Manchester United’s teenagers did much to impress away to Astana but Di’Shon Bernard’s own goal meant they slipped to a 2-1 loss.
Astana came from behind to beat Manchester United 2-1 in Nur-Sultan as a dream outing for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s youngsters turned sour.With qualification from Europa League Group L already secured, Solskjaer took the opportunity to field an entirely changed XI from the 3-3 draw at Sheffield United featuring seven teenagers.
Jesse Lingard took the captain’s armband and gave United an early lead but the contest turned against the Premier League club after a horror miss from Tahith Chong in the 54th minute.
Left-back Dmitriy Shomko levelled less than a minute later and Di’Shon Bernard, one of three full debutants, put decisively through his own goal in the 62nd minute – sealing a famous win for the already-eliminated Kazakh champions.
United’s youngsters began brightly but it was two of the older heads who combined for the breakthrough after 10 minutes – Luke Shaw cutting in from the left to feed Lingard, whose strike from 20 yards took a slight deflection to nestle in the far corner.
Astana should have equalised in the 22nd minute when Abzal Beysebekov’s clever diagonal pass caught Shaw napping and Dorin Rotariu shot wastefully wide.
United then picked their opponents apart 10 minutes into the second half, with Shaw and Angel Gomes exchanging passes before Chong chipped over with the goal at his mercy.
And Chong paid for his wastefulness instantly when Shomko fired an unerring finish across Lee Grant into the bottom-right corner from Roman Murtazayev’s pass.
A quickfire turnaround was achieved in the space of seven minutes after Antonio Rukavina raided unchecked down the United left and the unfortunate Bernard diverted the cross past Grant.
Runar Mar Sigurjonsson fizzed a half-volley wide as Solskjaer’s side were almost picked off on the counter-attack in the 73rd minute.
United found a second wind and Astana needed heroics from goalkeeper Nenad Eric to repel a Gomes free-kick and deny Mason Greenwood from close range.
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