Manchester United were knocked out of the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday evening after losing 3-2 to RB Leipzig at the RB Arena. Angeliño opened the scoring in the second minute with Amadou Haidara doubling the lead in the 13th minute of the match. A third goal was scored in the first half, but VAR ruled it out for offside. United did conceded the third goal of the match in the 69th minute through Justin Kluivert but a penalty scored by Bruno Fernandes then a header from Harry Maguire got United back into the match seeking a third goal to stay in the Champions League. But the Europa League it is this season now.
It was another poor start for United this season as the hosts opened up the scoring in the second minute of the match with Manchester City loanee Angeliño firing Leipzig 1-0 on the first attack of the match. It was a dire position for United to put themselves into this early in the match. Their chances of continuing in the competition became slimmer. United were not able to recover from the hosts quick passing which threatened United all over the pitch. In the 13th minute of the match, Amadou Haidara doubled the German side’s lead, putting United on the brink in the competition this season.
Leipzig scored a third goal in the first half but VAR ruled that it was offside. That was lucky for United, who were well out of the match by that point. The first half ended with United 2-0 down and needing a big second half to remain in the competition. United had fallen from top spot to third-placed in the group at this stage of the match. At the start of the second half, Solskjaer made his first substitution with Donny van de Beek replacing Alex Telles, who was not at his best during the first half of the match, or in the past two matches – losing possession 15 times. United started to attack their hosts and break forward, and not gaining much.
Solskjaer made a double substitution in the 61st minute of the match with Brandon Williams and Paul Pogba replacing Luke Shaw and Nemanja Matic. United needed to get themselves back into the match, posing a threat against their hosts, which had not been the case for the majority of the match. A draw here will see United into Monday’s draw for the round of 16 stage of the competition, otherwise they will be in the draw for the round of 32 in the Europa League. Fernandes almost scored, hitting the post, which was a shame.
Justin Kluivert scored Leipzig’s third goal of the match minutes after coming on, seemingly ending United’s hopes of reaching the round of 16 stage this season. United’s defence was worse than inept on the attack and both Maguire and David De Gea did not seem capable of stopping that goal from hitting the back of the net. This was a massive shambles for United and will cost them massively. Mason Greenwood won a penalty for United with just over ten minutes left. Fernandes took the penalty and scored a consolation for United, who needed two more goals to level the scoreline, to save face in the Champions League this season.
United scored against two minutes later with Fernandes sending the ball into the box and both Pogba and Maguire rising to collect the ball just in front of the goal. The ball was sent towards goal with the Leipzig keeper handling the ball into the back of the net. Pogba was originally given the goal, which was seemingly scored by Maguire, and later given to him. United just needed one more goal to level the score and remain in the competition this season. Despite a number of chances, United were not able to score a third goal and exit the Champions League, falling into the Europa League once again, which is not all that thrilling in all honesty.
Goals: Angeliño 2′, Amadou Haidara 13′, Justin Kluivert 69′; Bruno Fernandes 80′ penalty, Harry Maguire 82′
Assists: Marcel Sabitzer 2′, Angeliño 13′, Christopher Nkunku 69′; Bruno Fernandes 82′
Manchester United: De Gea; Lindelof (Tuanzebe 78′), Maguire, Shaw (Williams 61′); Wan-Bissaka (Fosu-Mensah 77′), Matic (Pogba 61′), McTominay, Telles (Van de Beek 46′); Fernandes; Greenwood, Rashford
Substitutes Not Used: Henderson, Grant; Bailly; Mata, Lingard, James; Ighalo
Bookings: Nordi Mukiele 32′, Marcel Sabitzer 35′, Justin Kluivert 62′, Tyler Adams 81′; Bruno Fernandes 5′, Luke Shaw 43′, Harry Maguire 62′, Brandon Williams 68′, Victor Lindelof 77′
Written by John Walker