wan-Bissaka, with the former playing for an hour on his return from injury and the latter appearing to hurt himself late on.

"It was good to see Luke Shaw back and hopefully he can be a candidate for the Norwich game," Rangnick continued.

"Aaron Wan-Bissaka got two knocks so we will have to see how this develops. It was an experiment but I did it on purpose as I wanted to save the players' energy for Norwich."

Mason Greenwood scored a spectacular goal as Manchester United drew 1-1 with Young Boys at Old Trafford in their Group F finale.

Despite Ralf Rangnick making 11 changes to the team that beat Crystal Palace last weekend, the Red Devils got off to a flying start as Greenwood volleyed stylishly inside the near post after Shaw had sent the ball into the middle.

However, the visitors equalised three minutes before half-time as Fabian Rieder pounced on a loose pass before bending a sweet strike into the top corner, leaving Dean Henderson with no chance.

The second half lacked the energy of the first, although Young Boys looked the more dangerous of the two sides, but they were ultimately unable to find a winner.

Greenwood gave United the lead in the ninth minute with a fabulous, acrobatic finish into the bottom-left corner from Shaw's left-wing cross.

The hosts were lively throughout the first half and Greenwood burst down the left before pulling back for Juan Mata, but the Spaniard's well-struck, deflected effort was kept out superbly by Guillaume Faivre.

But Young Boys drew level with a fantastic goal of their own through Rieder, who picked off a pass in the United third and curled a stunning strike from the edge of the box into the top-right corner.

The visitors then went close to taking the lead on the stroke of half-time as Michel Aebischer lashed a low shot across goal that Eric Bailly did well not to turn into his own net.

Young Boys pushed for a winner in the second half and had a glorious opportunity to put themselves ahead when Quentin Maceiras somehow fired wide after being found in space in the box by Silvan Hefti.

Ralf Rangnick made 11 changes for Manchester United's Champions League clash with Young Boys on Wednesday.

The Red Devils were already assured of a place in the knockout stages ahead of the Group F showdown at Old Trafford.

Rangnick handed Dean Henderson an opportunity in goal behind a back four of Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Eric Bailly, Nemanja Matic, who captained the side, and Luke Shaw.

Donny van de Beek and Juan Mata anchored the midfield with Jesse Lingard and Amad Diallo starting in more advanced roles behind a front two of Mason Greenwood and Anthony Elanga.

With Elanga and Diallo both starting, the Red Devils included more than one teenager in their starting XI for a Champions League game for the first time since November 2009 v Besiktas (Federico Macheda, Danny Welbeck, Rafael).

The German also went for a youthful bench that included Charlie Savage – son of former United academy player Robbie – and Zidane Iqbal, who became the first British South Asian to be named in a United squad.

United won their first two meetings with Young Boys in the Champions League but fell to a 2-1 loss when the sides met in September.

Manchester United's Champions League campaign has been one of the finest of margins, to say the least.

A shock defeat at Wednesday's opponents Young Boys on matchday one was a dreadful start, and at numerous occasions in their following two matches they appeared to be in trouble again.

They needed late winners from Cristiano Ronaldo at home to both Villarreal and Atalanta, coming back from 2-0 down at half-time against the Italians.

Ronaldo then got a last-gasp equaliser away to Atalanta to salvage a 2-2 draw. Had he not delivered the goods on that occasion, United would have gone to Villarreal on matchday five knowing they could be eliminated there and then.

As it was, they ultimately left Spain with a 2-0 win thanks to a couple of goals in the final 12 minutes, with Michael Carrick – who had taken up a caretaker manager position after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's dismissal – ensuring United finished top of the group.

Ralf Rangnick will be United's third manager of the group stage when Young Boys visit, and he has the luxury of being able to rest certain players and give others a chance to impress.

So, who will be hoping for a rare opportunity?

Dean Henderson

It wasn't perfect, but Henderson's first season in the Man United first team last term was promising. David de Gea suffered a knee injury that allowed the academy product his first serious run in the side after previously impressing on loan at Sheffield United.

He featured 26 times for the Red Devils across all competitions, keeping as many clean sheets (12) as De Gea despite playing 10 matches fewer.

De Gea prevented fractionally more goals over the season (1.9 to 1.6), according to Opta's expected goals on target (xGOT) data, although Henderson boasted a better save percentage (75.8 to 66.4).

This season, due to injury and illness – and De Gea's improved form – Henderson has only managed a single appearance.

With rumours linking him with a loan move to Ajax in January, it's certainly a good time to start getting minutes again, whether that's to improve his standing at United or put himself in the shop window.

Donny Van de Beek

As with Henderson, Rangnick confirmed Van de Beek will start on Wednesday, which will make it five appearances since Solskjaer was sacked; up until that point, the former Ajax midfielder had played in just six games all season.

It's been well publicised how Van de Beek's career seemingly stalled after joining United, making only four Premier League starts in 2020-21, despite costing just over £40million, and falling out of favour at international level.

Solskjaer appeared unsure how best to utilise Van de Beek's talents, but at the very least he looks set for a few more opportunities under Rangnick.

He's one of several who have been linked with a move away from Old Trafford, but an eye-catching display against Young Boys might just provide Rangnick with proof Van de Beek can be a valuable option in midfield.

Jesse Lingard

Everything was looking promising for Lingard at the start of the season. He'd returned from a remarkable loan spell at West Ham and Solskjaer was talking a good game about how much football the attacking midfielder was going to get.

Fast forward to the present day... Lingard has racked up just 87 minutes in the Premier League, with those coming across eight brief substitute appearances.

This has hardly been ideal given United apparently rejected bids of around £25m for Lingard in pre-season because Solskjaer wanted him for the first team; additionally, the England man's contract expires at the end of the season, so if they cannot convince him that he'll be playing, the club looks certain to lose a valuable asset for free.

Last season reminded everyone Lingard is not lacking talent. Between his Hammers debut in February and the end of 2020-21, the 28-year-old scored nine times in the Premier League, a haul bettered by just five players.

Only one of those was a penalty, leaving him with a non-penalty expected goals (xG) outperformance of 4.7, the second-best record in that time. Of course, such form isn't necessarily sustainable, but it speaks to how effective Lingard can be when he has the belief of his manager.

Rangnick would do well to recognise that.

Amad Diallo

It's been a difficult season for Ivory Coast winger Amad. He was about to go on loan at the start of the season before an injury robbed him of that opportunity.

He returned to the pitch for United's Under-23s at the end of October and has played two games for them, netting a couple of goals against Leeds United.

United are well-stocked in the wide positions, which provides another obstacle, but Amad has been on the bench twice in the past few weeks under Carrick – against Villarreal and Arsenal.

One would expect United to arrange another loan move for Amad in January, but before then he may just represent something of a wildcard option for the new manager.

Teden Mengi

Centre-back Mengi has been highly rated at United for a while and even spent the second half of last season on loan at Derby County.

It seemed likely he'd return to Pride Park for 2021-22, but a deal was apparently scuppered by Derby's financial woes, with Mengi instead staying with United's Under-23s.

Mengi spent the pre-season with the first team and featured for Solskjaer's side, although that did not translate to any minutes in competitive action.

But with Raphael Varane not ready to return from injury and Phil Jones not registered in the Champions League, United's senior options at centre-back are limited to just Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly.

If Rangnick does want wholesale changes, which has been suggested, Mengi may be a surprise starter – and what an opportunity it would represent for the 19-year-old.

Barcelona head to Bayern Munich on the final matchday desperately needing a positive result to secure their spot in the Champions League knockout stages.

Benfica, who face Dynamo Kiev in Group E's other clash, hold the head-to-head edge over Xavi's new side as Barca travel to Germany knowing they likely need a win to make it through to the next round.

Manchester United and Chelsea are already through their respective groups, while Juventus host Malmo with the Bianconeri's place in the last-16 sealed before the final matchday as well.

As Robert Lewandowski and Cristiano Ronaldo edge towards more records, Stats Perform takes a look at the key Opta data heading into the games taking place on Wednesday.

Bayern Munich v Barcelona: Blaugrana face thankless task to qualify

Bayern have won their last three Champions League meetings with Barca, which is already the longest run against the Blaugrana in European history by any side.

Julian Nagelsmann's team, who have averaged five goals per home game in this season's competition, have cruised through to the next round, while Barca could fall to their second-worst performance in terms of points if they fail to avoid defeat.

The visitors will have to deal with Lewandowski, who is the top scorer in the group stage with nine goals and the Poland forward could become the only player in history to net 10-plus times in the group stage on multiple occasions. Ronaldo (11 in 2015-16) and Lionel Messi (10 in 2016-17) are the only other players to have achieved this once.

Zenit v Chelsea: Blues edge towards more defensive milestones

Chelsea could become just the second English team, after Manchester United in 2003-04 and 2010-11 to win four consecutive games in the competition while keeping a clean sheet on each occasion.

Indeed, with a clean sheet the Blues and Thomas Tuchel could become the fastest team and manager combination to reach 10 shutouts in the competition, having already recorded nine in just 12 games since the German's appointment.

The defending champions have also had 14 different scorers, excluding own goals, the most of any team in the Champions League since Tuchel's Blues bow in Europe.

Manchester United v Young Boys: Ronaldo looks to repeat history

Ronaldo has scored in all five of his Champions League appearances since returning to United (six goals), while Bruno Fernandes boasts the most assists in the competition so far this term (five).

Portugal captain Ronaldo will be looking to repeat the feat of scoring in all six group stage games in a single campaign, having previously done so for Real Madrid in 2017-18 – the only previous instance of this in the competition’s history.

Worryingly for Young Boys, who never kept a clean sheet in 11 attempts in the competition, the Swiss side have lost their last six away games between 1986 and 2021, last tasting European Cup/Champions League victory in August 1960.

Juventus v Malmo: Bianconeri aim to match record home dominance

Juve have won each of their last five Champions League home matches, only registering more consecutive such victories in a run of six between December 2016 and 2017.

While the Bianconeri did suffer their heaviest defeat in the history of the competition against Chelsea, Juve have a perfect record against Malmo in their opening three games – only Barca have ever won their opening four games against a specific opponent in the competitions.

Meanwhile, Malmo have only managed one win in their last eight against Italian opponents in the European Cup/Champions League, with their lone triumph against Inter in September 1989.

 

Other fixtures:

Atalanta v Villarreal:

21 - There have been 21 goals scored in Atalanta’s five games against Spanish opponents in the Champions League (11 goals for, 10 against), at an average of 4.2 per game. Only one of these five games have seen a team manage to keep a clean sheet, with Real Madrid doing so in a 1-0 victory back in February.

1 - Villarreal have won just one of their eight visits to Italian opponents in major European competition (D3 L4), though it came in their most recent such outing, defeating Roma 1-0 in the Europa League in 2016-17.

Benfica v Dynamo Kiev:

4 - Since losing their first ever meeting with Dynamo Kiev in European competition (0-1 in November 1991), Benfica are unbeaten in four games against the Ukrainian side (W3 D1), with all four coming in the European Cup/Champions League.

60 – Dynamo Kiev have lost 60 per cent of their away matches in the competition, only Olympiakos (75) and Galatasaray (71) have lost a larger percentage out of teams to have played at least 50 such games.

Red Bull Salzburg v Sevilla:

5 – Red Bull Salzburg are winless in their last five fixtures against Spanish opposition in the Champions League and have only won one of their last 11 meetings against such sides.

3 – Sevilla's Ivan Rakitic has managed three goal involvements in his side's five goals in the competition, despite only starting two games – only for Barca in 2015-16 did he record more (four).

Wolfsburg v Lille:

5 - Wolfsburg have gone unbeaten in their last five games against French opponents in European competition (W2 D3) after previously going eight games without recording a victory against French teams across all competitions (D3 L5).

8 – Lille have claimed eight points from their opening five games and could equal, or improve on, their best ever return in a group stage in the competition - nine points in 2006-07, where they qualified with a second-place finish.

Ralf Rangnick has strengthened his Manchester United staff by bringing in assistant coach Chris Armas and sports psychologist Sascha Lense.

Interim manager Rangnick has until the end of the season to make his mark at Old Trafford, with scope for two further years as a consultant, after club legend Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was sacked in late November.

Former RB Leipzig head coach Rangnick started with a 1-0 home triumph over Crystal Palace on Sunday, becoming the first German boss to win his opening game in the Premier League after five countrymen previously tried and failed.

United technical director Darren Fletcher and coach Kieran McKenna acted as assistants for that victory and Rangnick has now bolstered his backroom staff with new appointments.

Lense has worked alongside Rangnick previously, most recently at RB Leipzig, while United's new boss got to know former New York Red Bulls manager Armas while operating as Red Bull's global head of sport and development.

"It won't be that many [staff coming in]," Rangnick told a news conference on Tuesday. "So far I'm very happy to work with the staff I have met last week, and they gave me a lot of help in the last couple of days in preparation for the Crystal Palace game.

"We have decided to bring in a sports psychologist, with Sascha Lense. He's from Germany, he's a former second division player.

"I worked with him for three years at Leipzig, in the year I won promotion from the second to the first division myself and the following two years when Ralph Hasenhuttl was head coach and Zsolt Low – the current assistant coach of Thomas Tuchel [at Chelsea] – was assistant coach.

"I will also have one other assistant coach, with Chris Armas. Chris used to be the assistant coach at the New York Red Bulls under Jesse Marsch. That was five years ago, when I first met him. Since then, we have met quite frequently."

With United's spot in the next round of the Champions League already confirmed, Rangnick has hinted at heavy rotation for Wednesday's home clash with Young Boys, who have not won away in the Champions League or European Cup since August 1960.

The 63-year-old Rangnick confirmed that Donny van de Beek and Dean Henderson will start and told the club's official website that Nemanja Matic will captain the side.

Ralf Rangnick insisted Manchester United can only succeed with development as he declared there is more room for improvement ahead of the visit of Young Boys.

United head into their final Champions League Group F game with their place in the knockout stage already confirmed and with new interim manager Rangnick in charge for his first European game with the Red Devils.

The former RB Leipzig coach and director oversaw a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace on Sunday before Wednesday's clash against Young Boys, who have not won away in the European Cup/Champions League since August 1960.

But Rangnick refused to get ahead of himself as he pinpointed development and regaining confidence as the key factors to initial success.

"As Nemanja [Matic] said, if you win games it is the best tool to regain confidence," Rangnick told reporters at Tuesday's pre-match news conference.

"[The] last four games, three wins, one draw. It is about regaining confidence. Players have to buy in. I can tell them whatever I want. They need to make my idea of football their own. The first step has been taken, then it is about the next ones.

"Success can only be achieved with development, if we can develop the team in next six months.

"[Sunday] showed how the team can play [but there is] still room to improve. The first clean sheet at Old Trafford since April, it was clear where the priorities should be.

"At the end, successful hopefully means playing in the Champions League, and the FA Cup [Aston Villa in the third round] is not an easy draw. It's like another Premier League game."

Cristiano Ronaldo is eyeing his own record as he looks to repeat the feat of scoring in all six group stage games in the competition, having done so for Real Madrid in 2017-18 – the only previous instance of this happening.

Only former striker Ruud van Nistelrooy has ever enjoyed a longer scoring streak for United in the Champions League (nine goals in 2003, six in 2002) than Ronaldo (five), but it remains unclear whether the former Madrid man will start.

Rangnick, while hinting at rotation of his side at Old Trafford, did confirm that Donny van de Beek and Dean Henderson would be involved.

"Well to start with they will both play tomorrow, in the first XI," Rangnick said of Henderson and Van de Beek. "Donny came on as a sub last Sunday. Dean is a very ambitious goalkeeper, we need two.

"I haven't finally decided [the team] but it makes sense we will rest a few players due to the crowded fixture list.

"We need to make sure we have as many recovered players as possible but also need the positive momentum. The first game in this group we lost at Young Boys, so we need to make up for that."

Asked for an update on Raphael Varane and Edinson Cavani, Rangnick added: "They both cannot play tomorrow but they were part of the training today. Edi even yesterday, Rapha the first time.

"Expect them both in full training next week, they are both top players. It is also about sustainability. It would be great to have them as soon as possible, but obviously we have to think for the rest of season."

Young Boys have been granted a "special permit" allowing them to face Manchester United at Old Trafford in the Champions League next Wednesday.

Switzerland have imposed a new 10-day quarantine period for those returning from the United Kingdom, sparking concerns that Young Boys' clash with United would have to take place elsewhere.

However, the Swiss champions have now received permission from the Canton of Bern to travel to and from England without any COVID-19 travel restrictions.

Young Boys announced the news confirming their trip to Manchester will go ahead as planned via a statement on the club's official website on Wednesday.

"BSC Young Boys has received a special permit from the Canton of Bern for away games in the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Youth League," the statement read.

"This means that the players and staff of the teams do not have to be in ten-day quarantine after returning from the UEFA Champions League game against Manchester United on Wednesday, December 8.

"This would have meant that the Swiss champions would not have been able to play their games against Sion (December 12) and Basel (December 15) and would also have played the last game of the year on December 19 in Lugano, coming straight out of quarantine.

"The BSC Young Boys points out that the players and staff will be in a bubble strictly separated from the environment [between] Tuesday, 7 December from the departure at the Wankdorf Stadium via the charter flight to Manchester until the return journey on Thursday, 9 December.

"This concept has already proven its worth on the five European trips to the away games so far this season.

"The BSC YB would like to thank the Canton of Bern for its flexibility and the exemption and will do everything in its power to continue to serve as a role model."

Manchester United start life without Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with a huge Champions League showdown at Villarreal, while Chelsea and Juventus face a blockbuster battle.

A 4-1 Premier League hammering at Watford was the final straw for the United board as Solskjaer was sacked on Sunday.

Michael Carrick has stepped in to take charge on an interim basis and must rally the troops for the clash between the top two in Group F at Estadio de la Ceramica.

Juventus are already assured of a place in the round of 16 and Chelsea will join them in qualifying from Group H if they avoid defeat at Stamford Bridge.

Barcelona take on Benfica in their first Champions League match with Xavi as boss knowing a win will see them through. 

Here, Stats Perform takes a look at the key Opta data for the fixtures on Tuesday.

 

Villarreal v Manchester United: Red Devils in troubled waters ahead of Yellow Submarine showdown

Villarreal have failed to beat United in five Champions League matches, drawing four and losing one.

The LaLiga side did get the better of the Red Devils in the Europa League final last season on penalties, though, and may never have a better opportunity to consign them to a defeat in Europe's premier club competition.

Carrick takes charge for the first time following Solskjaer's departure and will need United to tighten up at the back as they look to end a four-match winless away run in the Champions League. The wounded Premier League side have not kept a clean sheet in the competition this season.

Chelsea v Juventus: Bianconeri plotting another Italian job on holders

Juventus could win the group if they halt Chelsea's nine-match unbeaten run, as they lead the holders by three points.

The Premier League leaders have not lost since they went down 1-0 to Juve in September and they are overdue a victory against Italian opponents.

Chelsea have not come out on top in their past four meetings against Italian teams and Juve could become the first side to record three consecutive wins over the London club in the Champions League.

 

Barcelona v Benfica: Pressure on for Xavi's Champions League bow 

Xavi celebrated a derby victory over Espanyol in his first game as Barcelona boss on Saturday and another win over Benfica will secure qualification from Group E.

Third-placed Benfica beat Barca 3-0 in September and will attempt to become only the third side to do the double over the Catalan club in the group stage, Dynamo Kiev in 1997-98 and Bayern Munich in 1998-99 being the others to achieve that feat.

Barca are two points ahead of Benfica following back-to-back 1-0 wins over Dynamo and are looking to keep clean sheets for three consecutive Champions League games for the first time since May 2019.

 

Sevilla v Wolfsburg: Los Nervionenses nearing last chance saloon

Sevilla dropped points when they were held to a 2-2 draw by Deportivo Alaves in LaLiga on Saturday, and they can ill afford to slip up when they face Wolfsburg.

Bottom of Group G and without a win from four matches, they have not been victorious in their past seven meetings with German sides, losing four and drawing three.

Third-placed Wolfsburg have not been a Spanish team away from home in Europe, losing to Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid either side of a draw with Villarreal.

 

Other fixtures:

Dynamo Kiev v Bayern Munich

17 – Bayern have scored 17 goals in their four Champions League matches this season, the joint most by any team after four matches in a season alongside Paris Saint Germain's tally in 2017-18. Already through to the round of 16, the Group E leaders have also had the most shots (84) and shots on target (34) of any side this campaign. 

9 – Dynamo have failed to score in any Champions League matches this season, attempting just nine shots on target – three fewer than Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski has managed in 2021-22 (12).

Lille v Salzburg

43 – Following their 2-1 victory away at Sevilla, Lille will be aiming to record back-to-back wins in the Champions League for the very first time. This will be their 43rd game in the competition.

2 –  Salzburg have only won two of their previous 12 away games in major European competition (excluding qualifiers), drawing twice and losing eight times. These 12 games have seen a total of 46 goals scored (19 for, 27 against), at an average of 3.8 per game.

Malmo v Zenit

– Zenit have only won one of their past 11 games in the Champions League (D1 L9). That solitary victory and clean sheet in this run of games came in their last meeting with Malmo (4-0 in September). 

8 – If Malmo fail to score in this game, they will equal the record for most consecutive games without finding the back of the net in the European Cup/Champions League (currently on 7). The previous instances of a team going eight games in a row without scoring are Dinamo Zagreb (2016), Deportivo La Coruna (2004) and Avenir Beggen (1986).

Young Boys v Atalanta

3 – Since winning three consecutive away Champions League games without conceding a goal between October and December 2020, Atalanta have failed to win each of their past three away games in the competition (D1 L2), conceding eight goals in the process.

4 – Young Boys won their opening group game against United but have since suffered three consecutive defeats in the competition. Bottom of Group F, If they lose this game, they will have suffered four defeats in a row in major European tournaments for the first time.

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is seeking a second away victory in a week as the Champions League returns, with the 3-0 success at Tottenham on Sunday being his first in six domestic games.

Juventus head coach Massimiliano Allegri will also be hoping for a win to seal qualification from Group H with two games to spare, having lost back-to-back Serie A matches.

Bayern Munich and Chelsea will expect more of the same after they both won 4-0 against their opponents last time out in the Champions League.

Stats Perform pick out the key Opta facts ahead of Tuesday's Champions League action.

 

Atalanta v Manchester United: Ronaldo aiming to hurt Italians once more

United are looking to record their 150th victory in the European Cup/Champions League, which would make them the first English side to reach this milestone, and fourth overall after Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Barcelona.

Having failed to win in five domestic games prior to Sunday, pressure was starting to pile on Solskjaer. A third win in a row in the Champions League will boost confidence further.

Cristiano Ronaldo will be aiming to break Atalanta hearts as he did when he scored the winner in a 3-2 turnaround at Old Trafford on matchday three. Since returning to United, Cristiano Ronaldo has scored in all three of his Champions League appearances – the last player to score in four consecutive appearances for the club in the competition was Ruud van Nistelrooy in April 2003.

3 - Cristiano Ronaldo has scored in three consecutive Champions League games for Manchester United for the second time, previously doing so in November 2007 en route to winning the trophy with the Red Devils. Inevitable. pic.twitter.com/eEYYnJpGV0

— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 20, 2021

 

Juventus v Zenit Saint Petersburg: Allegri can cheer up Old Lady by sealing qualification

Things are not looking great for Juventus domestically, trailing Napoli and Milan at the top of Serie A by 16 points after Allegri's men were beaten by Sassuolo and Hellas Verona.

It has been a much smoother Champions League campaign so far, though, as the Turin side have won all three Group H games and will secure qualification to the knockout stage with a win against Zenit.

This will be Juve's 10th time facing Russian opponents in European competition, winning eight of the previous nine (D1) and they have kept six clean sheets. Zenit are also winless in their past nine away games in the Champions League (D1 L8). This is their longest run without an away win in the European Cup/Champions League.

 

Malmo v Chelsea: Blues can expect more goals in Sweden

Chelsea will be confident of another comfortable win against Malmo to go within a point of sealing qualification to the knockout stage. No team has conceded more goals than the Swedish side (11) in the Champions League this season, while only Besiktas (11.1) have a higher expected goals against total than their 8.7.

The holders are unbeaten in their seven meetings with Swedish teams to date, winning four and drawing three against them across all competitions. The past three have all been against Malmo, with each of them ending in Chelsea victories.

Malmo have lost seven of their eight previous games against English opponents in European competition, including each of the most recent four. The only time they have avoided defeat in such games came against Nottingham Forest in September 1995, winning 2-1 in the UEFA Cup.

 

Bayern Munich v Benfica: Bundesliga champions to mark milestone with another win?

This clash with Benfica will be Bayern’s 500th game across all European competitions, becoming only the third team to reach this milestone, after Barcelona (587) and Real Madrid (575). A win would not only be a fitting way to mark the occasion, but will also see them clinch qualification from Group E.

Bayern are unbeaten in all 11 of their meetings with Benfica in European competition, with eight of those ending in victories for the Bundesliga champions. They have faced Benfica more times without losing than against any of their other opponents in European competition.

It is also set to be a historic night for Robert Lewandowski, who could be in line to make his 100th Champions League appearance. The Poland striker has netted 78 goals in the competition to date, which is already the most by a player through their first 100 appearances in the Champions League.

Other fixtures:

Dynamo Kiev v Barcelona

11 – Dynamo Kiev's last victory against a Spanish team in the Champions League came back in March 1999, beating Real Madrid 2-0 in a quarter-final clash. Since then, they have faced Spanish opponents on 11 occasions in the competition and failed to win all of them (D3 L8).

9 – Since the start of the 2018-19 season, no full-back has provided more assists in the Champions League than the nine from Barcelona's Jordi Alba. This is three times as many as any other current Barcelona player in the same period (Ousmane Dembele and Philippe Coutinho, 3).

Villarreal v Young Boys

8 – Arnaut Danjuma has generated eight shots following carries (moving five or more metres with the ball) for Villareal in the Champions League this season (six shots and two chances created) – only Vinicius Junior (10) and Jack Grealish (9) have produced more.

10 – Young Boys have not kept a clean sheet in any of their past 10 games in the European Cup/Champions League (W2 D1 L7), with their last one coming back in September 1986 versus Real Madrid (1-0).

Wolfsburg v Salzburg

1 – Wolfsburg have lost just one of their nine home matches in the Champions League (W6 D2) and remain unbeaten in six on home soil in the competition since a 3-1 defeat to Manchester United in December 2009.

3 – Salzburg could become the first Austrian side to win three consecutive European Cup/Champions League matches since Rapid Vienna in 1982.

Sevilla v Lille

1 – Sevilla have only lost one of their past seven home games in the group stage of the Champions League (W4 D2), with that lone defeat coming against Chelsea in December 2020.

3 – Since scoring in six consecutive Champions League appearances between October 2012 and March 2013 for Galatasaray, Lille striker Burak Yilmaz has only scored in three of his past 20 appearances in the competition.

Barcelona head coach Ronald Koeman is under immense pressure and needs a convincing win over Dynamo Kiev, having failed to earn any points from the first two Champions League games of the campaign.

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is also in great need of a positive result, having won just two of his past seven games across all competitions, losing four.

Bayern Munich and Chelsea seem set for comfortable victories, however, with Blues boss Thomas Tuchel targeting the joint-best defensive record after 10 games with a club in the competition.

Read on for more as Stats Perform looks at the key Opta facts ahead of Wednesday's Champions League action.

 

Barcelona v Dynamo Kiev: Can Koeman stop the rot?

Koeman will be desperate to prevent his Champions League record at Barcelona from getting any worse after successive 3-0 defeats to Bayern Munich and Benfica in which the Blaugrana recorded a collective total of one shot on target, the least of any team in the competition.  

Despite only taking charge of four per cent of Barcelona’s home Champions League matches (5/131), 25 per cent of their total home defeats in the competition have come under the Dutchman (3/12), who is the only Blaugrana manager to lose more than twice at home in the tournament. 

Ansu Fati is perhaps Koeman's best chance of securing a positive result. The 18-year-old forward has been directly involved in three goals in two Champions League starts at Camp Nou (one goal and two assists), including an assist for Gerard Pique's goal in the 2-1 win against Dynamo Kyiv last year.

Benfica v Bayern Munich: Lewandowski-led Bavarians expect to stay unbeaten on the road

Bayern's record of eight European Cup/Champions League games unbeaten against Benfica is the joint-most by a team against an opponent since the tournament began in 1955.

With the Bavarian giants also on a record 19-match unbeaten run away from home in the competition (W15 D4), Julian Nagelsmann's side will feel confident of success in Portugal.

Furthermore, striker Robert Lewandowski - who has scored over a third of their 54 goals from that run (19 - 35 per cent) - has also netted five times in just six Champions League games against Portuguese opponents, including three against Benfica. No player has ever scored more times against sides from Portugal in the competition. 

 

Chelsea v Malmo: Clean-sheet chasing Blues Luk-ing for big win

Both of Chelsea's Champions League games this season have ended 1-0 - a win over Zenit and a loss to Juventus - but the Blues will be hoping for a more convincing scoreline as they host a Malmo side that have already conceded seven goals (the second-most in the tournament) and have lost their last five games in the competition by an aggregate score of 0-24, losing by three or more goals on each occasion.

Chelsea centre-forward Romelu Lukaku, in particular, will be relishing the opportunity to boost his already impressive tally of 14 goals in 18 appearances in European competition since the start of the 2019-20 season. In this period, the only two players who have scored more non-penalty goals than Lukaku (12) across the Champions League and Europa League are Lewandowski (19) and Erling Haaland (18). 

Tuchel will also be hoping for a seventh clean sheet in his 10th Champions League game in charge of Chelsea. The Blues have only conceded three goals under the German so far, which would be the joint-fewest through a manager’s first 10 games of a club in the competition (along with Fabio Capello at AC Milan and Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid).

 

Manchester United v Atalanta: Ronaldo and Fernandes to rescue Solskjaer?

Manchester United boss Solskjaer comes into this game under pressure after a 4-2 loss to Leicester City in the Premier League. The Red Devils have lost 58 per cent of Champions League games (7/12) under the Norwegian - the highest percentage of defeats by any manager to have taken charge of an English side on 10 or more occasions in the competition.

Solskjaer will be relying on his dynamic Portuguese duo to earn a much-needed win at Old Trafford. Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 18 goals in 23 Champions League appearances against Italian sides, while Bruno Fernandes' four goals and three assists is the most direct contributions to a goal from any midfielder since his debut in the competition for United.

Atalanta are no pushovers, however. The Serie A side have only lost one of their last seven away games in the Champions League, winning five and drawing the other, and have won three of their six UEFA European matches against English opponents (D1 L2).

 

Other fixtures:

Zenit v Juventus

0  –  Juventus have never lost in eight previous encounters with Russian sides in European competition (W7 D1), scoring 18 times and only conceding three, although their only failure to win came away at Zenit in November 2008.

4  – Juventus have won their last four games in the group stage of the Champions League without conceding a single goal, with two of these coming away from home – 3-0 against Barcelona in December 2020 and 3-0 against Malmo in September 2021. 

Young Boys v Villarreal

 – Villarreal have lost eight of their last nine games in the Champions League (D1), conceding at least two goals in all nine outings in this run. They will be looking for their first win in the competition since March 2009, when they won 2-1 against Panathinaikos under Manuel Pellegrini.

 – Young Boys are unbeaten in their last three home games in the Champions League (W2 D1), and could equal their longest run without defeat on home soil in the European Cup/Champions League – a run of four games between 1957 and 1959. 

Salzburg v Wolfsburg

21   – In Salzburg’s last four UEFA European competition meetings with German opponents, there have been 21 goals scored (six for, 15 against) – last season’s Champions League games against Bayern Munich alone saw 12 scored (2-6 home defeat, 3-1 away defeat).

 – Karim Adeyemi has won four penalties for RB Salzburg in the Champions League this season. Since 2003-04 (as far back as we have this data), no player has ever won more than four in a single season in the competition. 

Lille v Sevilla

32  – The average age of Sevilla’s starting XI in the Champions League this season is 29 years and 200 days; the oldest of any of the 32 sides. Sevilla have handed starts to five different players aged 30 or older in the competition this season (Jesus Navas, Fernando, Papu Gomez, Ivan Rakitic and Yassine Bounou), with only Malmo (six) having more.

15  – Lille have won just 15 per cent of their home games in the Champions League to date (3/20) – among teams to have played 20 or more home games in the competition, only Romanian side FC Steaua Bucharest have a worse win percentage (9.5 per cent - 2/21).

Manchester United need points to get their Champions League campaign going, and doing so by getting revenge for their Europa League final shoot-out loss to Villarreal would be a moment to enjoy for the Old Trafford fans.

When it comes to established elite needing results, United are not alone. Barcelona head to Benfica looking to banish thoughts of that humbling home loss to Bayern Munich on matchday one, while Massimiliano Allegri could use a strong performance against strong opposition when Chelsea visit Juventus.

Bayern themselves host Dynamo Kiev, as Mircea Lucescu looks to fare a little better than the last time he took a team to the Allianz Arena.

Read on for more as Stats Perform looks at the key Opta facts ahead of Wednesday's Champions League action.

 

Benfica v Barcelona: Can Memphis Depay breathe life back into Catalans?

Barcelona's 3-0 loss to Bayern Munich on matchday one was the first time in at least 186 Champions League matches in which they did not attempt a single shot on target.

Memphis Depay did not manage a shot of any kind, something he had never before experienced when starting a game in this competition. However, with two goals in his previous two games against Benfica, he could be the man to get Barca firing in Lisbon.

Benfica have not beaten Barcelona since the European Cup final in 1961, but if they do manage to pile more pressure on Ronald Koeman with a victory, it will mark the first time the Blaugrana have lost their opening two games of the season in Europe since 1972-73, when they lost twice to Porto.

Bayern Munich v Dynamo Kiev: More unhappy memories beckon for Lucescu

The Allianz Arena was the scene of Lucescu's heaviest Champions League defeat: his Shakhtar Donetsk side lost 7-0 to Bayern Munich in March 2015.

Having failed to score in seven of their previous 11 games in this competition, it is hard to expect Dynamo to stop Bayern from claiming what would be a 33rd home win out of their most recent 35 in the group stages.

In fact, across the past three seasons, Bayern have won the most games (20) and scored the most goals (73) of any team in the tournament. In 14 of their 22 games in that time, they have netted at least three goals.

 

Juventus v Chelsea: Bianconeri out to keep up king-slayer tradition

Juventus have won seven matches against the holders in this competition's history, a figure only Real Madrid can beat (11 wins). They also beat Chelsea 3-0 in their previous meeting back in the 2012-13 group stage.

Still, Chelsea have only lost three of their past 32 group games and none of their most recent 12. Thomas Tuchel's 68 per cent win ratio is bettered by only two men among managers to take charge of 20 or more group games: Pep Guardiola (71 per cent) and Jupp Heynckes (73 per cent).

The last time Juve hosted an English team in the Champions League, Jose Mourinho's Manchester United snatched a 2-1 win in November 2018. Massimiliano Allegri's side have never lost consecutive home games to English opponents.

 

Manchester United v Villarreal: Goals at last in Europa League final repeat?

All five previous European meetings between Manchester United and Villarreal have ended in draws. The first four did not even see a goal scored – it's the most played Champions League match never to see a goal – while the Europa League final last season finished 1-1, with the LaLiga side winning 11-10 on penalties.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is the only manager to take charge of 10 or more Champions League matches at an English club and lose more than half of them (he's lost seven out of 11). Should they suffer defeat at Old Trafford, it will mark the first time in history they have ever lost their first two European games of a season.

If he plays, Cristiano Ronaldo will break Iker Casillas' record of 177 Champions League appearances. However, he has failed to score in four games against Villarreal in the competition – only against Lille and Benfica has he played as many times without finding the net.

Other fixtures:

Atalanta v Young Boys

30 – Atalanta's 30 Champions League goals have all been scored by non-Italians. They have netted more goals without any coming from a player of the nationality of the club he's representing in Champions League history. Young Boys have scored six times in the competition, but none has come from a Swiss player.

17 – David Wagner's side had 17 more shots than Manchester United in their opening-round win (19 vs 2). The last time a coach saw his team have that many more attempts than their opponents in his first game in charge was when Hansi Flick's Bayern Munich had 27 shots to Olympiacos' three in November 2019.

Zenit v Malmo

1 – Zenit have only taken one point from their previous eight group-stage matches and have lost four of their past seven home games in European competition.

8 – No team faced more shots on target than Malmo on matchday one of this campaign (eight against Juventus), while their xG against total of 3.5 was the most of any team in the opening round.

Salzburg v Lille

40 – This will be Lille's 40th Champions League match. They only won six of their first 39 - only Dinamo Zagreb (five) and FCSB (four) have ever won fewer than eight of their first 40 games in the competition.

35 – Although 10 of Salzburg's starting XI against Sevilla last time out were aged 24 or younger, they also included 35-year-old Andreas Ulmer, who was two years and 158 days older than his coach, Matthias Jaissle. It's the first time a player has been over two years older than their manager in a Champions League match since Naldo for Schalke in December 2018 under Domenico Tedesco (three years and two days older).

Wolfsburg v Sevilla

3.7 – Wolfsburg's previous six games against Spanish opponents in European competition have seen a total of 22 goals scored (11 for, 11 against), at an average of 3.7 per game.

7 – Sevilla are unbeaten in their past seven away games in this competition (W3 D4), their longest ever unbeaten run away from home in the European Cup/Champions League. They last suffered defeat on the road in October 2017, losing 5-1 away to Spartak Moscow.

Cristiano Ronaldo bemoaned Manchester United's late collapse at Young Boys in the Champions League but the superstar is eyeing a quick response from the Red Devils.

Ronaldo made it three goals in two games since returning to United, however, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's 10 men still suffered a 2-1 loss after Jordan Siebatcheu pounced on Jesse Lingard's misjudged backpass in the 95th minute.

Having equalled former Real Madrid team-mate Iker Casillas' record with his 177th Champions League appearance on Tuesday, Ronaldo opened the scoring in the 13th minute in the Group F opener.

The goal made Young Boys the 36th different side Ronaldo has scored against in the Champions League, a record he now shares with Lionel Messi.

But United paid the price after full-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka was sent off 10 minutes before half-time – Nicolas Moumi Ngamaleu's 66th-minute strike restoring parity for Young Boys, who went on to stun the visitors with the last kick of the game.

Ronaldo, whose United travel to West Ham on Sunday as they aim to maintain their unbeaten start to the Premier League campaign, wrote via social media: "Wasn't the result we wanted, but now it's time to recover well and focus on the next game!"

The 36-year-old's strike for United came 12 years and 132 days since his previous Champions League goal for the Premier League club, breaking the record for the gap between goals for the same team in the competition previously held by Javier Zanetti for Inter (11y 315d, 1998-2010).

It was a difficult night for United, who managed just two shots against Young Boys – the fewest Opta have on record in any of their 138 Champions League matches since 2003-04. Their second and final shot of the match came in the 25th minute via Ronaldo.

United lost their first match in a Champions League campaign for only the second time, also doing so in 2015-16 under Louis van Gaal, a 2-1 defeat to PSV.

"It was a tough game, a tough surface. Away from home, we found ourselves going down to 10 men, [but] we looked comfortable in the game," United captain Harry Maguire told MUTV, with the club also due to meet Villarreal and Atalanta in the group.

"We conceded a scruffy goal which was really unlucky. Although we weren't playing our greatest football and we weren't the biggest threat at the other end of the pitch, we looked really solid, didn't concede many chances and then, obviously, they go away with the victory. 

"It's the first game in the group, we've got many games to bounce back, so we must do."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer felt Manchester United should have been awarded a penalty in their 2-1 Champions League loss to Young Boys, but blamed the defeat on a lack of concentration.

United appeared to be heading for a routine victory when Cristiano Ronaldo, who matched former Real Madrid team-mate Iker Casillas' record with his 177th Champions League appearance, put them ahead in the 13th minute.

The goal made Young Boys the 36th different side Ronaldo has scored against in the Champions League, a record he now shares with Lionel Messi.

However, the game turned when Aaron Wan-Bissaka received a straight red card late in the first half for his foul on Christopher Martins Pereira.

United saw another decision go against them when Ronaldo went down under the challenge of Mohamed Camara, with referee Francois Letexier waving away his claims.

Young Boys made their personnel advantage count soon after through Nicolas Moumi Ngamaleu's 66th-minute strike.

The Group F clash looked set for a draw, yet there was a final twist as a misjudged backpass from Jesse Lingard, who replaced Ronaldo in the 72nd minute, was pounced on by Jordan Siebatcheu to seal a famous win with the last kick of the game.

Asked about Ronaldo, Solskjaer said: "You can never be surprised by the man, he scored another goal, he should have had a penalty and sending off the other way. 

"He pounced on that mistake. He's exceptional but we have to look after him and it felt like the right moment to take him off."

On the penalty appeal, he added: "He shoves him with his arm and he's one-on-one with the keeper but [the referee] probably didn't do it as he'd have had to send him off and that's sometimes what you get with young refs."

Solskjaer, though, accepted United were the architects of their own downfall as they suffered another damaging away Champions League defeat akin to losses to Istanbul Basaksehir and RB Leipzig last season.

"Lack of concentration, make mistakes and you get punished," Solskjaer explained. "You get done. We did that last year, we conceded two sloppy counter-attacks against Basaksehir and lost that game in the last seconds today.

"Jesse wants to play it safe and misplaces the pass, concedes the goal, that happens in football. If Jesse gets that chance again he turns, swivels and boots the ball the other way. Discipline is a huge part of the game. Aaron's normally a very, very astute tackler, one of the best in the world.

"We know we've given ourselves a more difficult task, we did last year when everyone thought we were through after two games.

"You need 10 or 12 points, win your home games, one away from home. We've lost the opportunity to get three points but we've got two home games next and got to focus on those two."

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