Manchester United make history with disastrous UEFA Champions League campaign

Manchester United make history with disastrous UEFA Champions League campaign
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Manchester United crashed out of Europe completely with a whimper as a 1-0 defeat to Bayern Munich rounded off a miserable UEFA Champions League campaign. The loss has once again put manager Erik ten Hag’s future in doubt.

Man United have lost 12 of their opening 24 games of the season — a run that has also ended their defence of the League Cup and sees them in sixth place in the Premier League.

The real damage to United’s Champions League campaign was not done against the German champions, who were able to coast to victory despite having already qualified before their trip to England.

Read | Manchester United’s downfall under Erik ten Hag

When the draw was made, many saw United cruising through along Bayern in a group that also contained FC Copenhagen and Galatasaray.

“It’s a huge club and not what you expect when you see the group,” said Bayern boss Thomas Tuchel. “You immediately expect Man United is challenging to win the group.”

But the three-time European champions won just one of four meetings against Copenhagen and Galatasaray, conceding 11 goals in the process.

In both away games they let two-goal leads slip away.

“To score three goals in each of their away games and not come away with much points, it’s criminal,” former United defender Rio Ferdinand told TNT Sports.

“You get what you deserve. If you’re not clinical or you can’t close matches out.”

However, there was no such threat on Tuesday as United mustered just one shot on target — a long-range effort early on from Luke Shaw that was easily saved by Manuel Neuer.

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“I think it was a frightened performance more than anything,” said ex-United midfielder Paul Scholes.

“There was such a lack of goal threat.”

With the exit, Manchester United created unwanted records. It is just the fourth time an English club has finished bottom of a Champions League group. For the club, it is a first bottom place finish in the group stages since 2005/06.

Additionally, it is Manchester United’s worst European group stage performance with lowest points total (4), most losses (4) and most goals conceded (15).

Only Manchester City in 2012 — in a tough section involving Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund and Ajax — have ever taken fewer points than the four United managed.

Domestically, worse could yet be to come before the end of the year for Ten Hag as his beleaguered side visit Liverpool and West Ham before hosting Premier League surprise package Aston Villa in the next fortnight.