OLE GUNNAR SOLSKJAER’S dreams of ruling Europe once more got off to a nightmare start in Bern.
They completely self-destructed after taking an early led through Cristiano Ronaldo with Jordan Siebatcheu snatching a dramatic winner with virtually the last kick of the game.
Young Boys snatched a dramatic winner in injury time to stun Manchester UnitedCredit: Reuters
Jesse Lingard played a blind back pass towards David De GeaCredit: BT Sport
Jordan Siebatcheu ran in ahead of the goalkeeper to tuck the ball in as Lingard, right, watches onCredit: BT Sport But questions need to be asked of just why Cristiano Ronaldo was sat on the Manchester United bench at that stage.
His replacement on 72 minutes Jesse Lingard would provide the woeful back pass that allowed Siebatchu to score.
Yet it had all started so well.
Just 13 minutes into Manchester United’s opening Champions League group game and Ronaldo was on the score sheet again.
Just three days after his brace on his second debut in a 4-1 win over Newcastle the goal machine was continuing to roar.
Yet with 18 minutes left and the tide turning against United it was he who made way with Bruno Fernandes who had provided the amazing assist for his goal.
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Yes they had been down to ten men since the 35th minute with right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka going off but Solskjaer had already made changes to combat that.
He brought on Diogo Dalot for Jadon Sancho to ensure they kept a back four.
At the break on came Raphael Varane as they essentially went to a back five.
But when you have Ronaldo, you still have a chance to snatch the game, the opposition still have to be on red alert.
If anyone is going to turn things on their head it’s him.
Was he surprised to go off? You bet he was.
He saw a double substitution was being made but walked upfield with his back to the assistant referee’s board never believing he would be one of those coming off.
The ref had to shout for him.
He accepted Solskjaer’s explanation with something of a bemused expression as he raised his eyebrows.
Quite what Lingard was going to do that he couldn’t wasn’t clear, with Bruno Fernandes off as well all attacking threat was gone.
Solskjaer talked after his double in the 4-1 win against Newcastle about managing his minutes, but still.
Not quite how he will have wanted to end a night when he matched the record of his former Real Madrid team-mate Iker Casillas for appearances in this competition at 177.
His goal added to an incredible tally in the competition of 135, the most of any player with Lionel Messi next best on 120 and Robert Lewandowski on 73.
His goal last night was a classic example of what manager Solskjaer described when asked what sort of player United were getting back 12 years after he left.
A wiser, all-round footballer, who knows when to go where and can simply sniff out a goal.
So when Fernandes picked up the ball wide on the left, he had darted in from wide right reading a pass that few in the game could execute.
His Portuguese countryman picked him out with the outside of his right boot threading a ball between two yellow shirts, curling it behind another pair into the path of Ronaldo.
His short, sharp darting stride took him away from Ulisses Garcia and his shot squeezed the ball between the legs of David von Ballmoos and over the line.
After his stunning show on Saturday, he was up and running again.
Ronaldo stabbed in the opening goal in SwitzerlandCredit: Getty
Bruno Fernandes delivered the sublime cross with the outside of his bootCredit: Getty
Jesse Lingard came on for Cristiano Ronaldo but ultimately cost his side with the horror passCredit: Getty You wonder if he goes home and just runs in his garden and scores, and in the hotel corridors before games.
He certainly does in the warm-ups before games and one steward found to his cost.
A rare shot off target smacked him on the head and floored him requiring medical attention with a concerned Ronaldo climbing over the advertising hoardings to check if he was okay.
Things changed, however, with Wan-Bissaka’s red card.
It was his own clumsy touch in the 35th minute that caused the problem as he let the ball run away from him.
He stretched to get it back and in so doing crunched his foot down on Christopher Martin’s ankle.
Still, Ronaldo posed a threat and was demanding a penalty on 54 minutes when he appeared to be nudged off the ball by Mohamed Ali Camara at full speed.
His appeals were waved away.
Ronaldo was clearly still reminding referee Francois Letexir of this after Moumi Ngamaleu equalised for the home side on 66 minutes.
The cross from Meschack Aebischer seemed to clip Shaw, and go behind Harry Maguire allowing Ngamaleu to bundle the ball home from close range.
United were just hanging on after that.
Young Boys had less to think about defensively with Ronaldo off and just pushed everyone forward.
Their reward came in the last seconds as Lingard’s back pass played in Siebatcheu.
The final whistle went with Ronaldo in his tracksuit top, watching on, from the bench – a strange sight.
Moumi Ngamaleu, left, poked in to get Young Boys back on level terms at 1-1Credit: AFP
De Gea had no chance of stopping the effort at his near postCredit: Reuters
Questions will be asked about Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s decision to drag off RonaldoCredit: Getty Lee Grant says Man Utd stars too scared to eat dessert in front of Cristiano Ronaldo