Valencia (Spain), Dec 13: Valencia ended their 2018-2019 Champions League campaign with a 2-1 victory against a listless Manchester United.
Wednesday’s action in Group H began with United and Juventus already qualified for the Champions knockout stage and BSC Young Boys doomed to finish last, reports Efe.
Valencia, meanwhile, had an incentive to win their final group match to be in better placed in next week’s draw for the Europa League round-of-32.
Both sides started brightly in front of 36,500 fans at Valencia’s Mestalla. The only goal of the first half went to the hosts, courtesy of Carlos Soler’s opportunistic strike in the 17th minute.
Valencia retreated in the minutes after the goal, essentially ceding the midfield to United, though the visitors failed to capitalize and the Spanish side came roaring back in the 30th minute with a near-miss by Michy Batshuayi.
The visitors found themselves trailing 2-0 just two minutes into the second half as the result of an own goal by United defender Phil Jones, who redirected the ball to his goalkeeper in an attempt to break up a pass intended for Batshuayi.
Unfortunately for Jones, keeper Sergio Romero had come off his line and the ball rolled into the net.
United struggled to react and their first shot came only in the 74th minute, a fine effort by Andreas Pereira that forced a great stop by Valencia keeper Jaume Domenech.
While the Premier League club avoided the shutout with Marcus Rashford’s goal in the 87th minute, the loss represented a missed opportunity to grab the top spot in the group as Juventus were upset 1-2 by Young Boys.