Andreas Pereira admitted Manchester United players initially struggled to cope with the plastic pitch during their 3-0 win over Young Boys in Switzerland.
The Swiss champions begun the game better playing on their artificial turf as Jose Mourinho’s side played largely on the back foot as they felt their way into the occasion.
But Paul Pogba’s sumptuous strike just after half an hour put Man United firmly in control of the game, with the Frenchman adding a second from the spot before setting up Anthony Martial in the second half.
Speaking after the 3-0 win, Pereira, who replaced Pogba as a second half substitute, noted the plastic pitch was a challenge for the players.
“It was difficult,” he said. “I think we had to adapt a bit, but that is normal. We always have to adapt to different pitches. We knew we had to play here, on this pitch, so I think we did quite well, considering it was the first time that we played on this artificial pitch.”
One of Mourinho’s first points in the post-match interview was voicing his distrust of the plastic surfaces, which uses a base of silicon sand and is easier to maintain (although bad for the environment).
“Now I can say, I don’t understand how you can play the best club competition on artificial pitch,” he said. “You know, probably some fear injuries. I had some players after training yesterday – light training – and they were feeling ankles, back pains, sore.”
“It’s not easy, especially not for people who are adapted to it. Also a little bit of a fear in the duels, people are used to great surfaces in England, always watered if not rain – the clubs they provide the water and the football is much more beautiful that way.”