Chris Smalling gives Manchester United their European footing

Juan Mata scored one and set up the other as Manchester United recovered from a goal down to pick up their first victory in the Champions League proper since March 2014 with a 2-1 win over Wolfsburg.


“Our heads could have dropped after Memphis and Mata had very good chances but we kept attacking”.

“I think we have given a lot in the first half to come back in the game, and (there is) also the culmination of matches of the last weeks, because I can not understand that we gave the ball away so easily”.

And though City were caught on the hop on 53 minutes when Lars Stindl struck, defender Nicolas Otamendi levelled before Sergio Aguero scored from the penalty spot in the 90th minute to ensure they would return to Manchester with maximum points. It’s better to give players a rest for one match rather than losing them for a long period. We are happy but we have to improve and I have told the players. The midfielder will play a key role this season, as Manchester United make a run for the Premier League and Champions League. “That will benefit them but we shall manage it”. “I’m very pleased with his performance”.

“In the second-half we made a handsome goal, but after that it was not good any more“.

Manager Louis van Gaal has said his side has a chance of clinching the Champions League and the Premier League.

After scoring from the penalty spot on Wednesday, Van Gaal confirmed Mata is now the first-choice penalty taker at the club.

“At the end we were suffering”.

Anthony Martial turned his man down the right and he curled a left-foot effort wide a minute later, before Mata fired straight at Diego Benaglio from the edge of the box on 18 minutes. It was a big game against a big team from Europe and we are very happy to play in this stage of football and we want to go through to keep our dream alive.

“A lot of players are very exhausted because of the accumulation of a lot of matches”, said Van Gaal.


“That is realistic because I did it everywhere, ” said the 64-year-old when asked if he could win silverware with United. Only from the penalty that we got off this referee could we score. “But I’m confident we can build on tonight’s strong performance”.

Daniel Caligiuri celebrates as he scores the first goal