Young Boys 0-3 Man Utd: Paul Pogba scores twice in Champions League opener
Anthony Martial also scores as Diogo Dalot makes his United debut
By Gerard Brand
Last Updated: 20/09/18 8:06am
Paul Pogba scored twice as Man Utd got their Champions League campaign off to a winning start with a 3-0 victory at Young Boys.
After a tetchy opening on the artificial turf in Bern, United took the lead through Pogba's superb left-footed strike into the top corner from 20 yards (35), before the Frenchman slotted a second from the penalty spot (44).
Anthony Martial made it 3-0 via a devastating United break, seeing his shot deflect into the net from Pogba's assist (66).
Young Boys: Von Ballmoos (6), Mbabu (7), Camara (5), Von Bergen (5), Benito (5), Fassnacht (6), Sow (6), Sanogo (5), Sulejmani (6), Hoarau (5), Assale (5)
Subs: Aebischer (5), Ngamaleu (5), Nsame (5)
Man Utd: De Gea (6), Dalot (7), Smalling (7), Lindelof (6), Shaw (6), Fred (6), Matic (6), Pogba (8), Rashford (6), Lukaku (6), Martial (7)
Subs: Mata (5), Fellaini (6), Pereira (5)
Man of the match: Paul Pogba
The result means United have won their last three games, all away from home, following their stuttering start to the season under Jose Mourinho.
Young Boys started the first half brighter, coming close on several occasions; Guillaume Hoarau glanced a header just wide, while David de Gea was forced to make saves from both Mohamed Camara and Christian Faassnacht's long-range efforts.
But the visitors went ahead against the run of play as Pogba, having used Fred as a wall, found a yard on his left foot before flashing a beauty into the top left corner for his first Champions League goal for United.
Jose Mourinho made five changes from the side that beat Watford on Saturday.
Diogo Dalot made his debut at right back, with Luke Shaw, Fred, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial coming in.
Alexis Sanchez, Jesse Lingard, Marouane Fellaini, Ashley Young and Antonio Valencia dropped out.
And he made it two from the spot with a minute of the first half remaining, slotting into the top right corner after Kevin Mbabu was harshly adjudged to have handled Luke Shaw's cross.
United managed the game well after the break, and broke forward to make it 3-0 midway through the half through Martial.
Receiving Pogba's unselfish pass as Young Boys kept men forward, the forward saw his close-range effort fortuitously deflect off Camara and past David von Ballmoos for his first goal of the season.
Young Boys should have at least grabbed a consolation as Camara hit the outside of the post from point-blank range from a corner, but United held on for a clean sheet in Bern.
Man of the match - Paul Pogba
Admittedly, he has off-days. He also has days where he is unplayable. This was one of the latter.
Pogba's superb opener was pivotal, with United under pressure and looking most likely to concede before the Frenchman struck a beauty into the only place he could. It was inch perfect.
His all-round play was dominant, too. Pogba constantly picked the right pass, not trying anything too flashy, even when United were in total control.
Pogba made more passes in the opponent's half (40) than any player, with 90 per cent accuracy, and also won possession 11 times, a game-high.
- Following a run of five winless matches away from home in the Champions League, United have now won three of their last five such games in the competition (D1 L1).
- United have recorded their biggest away win in the Champions League without conceding a goal since November 2013, when they beat Bayer Leverkusen 5-0 under David Moyes.
- Excluding qualifiers, Young Boys have lost two of their last three home games in European competition (W1), as may defeats as in their previous 10 such matches combined.
Man Utd now face Wolves on Saturday in the Premier League at Old Trafford at 3pm, while their next Champions League clash comes at home to Valencia on October 2. Young Boys face Juventus in Turin on the same night.