Champions League

United see off Wolfsburg threat

2015-09-30 22:53
Juan Mata (AFP)

Manchester - Manchester United recovered from conceding a goal after four minutes to win their first Champions League match of the season when they beat VfL Wolfsburg 2-1 at Old Trafford on Wednesday.

Exactly six years to the day since the two clubs last met at Old Trafford, the Group B game followed the same pattern with Wolfsburg taking the lead and United winning.

Daniel Caligiuri opened the scoring after some poor United defending before Juan Mata equalised with a 34th-minute penalty after Caligiuri handled in his own penalty area.

Chris Smalling stole in to score what proved to be the winner after 53 minutes leaving all four teams in the group on three points after CSKA Moscow beat PSV Eindhoven 3-2 in Moscow in the other game.

United started the match buoyed by going top of the Premier League at the weekend, but they were quickly deflated after Wolfsburg struck to take the lead after a six-pass move.

United were guilty of woeful defending as Antonio Valencia played Caligiuri onside and he picked his spot to beat David De Gea.

Wayne Rooney should have equalised for United after 26 minutes after fine work down the right from Anthony Martial, but the United skipper, who had a poor game in attack, blasted the ball high and wide when it looked easier to find the net.

United showed some neat approach play in an open, evenly-contested game with Mata having a positive influence in midfield.

They drew level when Mata sent goalkeeper Diego Benaglio the wrong way with his penalty after Hungarian referee Viktor Kassai ruled scorer Caligiuri handled in the box.

Mata was instrumental in setting up United's second goal as well, providing the final pass with a creative, backheeled flick that allowed Smalling to slide home his first goal of the season after 53 minutes and secure all three points.

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