Neil Lennon’s Omonia Nicosia take shock lead against Manchester United
Omonia Nicosia has taken a shock lead against Manchester United in the Europa League in Cyprus.
On the back of their 6-3 humiliation by Manchester City on Sunday, Erik ten Hag’s side were looking for a confidence booster.
United were on top from the start as they looked for an early lead, Cristiano Ronaldo was put in straight from the start and had a few chances to give his side the lead.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner squandered all the chances that came his way as he searched for his 700th club career goal.
However, it was the hosts who managed to take the lead in the 34th minute.
Tyrell Malacia was caught out after United had a corner cleared away. Bruno Felipe drove towards the Red Devils defence before finding Karim Ansarifard with an inch-perfect pass.
With David de Gea to beat, the Iranian smashed the ball into the back of the net to give his side a shock lead against the Premier League side.
Manager Ten Hag was visibly frustrated as he was captured shaking his head in both anger and disbelief on the back of the goal.
BT Sport’s commentator, Robbie Savage said: “That goal was unacceptable for United to concede, good finish but United should not be conceding from that position.”
The Old Trafford club continued to dominate the ball and the chances created but they were faced with a stubborn Nicosia defence.
A big half is needed in the second period as United look to avoid another embarrassing defeat.
Ahead of the match, Ten Hag told his players to play on the front foot.
He said: “In Europe, it’s always a different approach, but it’s also always difficult. I played before there, in the stadium against an opponent so the ambience, we have to be ready for that.
“We have to be ready for a team that is well motivated. They play on the front foot. For them, it is the game of their life, so we have to be ready to face that and to play our game and that is one of the lessons from Sunday.”
Featured Image Credit: CBS Sport
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