Scout report of Man United, Real Madrid target Oberlin

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Every week we pick out one under-23 player from around Europe and analyse their performance to provide you with an in-depth scouting report.

This week, it’s time to shine the spotlight on Switzerland and Basel youngster Dimitri Oberlin, whose side hosted Manchester United in the Champions League.

Here’s an analysis of his performance as Basel shocked United in a 1-0 win.

BASIC STATS

Goals – 0

Assists – 0

Shots – 3

Shots on target – 1

Pass Accuracy – 86%

Key Passes – 1

Dribbles – 0

EFFECTIVENESS

It was a difficult afternoon for Oberlin, especially in the first half as United dominated possession and Basel were largely reduced to sending long balls towards the young striker – a tactic that was never going to work against United’s defence.

He grew into the game in the second half, along with his team, but fluffed his lines with his most presentable chance, failing to get a good connection when played through in the box and allowing the recovering defender to block his shot.

KEY MOMENTS

26th min, CHANCE: Oberlin’s work off the ball created a chance for his team, as he dispossessed Marcos Rojo high up the pitch to start a counter for Basel. Unfortunately for the young striker, the United defender recovered to cut out the cross when Oberlin was waiting to tap it in.

41st min, SHOT: This was a chance for Oberlin to steal the headlines. It didn’t quite work out that way, however, as the youngster’s free-kick flew over the crossbar.

72nd min, SHOT: Oberlin’s clearest chance of the night. A Basel counter led to the Swiss man being slipped into space in the box, but he scuffed his shot and Rojo’s brilliant recovering tackle blocked the attempt anyway.

VERDICT: 6/10

Oberlin wasn’t given an easy brief on Wednesday, left largely isolated leading the Basel line. But even with that in mind, he failed to make much of an impression. His link-up play left a lot to be desired and he failed to hold up the ball well when Basel tried to relieve the United pressure in the first half.

The 20-year-old had a decent chance in the second half, but scuffed his shot when a better connection could have given his side the lead. Luckily for him, when an even better chance was presented to one of his teammates, Michael Lang was on hand to give Basel the shock win.

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No excuses for Romelu Lukaku and other Man United talking points from Basel defeat

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Manchester United dominated the first half away to FC Basel but the hosts rallied in the second and deservedly edged a 1-0 win to keep them in the hunt for a spot in the Champions League round of 16.

The visitors were guilty of not taking their chances in the opening period while Marouane Fellaini and Marcos Rojo both rattled the woodwork and were punished by Michael Lang’s 89th minute winner.

The defeat still leaves United in prime position to win Group A or at the very least qualify unless they suffer a heavy six-goal defeat to CSKA Moscow while and Basel beat Benfica in the final round.

Here are three things learned from the encounter in Switzerland.

POGBA RETURN LEAVES LUKAKU WITH NO EXCUSE

It’s no coincidence that Paul Pogba’s first game back from injury saw Romelu Lukaku end his seven-match drought for United. The Frenchman creates chances for the striker whether directly or just by making the rest of the team tick.

Against Basel as well, there was the chance in the first half, when Pogba played Lukaku clean through only for the Belgian to force a save from the keeper when he really should’ve scored.

Early in the second half as well, Pogba crossed for the striker who couldn’t direct his header on target. Lukaku is the kind of player who needs service to thrive and you could say that has been absent while Pogba was sidelined but not anymore

If United’s summer signing wants to establish himself among the elite centre forwards in Europe, he needs to be more clinical and assume the role as the team’s match-winner.

Paul Pogba

Paul Pogba

THE END OF THE ROAD FOR SHAW?

Pogba returns to fitness and goes straight back into the team, Zlatan Ibrahimovic returns and makes two appearances off the bench, Marcos Rojo gets a start against Basel but Luke Shaw still can’t get a game from Jose Mourinho.

It appears that the Portuguese has completely lost faith in the young left-back, choosing to start Daley Blind instead. The Dutchman lack of mobility regularly exposes him when he plays as a full-back and looked out of his depth again on Wednesday night.

Blind was beaten for pace on a few occasions and couldn’t offer much going forward either, visibly struggling to keep up with Anthony Martial. Somehow, Shaw was still left on the bench even with United searching for a winner.

For the goal as well, Blind looked over and saw Lang over his should twice before the cross came in but didn’t act quickly, was sluggish and failed to intervene.

Luke Shaw

Luke Shaw

ROJO BOOSTS MOURINHO’S OPTIONS

One of the positives of the game in Basel for United will be the return of Rojo.

The centre-back put in a solid performance in his first game back. He was excellent on the ball and even managed a shot from over 35 yards out that took a slight deflection and rattled the cross bar.

The Argentine made two interceptions on the night to go with his three clearances and two tackles while his one block was a crucial one to deny Dimitri Oberlin.

He also had the most passes in the game (92), six more than Ander Herrera. With Phil Jones and Eric Bailly recovering from injuries and the left-back role perpetually up for grabs, Rojo’s return could prove to be a timely one for Mourinho heading into the busy fixture period.

Marcos Rojo (R)

Marcos Rojo (R)

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Morata-Hazard link adds extra quality and other talking points ahead of Chelsea's visit to Qarabag

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Morata and Hazard are starting to show their understanding.

Premier League holders Chelsea play Qarabag in Baku, Azerbaijan on Wednesday night seeking to progress from Champions League Group C.

Here, Press Association Sport looks at some of the talking points ahead of the contest.

Taking care of business

Win and Chelsea will be in the knockout stages. Even a draw will be enough if Atletico Madrid drop points against Roma, who enter the fifth round of matches one point better off than Chelsea.

Chelsea beat Qarabag 6-0 in September, but the Azerbaijan side have since pushed Roma close and twice drew with Atletico. Chelsea, meanwhile, claimed one point from two games with Roma.

Securing a place in the last 16 with one game to spare, even if first can still be contested, will ease Blues’ minds.

Chelsea can book their spot in the next round despite the loss against Roma.

Chelsea can book their spot in the next round despite the loss against Roma.

Consistency required

Since losing 3-0 at Roma, Chelsea have beaten Manchester United 1-0 and West Brom 4-0.

The Blues have four straight Premier League wins since the defeat to previously pointless Crystal Palace.

Antonio Conte’s side have veered from the sublime (at Atletico Madrid) to the spineless (at Palace) this season and must show greater consistency, no matter the occasion or opposition.

With losses to the likes of Palce, Chelsea need a consistent run.

With losses to the likes of Palace, Chelsea need a consistent run.

Luiz to get a chance?

David Luiz was an integral figure in Chelsea’s title triumph in Conte’s first season, but his star has fallen this term.

Necessity saw the Brazil defender moved forwards into midfield in October’s 3-3 draw with Roma, but Conte admitted the experiment saw Chelsea’s approach change, for the worse. And after the 3-0 loss in Rome, with Luiz in a crumbling defence, the Brazilian has been a spectator.

Not even on the bench against United, he was an unused substitute at West Brom, but he may get his chance in Baku, not least to give the impressive Andreas Christensen a breather.

Luiz has not featured since the 3-0 loss to Roma.

Luiz has not featured since the 3-0 loss to Roma.

Baker’s dozen of games

Qarabag is the first of 12 games before the end of the calendar year and 13 (a Baker’s dozen) if you include the January 3 clash at Arsenal.

The congested schedule makes rotation necessary and Saturday’s trip to Liverpool may be on Conte’s mind when it comes to team selection in Baku. He must get the balance right, though, as Chelsea must maintain momentum.

Conte often references that he used just 13 or 14 players when Chelsea had just a domestic focus last season. Now his more peripheral men must show they too can perform.

Conte will have to make full use of his bench strength in the coming days.

Conte will have to make full use of his bench strength in the coming days.

Morata and Eden are Hazard-ous

At Atletico and again at West Brom, striker Alvaro Morata and forward Eden Hazard showed their understanding.

The pair can become a devastating partnership to rival any in the European game – but they must keep producing.

With Cesc Fabregas’ artistry and N’Golo Kante’s industry, Chelsea have players the envy of many of their rivals. It is about their team-mates rising to the occasion, like they did last season.

Morata and Hazard have the potential to develop an exciting partnership.

Morata and Hazard have the potential to develop an exciting partnership.

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