Omonia vs Manchester United LIVE!
Manchester United survived an enormous scare against minnows Omonia Nicosia in the Europa League on Thursday night. The Red Devils dominated the first half of an eventful Group E contest in Cyprus, yet found themselves a goal behind at the interval after Karim Ansarifard finished off a brilliant counter that was the hosts’ first real attack of the evening.
Erik ten Hag threw on Marcus Rashford at half-time and quickly got his reward as the substitute equalised within seven minutes after profiting from a brilliant Bruno Fernandes pass. Fellow replacement Anthony Martial then came off the bench to score with his first involvement to put United ahead 2-1.
Rashford’s second effort six minutes from time looked to have put the game beyond Omonia, only for Nikolas Panayiotou to score a second for Neil Lennon’s plucky side mere seconds later. That set up a grandstand finish, with United eventually coming away with a hard-fought three points despite Cristiano Ronaldo being unable to dispatch his 700th career club goal, despite plenty of opportunities. Follow Omonia vs Manchester United reaction LIVE with Standard Sport’s blog below!
Omonia vs Man United highlights
GOAL! Panayiotou gives Omonia hope again
GOAL! Rashford strikes a second for 3-1
GOAL! Martial scores with first involvement
GOAL! Rashford equalises after half-time introduction
GOAL! Ansarifard gives hosts a shock lead
AC Omonia Nicosia 2 - 3 Manchester United FC
Neil Lennon reaction
21:42 , George Flood
“Listen, we rode our luck a lot of times,” Omonia’s manager said.
“It was a great game, we kept ourselves in the game, whether it be good goalkeeping or United missing good chances.
“And to score two goals against them was probably more than I could have imagined... I didn’t think until we scored we believed in ourselves, really, and then it gave us something to hold on to.
“They got two quickfire goals but we had chances at 2-1 to get level.
“The third goal has killed us but, you know, on the balance of play United thoroughly deserved the win.”
Erik ten Hag reaction
20:18 , George Flood
“We started well, then an unnecessary mistake and a really bad 10 minutes. We have to learn from it. You let the crowd get alive, you have to avoid that,” the United boss told BT Sport.
“It has to only be a warm up, on Sunday we have to react.”
On his half-time message: “More runs, we are too static, we have to make the opposition move to get behind - that is why we made two subs. The subs really had an impact today.”
On Martial: “We have already seen in pre-season, it was really disappointing when he got injured, it had an impact on our team’s performance.”
Marcus Rashford reaction
20:16 , George Flood
“Job done, but we would have liked to have played better. We didn’t defend badly, but we made mistakes,” United’s ‘super-sub’ told BT Sport.
“The first 35 minutes until they scored we were playing well, we just could have got in behind them more. Then when he [Ten Hag] made the subs he wanted us to be more dynamic, take chances going forward and score goals.”
“Left side is probably more natural for me, but I like playing both [left wing and centre-forward] and helping the team. If we have got injuries you never know what might happen, where you might be needed to play.
“He [Martial] is a massive player for us, has been for a long time. When he is happy he is an unbelievable player. We’ve both been injured, him longer than me, so it is good for him to get minutes and make an impact.”
Man United second in Group E
19:54 , George Flood
Real Sociedad won 2-0 against Sheriff Tiraspol in Moldova tonight, thanks to goals from David Silva and Aritz Elustondo.
That means the Basque side top Europa League Group E on nine points after matchday three, with United three behind in second and three ahead of third-placed Sheriff.
Omonia sit bottom, still without a point to their name.
United’s next European outing is against Omonia at Old Trafford next Thursday (October 13) before Sheriff visit Manchester on October 27.
First up for Ten Hag’s men is a Premier League trip to Merseyside to face Frank Lampard’s Everton on Sunday night.
19:40 , George Flood
Omonia 2-3 Manchester United
Substitutes to the rescue for United, but that was way too close for comfort.
All credit to the hosts, who gave that a real good go and almost got their reward.
19:39 , George Flood
94 mins: Shaw into the book for United.
Omonia then earn a last-gasp free-kick that they’ll swing into the box.
They couldn’t, could they?!
No, the delivery is cleared and Ronaldo almost runs into trouble before the final whistle sounds.
19:38 , George Flood
93 mins: Ronaldo is desperate to notch that 700th club goal tonight, but it’s just not happening.
He embarks on another purposeful run, executes another great turn but can’t find the target with his latest strike.
19:36 , George Flood
90 mins: Four minutes of added time at the end of this eventful second half.
Just not Ronaldo’s night as he spurns one chance and then Rashford tries to tee him up again when he could have made it 4-2 himself.
GOAL! Omonia 2-3 Manchester United | Nikolas Panayiotou 85'
19:30 , George Flood
85 mins: Wow! Two strikes in quick succession and United’s lead is back to just the one goal with five minutes plus stoppage time to go.
Late drama in Cyprus. Ten Hag won’t be happy.
It was Panayiotou up from the back who scored it, firing home after a deflected cutback.
Woeful defending from United, it must be said.
We’ve got a grandstand finish on our hands.
GOAL! Omonia 1-3 Manchester United | Marcus Rashford 84’
19:28 , George Flood
84 mins: Game, set and match, surely!
Rashford and Ronaldo combine to great effect, with the former turning home at the back post after the latter had tried to pick out the bottom corner with a low strike.
Omonia’s chance for a famous result looks to have gone.
19:27 , George Flood
81 mins: Into the final 10 minutes in Nicosia and it’s end-to-end stuff at the moment, with Omonia still looking dangerous at times and Ronaldo the major threat for United, with his latest opportunity curtailed before he can get a shot away inside the box.
19:23 , George Flood
77 mins: WOODWORK!
Dalot profits from an error and rounds Fabiano before teeing up compatriot Ronaldo, whose first-time finish bounces back off the post!
How did that not go in?! So close to club goal number 700.
2-1 to the visitors it remains.
19:22 , George Flood
75 mins: While United remain in pursuit of a third goal, Omonia are still posing a credible threat on the counter as things stand.
This contest is far from over.
19:19 , George Flood
73 mins: Omonia want a penalty after Casemiro’s challenge inadvertently deflects the ball into Fred.
But it looks like it just bounced into his midriff.
Omonia’s players complain bitterly, but play is waved on by Portuguese referee João Pinheiro after a VAR check.
19:18 , George Flood
71 mins: Fred coming on for United now, with Antony heading off.
Kakoullis, Loizou and Panagiotou are all on for Omonia, meanwhile.
19:15 , George Flood
67 mins: Chances at both ends!
It’s another warning for United as the lob sits up beautifully for Bruno, but he can’t get enough purchase on the finish and De Gea gratefully gathers. A huge opportunity for 2-2 spurned.
At the other end, Ronaldo is teed up but blasts well over the bar.
GOAL! Omonia 1-2 Manchester United | Anthony Martial 63'
19:07 , George Flood
63 mins: Another swift impact from a United substitute and they now lead in Cyprus!
Martinez threads a fine pass forward and it’s a wonderful flick from Rashford to tee up Martial, who cuts inside before rifling coolly into the bottom corner.
Effective changes from Ten Hag.
19:06 , George Flood
61 mins: Past the hour mark now and the first yellow card of the evening goes to Charalampous for a handball in the middle of the park.
19:05 , George Flood
58 mins: Still United press for that second goal as Ronaldo arrows a low effort into the side netting from a difficult angle.
United are sending on Martial, with Fernandes surprisingly the man to make way.
Lennon, meanwhile, sends on Papoulis for Barker.
19:02 , George Flood
56 mins: The momentum has been fully with United since the equaliser and Eriksen and Antony have both gone close with efforts that fizzed narrowly wide.
GOAL! Omonia 1-1 Manchester United | Marcus Rashford 52'
18:56 , George Flood
52 mins: The half-time substitute quickly makes his mark!
It’s a fabulous raking diagonal pass from Fernandes to find Rashford, whose initial touch isn’t great and allows Miletic to get back into position.
But then there’s a crucial run from Ronaldo that distracts the defender and allows Rashford the space to uncork a curling effort that nestles beyond Fabiano and into the bottom corner.
Just the impact that was needed!
18:55 , George Flood
51 mins: A foul on Antony gives Fernandes the chance to fire a free-kick on target, but his tame effort is easily held by Fabiano.
18:53 , George Flood
48 mins: United controlling things straight after the break, trying to break down this stubborn Omonia defence.
A poor clearing header presents Eriksen with a chance to pull the trigger just inside the box, but his touch is heavy and the opportunity is gone.
18:52 , George Flood
Sheriff vs Real Sociedad is currently goalless in Moldova, by the way.
As it stands, United are BOTTOM of Group E.
Second half underway
18:49 , George Flood
Back off and running in Nicosia!
As expected, it’s Shaw and Rashford on for Malacia and Sancho.
Plenty of work for United to do here to avoid being on the receiving end of a massive upset.
18:47 , George Flood
According to ESPN, it will be Malacia and Sancho making way at the break.
Decisive from Ten Hag. Let’s see if those changes pay off!
18:43 , George Flood
It sounds like Ten Hag is going to introduce both Marcus Rashford and Luke Shaw at half-time.
18:36 , George Flood
Omonia 1-0 Manchester United
Well, well, well! What a half-time scoreline at GSP Stadium.
United absolutely dominated before Karim Ansarifard finished off a stunning Bruno counter-attack, since when the visitors have looked sloppy and nervous.
A major upset on the cards in Nicosia, unless Ten Hag can rouse his troops during the break.
18:34 , George Flood
45 mins: Two minutes of added time signalled at the end of this first half.
Charalampous shoots from range but fails to trouble De Gea.
18:32 , George Flood
43 mins: That’s a decent ball lofted in to Ronaldo, who is extremely well-marshalled by Hungarian defender Adam Lang and the chance for a United equaliser before the interval is lost.
Neil Lennon will be so happy with how this first half has progressed for his side, who are growing leaps and bounds in terms of confidence after snatching the opener.
18:30 , George Flood
40 mins: Eriksen tries to make something happen but United’s attack, which looked sharp early on, is now firmly stuck in the mud.
Their final ball and set-piece delivery are just not good enough by any stretch of the imagination.
18:27 , George Flood
37 mins: After being in utter control, United have looked really panicked since going behind, seeming very nervy indeed in and around their own box.
There are hurried clearances and Martinez gets away with a blatant shirt pull inside the box.
That could easily have been an Omonia penalty!
GOAL! Omonia 1-0 Manchester United | Karim Ansarifard 34’
18:21 , George Flood
34 mins: WOW! United have absolutely bossed this game but somehow find themselves behind 10 minutes before the break.
It’s a blistering break led by Bruno, who charges forward at real speed before eventually playing in Iranian striker Ansarifard, who is in front of Lindelof before lifting the ball into the back of the net with De Gea helpless.
The GSP Stadium erupts! What a moment. Ten Hag shakes his head in disbelief on the touchline.
18:20 , George Flood
31 mins: Omonia with a very rare foray forward as Dalot concedes a corner, but nothing comes of it for the hosts.
United are quickly back on the attack and Antony’s pace and trickery is too much for Czech full-back Jan Lecjaks.
18:18 , George Flood
29 mins: Ronaldo combines nicely with Eriksen and Sancho but can’t convert Dalot’s cross.
This is a training exercise for United at the moment, but Omomia are defending stoutly, to their credit.
But how much longer can they hold out?
18:14 , George Flood
26 mins: Fabiano is called into action again as Antony cuts in from the right flank and tries to bend a shot into the far top corner, but his fellow Brazilian is able to push wide.
United getting closer...
18:12 , George Flood
24 mins: Ronaldo lines up a free-kick from 20 yards after being cut down by Miletic, taking a painful blow to his Achilles in the process.
He quickly dusts himself down, but his woeful effort ends up sailing high into the stands.
18:10 , George Flood
20 mins: Ronaldo is showing his frustration every time something goes against him, including that overhit cross that evades his springing leap inside the six-yard box.
Frustration for United thus far, but if this pattern continues then it’s surely just a matter of time before the floodgates open.
Omonia are overmatched and obviously have a gameplan, but they have to get hold of the ball at some point, surely.
18:06 , George Flood
18 mins: How is this still 0-0?!
Omonia are sliced apart again and Fernandes ends up lifting the ball onto the crossbar!
Ronaldo can’t turn home the rebound from close range and he’s penalised for a high foot.
18:05 , George Flood
17 mins: United really should be ahead!
Martinez’s fine through ball goes beyond Fernandes and reaches Antony, who must score but instead tries to square it to the Portuguese.
He underhits the pass and Omonia can clear. That should have been 1-0!
18:02 , George Flood
14 mins: Ronaldo looks in the mood tonight as he executes a terrific turn inside the box before toe poking at goal, with Fabiano deflecting wide.
Eriksen directing the traffic for United.
Martinez can’t keep his header down from the resulting corner.
18:00 , George Flood
11 mins: United continue to monopolise possession as they patiently search for another opening, with Ronaldo looking dangerous on the last shoulder.
Replays show that was a great save from Fabiano to deny Ronaldo a few minutes ago, a strong left hand to keep out his low effort.
17:56 , George Flood
9 mins: The first save inside 10 minutes from Omonia’s Brazilian goalkeeper Fabiano, who gets down well to his left to parry away Ronaldo’s low strike after United attack at pace.
Ronaldo shows his frustration. Very close to his 700th club goal!
17:54 , George Flood
7 mins: Stand-in captain Fernandes is in the thick of the action for United early on, seeing a hopeful drive blocked after being teed up by Sancho, who had Malacia as another option on the outside.
Omonia are getting 11 men behind the ball now, with the dominant visitors up to 70 per cent possession in the early going.
17:52 , George Flood
5 mins: It’s been a quiet start in Cyprus, with both sides seeing their fair share of the ball.
Fernandes tries to create enough space to let fly on the edge of the Omonia penalty area, but ex-Celtic man Matthews is there to clear.
Omonia can reset after a very dubious foul call against Martinez.
17:49 , George Flood
2 mins: United dominate possession from the off and force an early corner when Dalot’s searching cross for Fernandes is headed behind by Miletic.
The ball is swung in again but Omonia quickly clear their lines.
17:46 , George Flood
Underway in Nicosia!
Can United swiftly get back to winning ways, or there is a major upset on the cards?
Some atmosphere as Omonia kick off.
Portuguese João Pinheiro is today’s referee.
17:45 , George Flood
A minute’s silence is being held before kick-off in memory of the victims of the recent stadium disaster in Indonesia.
Similar tributes have been paid across all European football this week.
Sadly it’s not observed appropriately by everyone...
17:44 , George Flood
Here come the teams! Brilliant noise and striking white and green motifs from the Omonia fans ahead of what is arguably the most high-profile match in their history.
This is the second-longest European trip in United’s history, by the way, at over 4,000 miles.
They only ventured further when they travelled to Astana in Kazakhstan under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in 2019.
17:37 , George Flood
Neil Lennon has just been speaking to BT Sport, insisting he has been trying to keep the build-up as low key as possible this week... but easier said than done.
He says he is not sure what United team will turn up tonight, one wounded from the Manchester derby mauling or one itching to bounce back quickly.
The atmosphere is really building, with a sea of excited fans in green filling up the GSP Stadium.
All eyes on Ronaldo
17:19 , George Flood
Plenty of eyes on this man tonight, as always.
Reports this week have stated that Ronaldo will finally be allowed to leave Old Trafford in January if a suitable offer arrives.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner has been a bit-part player at best since the humiliation at Brentford in August, with his only starts coming in this competition.
Ten Hag attracted flak at the weekend by admitting that his decision not to bring him off the bench during the disaster at the Etihad was partly due to respect for his reputation.
Ronaldo scored United’s second goal in their 2-0 victory over Sheriff in Moldova last month... can he do the same in Cyprus?
He needs just one more to reach the 700-mark in club football.
Barker and Matthews start for Omonia
17:02 , George Flood
Omonia’s starting XI tonight includes former Manchester City youngster Brandon Barker, who spent time last season at Reading and has also played for the likes of Rangers, Hibernian, Preston and Rotherham.
Ex-Celtic, Sunderland and Charlton defender Adam Matthews also starts, but fellow ex-Bhoys star Gary Hooper is not fit enough to make the matchday squad.
Lennon makes two changes to the side that won away at Doxa on Saturday, with Barker and Hector Yuste replacing Loizos Loizou and Fotis Papoulis.
16:53 , George Flood
Tonight’s venue, the 22,859-capacity GSP Stadium in Strovolos, Nicosia District. It is the largest stadium in Cyprus.
Three Man United changes from derby drubbing
16:47 , George Flood
So Ten Hag makes three changes to the United team smashed in the Manchester derby, with Cristiano Ronaldo and Casemiro replacing Marcus Rashford and Scott McTominay, who are both on the bench.
As expected, Raphael Varane’s injury means Victor Lindelof partners Lisandro Martinez in central defence this evening.
There are two goalkeepers on that United bench, along with Anthony Martial and youngsters Facundo Pellistri, Alejandro Garnacho and Zidane Iqbal.
Omonia Nicosia lineup
16:42 , George Flood
Starting XI: Fabiano, Matthews, Miletic, Yuste, Lang, Lecjaks, Diskerud, Charalambous, Barker, Bruno, Ansarifard
Subs: Kontomis, Loizou, Papoulis, Kitsos, Zachariou, Uzoho, Panagiotou, Kakoullis, Bezus
16:40 , George Flood
Manchester United team in full
Manchester United starting XI: De Gea, Dalot, Malacia, Lindelof, Martinez, Casemiro, Eriksen, Fernandes, Antony, Sancho, Ronaldo
Subs: Dubravka, Heaton, Shaw, Fred, McTominay, Pellistri, Iqbal, Elanga, Garnacho, Martial, Rashford
Manchester United lineup
16:34 , George Flood
Here’s how United line up this evening...
Neil Lennon ‘can make difference' for Omonia
16:25 , George Flood
Omonia are managed by a familiar face in former Celtic, Bolton and Hibernian boss Neil Lennon, under whom they won the Cypriot Cup on penalties in May.
The club finished seventh in the Cypriot First Division last season and currently sit fourth this term after winning three and losing two of their opening five matches, including a 2-0 victory over Doxa Katokopias on Saturday.
Omonia forward Loizos Loizou believes Lennon can make the difference against United as they search for a huge upset following defeats by Real Sociedad and Sheriff Tiraspol.
“Yes, he can make it (the difference),” the Cyprus international said “He always tells us we are not scared of anyone - but we still have to be at our best levels.
“He helps us think we’re not playing against one of the best teams in the world, just to play like we always play.
“He can help us win. In his career as a coach he won a lot of trophies and titles. He knows how to win these titles.”
16:19 , George Flood
More pre-match thoughts from the United boss:
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) October 6, 2022
Fernandes: Derby debacle shows how much we still need to improve
15:58 , George Flood
Meanwhile, Bruno Fernandes - United’s stand-in skipper with Harry Maguire first benched then injured - admitted that Sunday’s debacle at the Etihad showed how far the club still have to go to achieve their aims.
The Portuguese also appeared confident that his side would bounce back strongly against Europa League minnows in Nicosia this evening.
"Obviously we know the game we played was not good enough for our standards, for what we have set for ourselves, for what we want to achieve this season," Fernandes said.
"We have let down the club altogether, not just one or two players. Altogether we didn't do enough to win the game, to get points from that game.
"We all - when I say all I mean all, starting with me - are disappointed with the result obviously.
"Even on the derby, we have to take that for seeing what margin we still have to improve. It's still a long way to go.
"We know what we want to achieve, we know what we want to do.
"I know what the manager wants from me. I think we all know what the manager wants for us as a team and I think now it's just the time to get back to the good results. We have the chance to do it tomorrow straightaway."
Ten Hag thanks Man City for ‘reality check'
15:53 , George Flood
At his press conference on Wednesday, Ten Hag ended up thanking rivals Manchester City and opposite number Pep Guardiola for handing United a reality check after their promising improvements over recent weeks.
Erling Haaland and Phil Foden both notched hat-tricks on a miserable afternoon for the red half of the city at the Etihad, which the Dutchman is determined to use as a learning experience.
“Obviously it was a difficult day,” Ten Hag said. “As always we analyse and we do that tough, the reality.
“It was a reality check, so we have to learn from it and carry on.
“You always take respect of the opponent but we will still stick to our philosophy, our rules, our principles.
“In tactics sometimes, also to surprise opponents, you have to bring something different in your game, and we will do that also for the future.
“But we can get a lot of confidence about this theory, when you beat Arsenal, you beat Liverpool and now we get a reality check with Man City - so we know we have to step up.
“So thank you for the lesson, from Pep and City. We will take that and we have to understand we have to do things much better.”
Man United’s travelling squad
15:45 , George Flood
De Gea, Heaton, Dubravka, Lindelof, Martinez, Malacia, Dalot, Shaw, Fernandes, Eriksen, Fred, Casemiro, McTominay, Iqbal, Ronaldo, Martial, Rashford, Antony, Sancho, Pellistri, Elanga, Garnacho
Predicted Man United lineup
15:36 , George Flood
Here is how we expect Manchester United to line up in Cyprus tonight, with official team news on the way a little later on:
De Gea; Dalot, Lindelof, Martinez, Shaw; Casemiro, Eriksen; Antony, Fernandes, Martial; Ronaldo
Omonia vs Man United prediction
15:32 , George Flood
Surely United have enough to win this. Ronaldo might not be in the best form but will fancy his chances of adding to his tally in Europe.
Manchester United to win comfortably, 3-0.
Man United team news - Ronaldo to start?
15:31 , George Flood
Ten Hag has decisions to make in central defence tonight, with Raphael Varane joining Harry Maguire on the injury list. Donny van de Beek and Aaron Wan-Bissaka are also out injured.
“They are unavailable for tomorrow,” said Ten Hag of the aforementioned quartet at yesterday’s pre-match press conference. “Yes, in the case of Rapha, I have good hope [that he comes back soon].
“Harry will take a little bit longer. The other two, I cannot give a prognosis.”
That could mean Victor Lindelof starts alongside Lisandro Martinez at the back in Cyprus, given options are light.
Elsewhere, Cristiano Ronaldo and Casemiro will surely start, along with potentially Luke Shaw after Tyrell Malacia’s difficult day against City.
How to watch Omonia vs Man United
15:28 , George Flood
TV channel: In the UK, tonight’s game will be broadcast live on BT Sport 1.
Live stream: BT Sport subscribers will be able to watch the game via the BT Sport website or app.
Welcome to Omonia vs Man United LIVE coverage!
15:26 , George Flood
Good afternoon and welcome to Standard Sport’s latest LIVE coverage of the 2022/23 Europa League.
We’ve got Arsenal vs Bodo/Glimt on the agenda tonight and West Ham’s Conference League trip to Anderlecht, but here our focus is on events in the Cypriot capital of Nicosia, where Manchester United are in town to face Omonia.
Erik ten Hag will want a reaction from his players after their 6-3 derby mauling by Manchester City as they face Group E minnows managed by Celtic legend Neil Lennon.
Kick-off at GSP Stadium is at the earlier time of 5:45pm BST, so stay tuned for live match build-up, all the latest team news and game updates!