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Omonia Nicosia v Manchester United: Europa League – live

Key events

GOAL!!! Omonia Nicosia 1-0 Manchester United (Ansarifard 33)

Incredible scenes! Having been completely under the cosh for the past 33 minutes, Omonia take the lead on the back of a lightning fast counter-attack.

31 min: Omonia win a corner. They play it short but a routine straight from the training ground obviously didn’t spend enough time on the training ground. Wide.

30 min: Christian Eriksen tries to pick out Ronaldo with a cross to the far post. Omonia goalkeeper Fabiano darts of his line to pluck the ball from the air.

29 min: From the edge of the Omonia penalty area, Dalot plays a ball in behind to Ronaldo. He squares it across the edge of the six-yard box but there’s nobody there to poke it home. Cue a minor fit of petulance and arm-waving from his Lordship.

27 min: Another fine save from Omonia goalkeeper Fabiano, who dives to his right to palm a curled effort from Antony that was heading for his top right-hand corner wide. Nothing comes from the corner.

25 min: Nemanja Miletic rakes his studs down the back of Cristiano Ronaldo’s achilles and Manchester United have a free-kick about 25 yards from the Omonia goal, slightly left of centre. Ronaldo stands over the ball and given his atrocious record with free-kicks, you almost certainly don’t need me to tell you that he sends it sailing high and wide of the Omonia goal.

Not very close so definitely no cigar for Cristiano Ronaldo. Photograph: Manchester United/Getty Images

24 min: Having weathered an early Manchester United storm that lasted for the first quarter of the match, Omonia finally get the ball out of their own half for what seems like the first time since kick-off.

21 min: Tyrell Malacia lofts a cross from the left into the Omonia penalty area but it’s too high for Ronaldo, who isn’t happy with the delivery.

18 min: Another United attack. They scythe through the home defence and Ronaldo plays the ball wide to Fernandes, who lifts it over the goalkeeper and watches in horror as it drops on to the cross-bar.

16 min: Antony finds himself in a one-on-one with Fabiano, who commits himself. Instead of shooting, Antony opts to sidefoot a pass to Fernandes. It’s wayward and goes behind the Portuguese midfielder, who can barely contain his frustration.

15 min: Ronaldo combines with Jadon Sancho in the Omonia penalty area and toe-pokes a shot straight at Fabiano, who blocks with his legs.

13 min: I didn’t give Omonia goalkeeper Fabiano the credit he deserved in the eighth minute. Having seen a replay, Ronaldo didn’t exactly fizz the ball straight at him, it was in fact a splendid save. Apologies, Fabiano.

12 min: United pass the ball around the edge of the Omonia penalty area with two lines of four defenders in front of them.

10 min: Omonia goalkeeper Fabiano rushes out of his area to larrup the ball into the stand before Ronaldo can beat him to it. United are completely in the ascendency, as you might expect.

8 min: Antony plays the ball wide to Cristiano Ronaldo, who is looking for his 700th career club goal. It doesn’t come here, as he shoots straight at Omonia goalkeeper Fabiano from a decent position on the inside left. Saved.

7 min: Tyrell Malacia tees up Bruno Fernades on the edge of the Omonia penalty area but his rasping shot is blocked. United are dominating possession and their hosts are dropping deep, getting plenty of men behind the ball.

5 min: Not much of note to report so far as Wales international Adam Matthews hoofs a bouncing ball clear for Omonia from the edge of his own penalty area.

3 min: United win an early corner conceded byNemanja Miletic under pressure from Bruno Fernandes. Christian Eriksen swings the ball into the penalty area and Omonia clear.

Omonia Nicosia v Manchester United is go …

1 min: Following a minute’s silence for the victims of the Kanjuruhan Stadium disaster in Malang, East Java last weekend that wasn’t particularly well observed, the home side get the ball rolling.

Not long now: The teams are out and standing either side of Joao Pinheiro and his team of match officials. Omonia are wearing green and white stripes, white shorts and white socks, colours their manager Neil Lennon is all too familiar with. The visitors from Manchester United wear red shirts, black shorts and black socks. Kick-off is just a minute away.

The Manchester United (left) and Omonia's players line up ahead of their Europa League group game in Nicosia.
The Manchester United (left) and Omonia’s players line up ahead of their Europa League group game in Nicosia. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

That Manchester United team: There are three changes to the side that lined up to such devastating effect against Manchester City on Sunday. As expected, Victor Lindelof makes a rare start in place of the injured Raphael Varane, while Cristiano Ronaldo and Casemiro are picked ahead of Marcus Rashford and Scott McTominay, who are on the bench.

Cristiano Ronaldo starts up front for Manchester United tonight
Cristiano Ronaldo starts up front for Manchester United tonight. Photograph: Yiannis Kourtoglou/Reuters
Omonia fans pack the ground well ahead of kick-off
Omonia fans pack the ground well ahead of kick-off. Photograph: Khaled Desouki/AFP/Getty Images

Omonia Nicosia v Manchester United line-ups

Omonia Nicosia: Fabiano, Matthews, Miletic, Yuste, Lang, Lecjaks, Diskerud, Charalambous, Barker, Bruno, Ansarifard.

Subs: Kontomis, Loizou, Papoulis, Kitsos, Zachariou, Uzoho, Panagiotou, Kakoullis, Bezus.

Manchester United Utd: De Gea, Dalot, Lindelof, Martinez, Malacia, Casemiro, Eriksen, Antony, Bruno Fernandes, Sancho, Ronaldo.

Subs: Martial, Rashford, Fred, Heaton, Shaw, Pellistri, Dubravka, Elanga, McTominay, Garnacho, Iqbal.

Tonight’s match officials

  • Referee: João Pinheiro

  • Assistant referees: Bruno Jesus and Luciano Maia

  • Fourth official: António Nobre

  • Video Assistant Referee: Luis Godinho

João Pinheiro leads a Portuguese team of match officials in Nicosia
João Pinheiro leads a Portuguese team of match officials in Nicosia tonight. Photograph: Octávio Passos/Getty Images

Early team news

Having stated that he didn’t want to introduce Cristiano Ronaldo to Manchester United’s 6-3 shellacking at the hands of Manchester City off the bench last weekend “out of respect for his career”, it will be intriguing to see if Erik Ten Hag considers tonight’s match to be beneath the Portuguese striker. It seems unlikely, as Ronaldo has started both of United’s previous group games against Sociedad and Sheriff.

With Harry Maguire and Raphael Varane both sidelined, there’s a vacany in the heart of United’s defence alongside Lisandro Martinez that is likely to be filled by Victor Lindelof. Donny van de Beek and Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who might have expected some game time here if fit, also remain absent with injury. Recruited from Newcastle on loan during the summer, Martin Dubravka has recovered from a muscle injury sustained on international duty with Slovakia and could conceivably make his Manchester United deb ut tonight.

Omonia midfielder Moreto Cassama, who has Ligue1 experience with Reims, remains a major doubt but former Reading and Rangers winger Brandon Barker could feature for the hosts. Former Celtic striker Gary Hooper, 34, joined Omonia on a free transfer last month after six months without a club since leaving Wellington Phoenix but has yet to make his debut as he is not fit enough. Former Cardiff, Celtic, Sunderland, Charlton and Wales international full-back Adam Matthews is also at the Cypriot club.

Omonia’s players applaud their fans after losing against Real Sociedad in their most recent Europa League game
Omonia’s players applaud their fans after losing against Real Sociedad in their most recent Europa League game. Photograph: Vincent West/Reuters

Group E: Omonia Nicosia v Manchester United

With one win and one defeat from two Europa League games to their name this season, Manchester United find themselves in Cyprus ahead of tonight’s match against Omonia Nicosia, who sit bottom of the group without a point to their name after defeats at the hands of FC Sheriff and Real Sociedad.

The 23,000-capacity GSP Stadium in Strovolos, Nicosia is the venue for tonight’s set-to, where the home side, managed by the occasionally combustible touchline presence that is Neil Lennon, are massive underdogs despite their home advantage. Kick-off in Cyprus is at 5.45pm (BST) but stay tuned in the meantime for team news and build-up.

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