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Manchester United 2-1 Wolfsburg: Mata’s wizardry wins it

Manchester United FC v VfL Wolfsburg - UEFA Champions League

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 30: Juan Mata of Manchester United (8) celebrates as he scores their first and equalising goal from the penalty spot during the UEFA Champions League Group B match between Manchester United FC and VfL Wolfsburg at Old Trafford on September 30, 2015 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

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Manchester United fought back to beat Wolfsburg 2-1 in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday.

Daniel Caliguiri put the Bundesliga side 1-0 up early on in the Group B encounter, but a Juan Mata penalty kick in the first half made it 1-1 then the Spaniard set up Chris Smalling for the winner early in the second half.

With the win United sit second in Group B but it is perfectly poised as all four teams now have three points after the opening two games of the group stage.

After just four minutes Wolfsburg took the lead as Caliguiri started the move as he ran free of Morgan Schneiderlin and then carried his run into the box unmarked. United’s defense failed to pick up the Italian midfielder and Max Kruse found Caliguiri in acres of space in the box which allowed him to calmly slot past David de Gea. 1-0 to the Germans.

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United responded well with Juan Mata free at the back post but his curling shot which was heading towards the top corner was blocked by Dante. In the 15th minute Martial wriggled pass three Wolfsburg defenders but drove his shot over as United looked to get level. Daley Blind then made a timely intervention to keep United in the game and moments later the Red Devils should have been level.

Martial ran at Wolfsburg down the right and pulled the ball back to Rooney but from eight-yards out the skipper skied his effort over the bar as he looked towards the heavens in disgust. Mata then played in a delightful chipped ball to Memphis but the Dutchman sent his diving header straight at Benaglio as United continued to create plenty of chances. In the 33rd minute United were awarded a penalty kick as Mata cut in from the right and his cross struck Caliguiri’s hand and the referee pointed to the spot. Mata stepped up and sent the goalkeeper the wrong way as the score was 1-1 at the break in an open and entertaining encounter.

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After the break United started well and were rewarded in the 53rd minute when a moment of magic from Mata carved open Wolfsburg’s defense. A cheeky flick from the Spaniards back heel set up Smalling and the center back poked United into the lead. 2-1. Wolfsburg responded well to going behind as Caliguiri drilled a low shot in on goal which De Gea saved well.

Late on Wolfsburg pushed hard for an equalizer and Andre Schurrle turned Blind inside out before dragging his shot just wide of the far post Ricardo Rodriguez flashed a free kick wide of the post in the dying stages but United hung on for their first UCL group stage win since 2013.

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