Champions League - Group H
ValenciaValencia2Man UtdManchester United1

Valencia 2-1 Man Utd: Champions League defeat for Jose Mourinho's side

By Patrick JenningsBBC Sport

Manchester United slumped to a limp defeat in Valencia as Phil Jones' own goal ensured they passed up the chance to win Champions League Group H.

United were already assured of qualification for the knockout stages, and a win would have taken them above Juventus, who were surprisingly beaten 2-1 by Young Boys of Switzerland.

But Jose Mourinho's side put in a poor performance and were well beaten by a team, 15th in the Spanish top flight, who named an experimental line-up as they were already certain of finishing third.

Carlos Soler pounced on Jones' headed clearance to strike home a fizzing low finish amid slack marking for Valencia's opener.

And Jones was badly at fault for the second after the break as he diverted a through ball past Sergio Romero from outside his own box, when the United keeper had left his line to claim the ball.

Three bright second-half substitutes combined to earn a late consolation, as Marcus Rashford headed home Ashley Young's cross after Jesse Lingard kept the ball in play.

Juan Mata then almost grabbed an equaliser as he fired a volley wide from inside the box after Paul Pogba's smart chip over the defence.

But defeat means United will play a group winner in the knockout stage, one of Barcelona, Borussia Dortmund, Paris St-Germain, Porto, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.

Had United finished top, they would have faced one of Atletico Madrid, Roma, Schalke, Ajax and Lyon.

They next play Premier League leaders Liverpool at Anfield in a 16:00 GMT kick-off on Sunday.

Pogba and Jones not only culprits

Before the game. United boss Mourinho singled out Pogba, urging him to make "a good impact" after being left out of Saturday's 4-1 Premier League home win over Fulham.

The Frenchman's most notable contribution was somehow shooting wide from four yards from a Marouane Fellaini knock-down, although the assistant referee wrongly adjudged him to be offside.

In truth it would be hard to argue that any of United's players enjoyed a successful evening.

Striker Romelu Lukaku endured an error-strewn night with several poor, heavy touches, while Fred, starting for just the seventh time since his £47m summer arrival, also looked off the pace in midfield.

Mourinho's side did rally slightly in the closing stages, but for the vast majority of the game only threatened in isolated chances they threw away, while their defending was at times calamitous. Valencia might have scored four or five.

Michy Batshuayi missed a golden chance to double the lead in the first half when he headed over from close range, Dani Parejo was only denied by a last-ditch block and Romero was forced off his line to stop Santi Mina after a Jones slip that followed his own goal.

United may not have been expecting Juve to slip up too, but were aiming to win all three of their away group matches in the Champions League for the first time since 2010-11.

They made the final that year, losing to Barcelona at Wembley. There looks to be very little hope of repeating such a run this term.

Job done, Mourinho says

How important does United's unlikely and slightly fortunate 2-1 victory away to Juventus look now? How about the last-gasp winner at home to Young Boys, when Mourinho celebrated by throwing a drinks bottle carrier cage to the ground?

Ultimately, those points - perhaps not won convincingly - are the difference between playing in the Europa League's last 32 and the Champions League last 16.

Mourinho said, regardless of Wednesday's outcome, it was "job done in a difficult group".

He added: "I don't think we were brilliant in this group phase, but with the problems we had and the injuries we had we managed to come here already qualified."

United's Champions League results this season:

  • W v Young Boys (a) 0-3
  • D v Valencia (h) 0-0
  • L v Juventus (h) 0-1
  • W v Juventus (a) 2-1
  • W v Young Boys (h) 1-0
  • L v Valencia (a) 2-1
Group H

'Not enough intensity and ambition'

More from Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho, speaking to BT Sport:

"We were too passive in the first half. We were quite comfortable with the ball but not in intensity and ambition. In the second half, I was pretty sure that after speaking at half-time things could be different but we started with an own goal that gave Valencia a better position to control the game.

"I made the two changes later and the team improved immediately, we started playing faster, arriving with link play in more dangerous positions, and we probably should get to 2-2 because we had a couple of good chances to equalise.

"But we started the first half playing too comfortable and not with enough intensity."

'Back to square one' - analysis

Former Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher on BBC Radio 5 live

It wasn't a dead rubber for Manchester United because they have Liverpool on Sunday and some of the players that played tonight aren't in the team regularly. There were questions over them.

Now it feels like players who should have a point to prove have come back in [and haven't proved themselves] and it's kind of back to square one. It was slow, lethargic, disjointed.

Defenders were sitting back and it doesn't work like that - it's a hindrance on the team because they are not up the pitch far enough to support the play. They then end up so deep it invites pressure and they concede goals.

It took Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard to show some endeavour to go and press and lift the team.

If they had played like that from the first minute they would have won the game for me and topped the group. It was too little too late.

Man of the match - Carlos Soler (Valencia)

Carlos Soler
As well as his four key passes, Soler's crisp and confident finish set the tone for an impressive Valencia performance.

Jones joins Lynch - the stats

  • Valencia beat Manchester United in a Champions League match for the first time, in what was the eighth meeting between the sides (W1 D5 L2).
  • Manchester United progressed to the knockout stages of the Champions League with no more than three group-stage victories for the first time since 2008-09 when they won two. That season, they went on to reach the final.
  • Phil Jones is the first Manchester United player to score an own goal away from home in a Champions League match since Mark Lynch did so against Deportivo la Coruna in March 2003 - his only senior appearance for the club.
  • Carlos Soler has been directly involved in three goals in his past two home games in the Champions League for Valencia (two goals, one assist).
  • Marcus Rashford's consolation strike for Manchester United was his first headed goal in the Champions League, and first goal in the competition since December 2017 against CSKA Moscow.



Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Doménech
  • 21Piccini
  • 3Nunes Vezo
  • 12Diakhaby
  • 15Latorre GruesoBooked at 28minsSubstituted forGarayat 51'minutes
  • 8Soler
  • 10Parejo
  • 6Kondogbia
  • 11CheryshevSubstituted forTorresat 66'minutes
  • 23Batshuayi
  • 22Mina LorenzoSubstituted forRodrigoat 68'minutes


  • 13Murara Neto
  • 17Coquelin
  • 18Wass
  • 19Rodrigo
  • 20Torres
  • 24Garay
  • 34Lee

Man Utd

Formation 4-3-3

  • 22Romero
  • 25A ValenciaBooked at 11mins
  • 3BaillyBooked at 30mins
  • 4Jones
  • 16RojoSubstituted forYoungat 45'minutes
  • 17FredSubstituted forRashfordat 57'minutesBooked at 81mins
  • 27Fellaini
  • 6Pogba
  • 8Mata
  • 9LukakuSubstituted forLingardat 69'minutes
  • 15Pereira


  • 10Rashford
  • 13Grant
  • 14Lingard
  • 18Young
  • 21Herrera
  • 37Garner
  • 54Greenwood
Georgi Kabakov

Match Stats

Home TeamValenciaAway TeamMan Utd
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Valencia 2, Manchester United 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Valencia 2, Manchester United 1.

  3. Post update

    Offside, Manchester United. Ashley Young tries a through ball, but Marcus Rashford is caught offside.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Andreas Pereira (Manchester United).

  5. Post update

    Daniel Parejo (Valencia) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  6. Post update

    Corner, Valencia. Conceded by Antonio Valencia.

  7. Post update

    Attempt missed. Juan Mata (Manchester United) left footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Paul Pogba with a through ball.

  8. Post update

    Attempt missed. Michy Batshuayi (Valencia) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Carlos Soler.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Marouane Fellaini (Manchester United).

  10. Post update

    Cristiano Piccini (Valencia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  11. Goal!

    Goal! Valencia 2, Manchester United 1. Marcus Rashford (Manchester United) header from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Ashley Young with a cross.

  12. Post update

    Offside, Valencia. Daniel Parejo tries a through ball, but Rodrigo Moreno is caught offside.

  13. Post update

    Attempt saved. Paul Pogba (Manchester United) right footed shot from long range on the left is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Ashley Young.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Marcus Rashford (Manchester United).

  15. Post update

    Rúben Vezo (Valencia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  16. Post update

    Offside, Valencia. Mouctar Diakhaby tries a through ball, but Michy Batshuayi is caught offside.

  17. Booking

    Marcus Rashford (Manchester United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Marcus Rashford (Manchester United).

  19. Post update

    Rúben Vezo (Valencia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  20. Post update

    Attempt missed. Marcus Rashford (Manchester United) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Antonio Valencia with a cross.


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