Luke Shaw slams artificial pitches in Champions League following Man United loss

Luke Shaw has slammed the presence of artificial pitches in the Champions League after Manchester United were defeated by Swiss champions Young Boys on Tuesday evening at the Wankdorf Stadium.

United kicked off their European campaign with a surprise defeat to ex-Huddersfield boss David Wagner’s side, despite taking an early lead through Cristiano Ronaldo.

Young Boys came storming back following Aaron Wan-Bissaka was sent off for United, and won 2-1 after two second-half goals.

One point of contention, though, was the pitch. The Swiss side use an artificial pitch for Champions League competition, which must fall in line with the FIFA Quality Pro Standard.

But the pitches have been criticised in the past for causing injuries and being more dangerous to play on than natural grass.

Shaw – who played the full 90 minutes in the game – also criticised the artificial surface post-match and believes they should be “banned” from Champions League competition.

He explained: “We got the early goal, comfortable in the game, we didn’t feel they were too threatening.

“Then, ten men, they had more of the ball, more chances. Towards the end we gave everything, we tried to give them as less chances as possible.

“But they got the goal, and the last goal, these things happen in football. We need to move on. We’re disappointed, but there’s still a lot more games to go.

“No excuses, we lost the game tonight, you can’t blame the pitch.

“But for Champions League, these pitches, they shouldn’t be possible. It’s dangerous. It’s hard to turn on.

“But like I said, it’s no excuse.”

Solskjaer on United defeat

Following the defeat, United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer told the club’s website: “You saw the signs towards the end of the first half that they were going to switch it and get crosses in with the wing-backs. I thought we coped well.

“We were a bit lazy going out and blocking the cross for the first goal, a bit unlucky because it then gets deflected off Luke, and then the last goal, that’s just unfortunate.”

United are next in action on Sunday. They travel to London to take on West Ham in the Premier League.

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