By GRAHAM DUNBAR AP Sports Writer
BERNE, Switzerland (AP) – With Cristiano Ronaldo back at Manchester United, missing the knockout stages of the Champions League for a third consecutive season is unthinkable.
Yet the same kind of issues inherited from last season’s failed campaign to the one who started badly on Tuesday in Switzerland – defensive errors plus disciplinary lapses leading to an untimely red card.
Even new signings Ronaldo and Raphael Varane – four-time Champions League winners together at Real Madrid – couldn’t save the stellar and costly Man United side from defeat to unannounced Young Boys.
Instead, it was another 2-1 loss to the lower ranked team in its group.
“We did it last year in Europe,” said United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, recalling “two botched counterattacks against (Istanbul) Başakşehir. And we lost this game (Tuesday) in the dying seconds. .
A limp back pass in stoppage time from Jesse Lingard, a replacement who replaced Ronaldo, gave US forward Jordan Siebatcheu the chance to win the game for the Young Boys.
“This is football for you at the highest level,” said Solskjaer. “Lack of focus, make a mistake and you get punished.”