MATCH REPORT: Man Utd kids sunk by quickfire Astana double
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s youthful Manchester United side suffered their first Europa League defeat of the season in Kazakhstan, despite leading through a first-half strike from Jesse Lingard.
Having already qualified for the knockout phase of the competition, teenagers Ethan Laird, Di’Shon Bernard and Dylan Levitt were included in the starting line-up for their United debut.
The trio took their place alongside 36-year-old goalkeeper Lee Grant, who was handed his first Red Devils start in Kazakhstan.
Luke Shaw, Axel Tuanzebe and Lingard got much-needed minutes, while cancer survivor Max Taylor was named on the bench.
United went ahead in the 10th minute through their stand-in skipper, with Lingard finding the bottom corner from the edge of the area.
Lingard fired wide and had a shot deflected over as he led from the front for United, who had a 1-0 lead at half-time.
United should have doubled their lead in the 55th minute but Tahith Chong fired over with the goal at his mercy.
And they were punished a minute later as Dmitri Shomko equalised for Astana, firing low past Grant.
Astana’s turnaround was then complete in the 61st minute.
Antonio Rukavina’s cross was deflected into his own net by United defender Bernard.
Home keeper Nenad Eric produced fine saves from Angel Gomes and Mason Greenwood as United looked for a leveller.
And Astana held on to secure the victory.