Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal (centre).
AFP/Eindhoven, The Netherlands
Manchester United saw their Champions League return turn into a nightmare on Tuesday as they not only fell 2-1 against PSV Eindhoven but also lost full-back Luke Shaw with a double fracture of the leg in their Group B opener.
Despite an opening goal by winger Memphis Depay against his former Dutch club, United—who dominated throughout—failed to capitalise on their chances and goals from Hector Moreno and Luciano Narsingh gave the hosts victory.
However, worse than the defeat was the injury to Shaw, which came just 15 minutes into the match following a crunching Moreno tackle, leaving the England international with a double fracture that requires an operation when he returns to Manchester and could put his participation at Euro 2016 next summer in jeopardy.
Shaw was wheeled off the field breathing through an oxygen mask to loud applause from PSV’s fans before being substituted by Marcos Rojo for his first appearance of the season.
“It’s horrible. When he was going in the dressing room, he was with the oxygen mask, he was crying,” United manager Louis van Gaal said after the match.
Asked how long he thought Shaw’s recovery would take Van Gaal said: “I am not a doctor, so I can’t say. A double fracture, it generally takes six months, but you can never say in advance.”
Around half an hour after being wheeled off, though, Shaw took to Twitter to vow that he would make a full recovery.
“Thank you everyone for your messages, words can’t describe how gutted I am, my road to recovery starts now, I will come back stronger,” he tweeted.
Mexican international Moreno, who broke his own leg in last year’s World Cup against the Netherlands, afterwards profusely apologised.
“I just feel really bad because I was involved in the accident,” he told journalists.
“I’m really sorry. I think I played the ball. I just hope he’ll be back as soon as possible.”
The result continued Van Gaal’s poor record at the Philips Stadium with Ajax, Barcelona, AZ Alkmaar and now with United, winning just twice in 11 attempts.
The former Netherlands coach, who took over the reins at Old Trafford last year, saw his run of bad luck continue in the southern Dutch city with PSV tenaciously clinging on to a narrow lead for an historic win.
The 21-year-old Depay struck in the 41st minute when fellow Dutchman Daley Blind slid him in to slice past two PSV defenders and then find the back of PSV goalkeeper Jeroen Zoet’s net with a crisp left-foot finish.
As promised, Depay celebrated his goal in front the fans who used to revere him, but United’s fortunes were short-lived when PSV struck back just before half-time.
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