Manchester United made a laboured start to their Europa League campaign as they were beaten 1-0 by Feyenoord in Rotterdam.

Tonny Vilhena scored the decisive goal for the Eredivisie side in the 79th minute as Nicolai Jorgensen’s cut-back cross found the 21-year-old midfielder free in the box to slot home.

Jose Mourinho made eight changes to the side that lost against Manchester City in the Premier League at the weekend, introducing Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial into the XI and naming Chris Smalling as captain on his first start of the season.

But the wholesale changes had a detrimental effect and United struggled for tempo and to create any clear cut chances of note in a first half that saw them frustrated by Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s organised side in front of a lively but less-than-capacity crowd at De Kuip.


Martial came closest to breaking the deadlock for United in the 24th minute when he put a Matteo Darmian cross wide from close range but they failed to test former Liverpool goalkeeper Brad Jones during the opening 45 minutes.

United didn’t improve much after the break and frustrated by the lethargic performance he had seen in the opening hour Mourinho made three changes in the 63rd minute minute with Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Memphis Depay and Ashley Young introduced in place of Rashford, Martial and Juan Mata.

However, the gamble didn’t pay off and with little over 10 minutes remaining Vilhena fired a low effort past David De Gea in the United goal.

A desperate late onslaught from United yielded little more than a drilled free kick from Ibrahimovic that Jones saved comfortably, while De Gea came up for a 93rd-minute corner but Feyenoord held firm to claim a winning start in Group A.

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Culled from ESPNFC