LONDON: Manchester football is recovering from a bad opening night in the Champions League. For City and United that recovery can be achieved far more quickly than the fitness of luckless United fullback Luke Shaw who suffered a double leg fracture.

The most disappointing result on the pitch was delivered by Manchester City who suffered stage fright yet again on their return to the Champions League.

Juventus, despite their poor start in Serie A, possessed far too much European competition experience even if they needed some alert goalkeeping from Gigi Buffon before asserting themselves.

City had only themselves to blame for defensive mistakes and some wasteful finishing. They might also consider that timidity in the transfer market cost them. Paul Pogba, whom City considered as a replacement for Yaya Toure, by far outshone the Ivorien in the key areas in midfield.

The other concern raised concerned the failures of £49m Raheem Sterling in front of goal. The one glaring weakness in the former Liverpool forward’s game is his inability to kill opportunities in front of goal.

No doubt he will improve in time but one early miss in particular was costly since City dared not use their unfit, talismanic top scorer, Sergio Aguero after his weekend knee injury.

City manager Manuel Pellegrini complained after the game City had played better than Juve and had “controlled a strange game.” He also defended Sterling, saying: “I don’t think this result is only about Raheem. We did not have many problems. Football is that way. Some days you score and some days you don’t do it.”

City struggled to qualify from the group stage last season and have never been beyond the last 16 but Pellegrini refused to panic. He said: “We are just starting. We still have 15 points to play for. This does not mean we are not going to qualify.”

A further injury setback saw captain Vincent Kompany go off with a calf injury. That proved a double blow. Not only did City lose their best player but substitute Nicolas Otamendi, making his debut, was not ‘match sharp’ and thus allowed Alvaro Morata to escape and score the winning goal.

At least City have an immediate opportunity to regain their balance, home to West Ham in the Premier League on Saturday.

Eindhoven upsets

United go to Southampton on Sunday without one of the most outstanding products of the Saints’ own academy. Shaw is likely to miss the rest of the season after being caught by PSV’s Mexican defender Hector Moreno after 15 minutes in Eindhoven.

Moreno appeared to connect with the ball but his trailing leg cut down the raiding United fullback who needed nine minutes’ treatment before being taken to hospital where he undertaken surgery late on Tuesday night. United took the lead shortly afterwards through PSV old boy Memphis Depay but sloppy defending cost them defeat.

Manager Louis Van Gaal was unhappy with both the manner of Shaw’s injury and the manner in which his players threw the game away.

He said: “It is awful. A boy who comes at 18 to Manchester has a very difficult first season and then plays fantastically this season and then this happens. He was crying in the dressing room. I cannot say how long he will be out but I hope he can play again this season.”

This appears optimistic. Even if Shaw plays again this season he is unlikely to be matchfit to play for England at Euro 2016.

Covering his absence may be easier – with Daley Blind or Marco Rojo – than resolving the attacking failings which let United down badly in Holland.

Van Gaal said: “We can blame only ourselves because we created so many chances. We could have scored much more. PSV were effective because they scored out of nothing after a corner kick and a deflected ball and a passing error. We lost – and it was not necessary.”

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