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The numbers behind Man United’s Champions League exit

Manchester United’s miserable Champions League campaign concluded this week, with a 1-0 defeat to Bayern Munich confirming the club’s elimination from Europe.

Few envisaged such struggle when the group stage draw was announced, but the Red Devils have produced a series of poor performances to crash out of the Champions League.

Erik ten Hag’s team have finished fourth, behind Bayern, Copenhagen and Galatasaray, to be eliminated from Europe entirely, missing out on the consolation of Europa League football that comes with a third-place finish.

It is an exit that has piled the pressure on Ten Hag, following a dismal start to his second season at Old Trafford.

The numbers behind Manchester United’s Champions League exit:

  • The 2023/24 campaign was the first time Manchester United have started a group stage with consecutive defeats. The Red Devils lost 4-3 at Bayern Munich in their opener, before a 3-2 defeat to Galatasaray at Old Trafford.

 

  • The second of those defeats saw United twice lead against Galatasaray, before falling to defeat. The result was also Galatasaray’s first ever win in England in 11 attempts, while it was the Turkish side’s first away win in the Champions League, excluding qualifiers, for a decade.
  • Manchester United dropped points in three games despite leading, against Galatasaray (twice) and Copenhagen. Against Copenhagen in Denmark, the Red Devils lost a Champions League game after leading by two or more goals for the first time. It was the first time in nine years, in any competition, that the club had lost a game when leading by 2+ goals. The previous occasion came during a 5-3 defeat at Leicester in 2014.

 

  • After squandering a two-goal lead to draw at Galatasaray in their next game, United became only the second team to lead two Champions League matches by two or more goals and fail to win, inside the same season. Only Real Madrid (2016/17) had ever previously done so. The Spaniards, however, progressed from the group and went on to win the competition.

 

  • Andre Onana’s poor form contributed to Manchester United’s exit, with the Cameroonian conceding more goals (15) than any other goalkeeper in the tournament. Onana’s errors also mean he has now made seven mistakes directly leading to opposition goals since his Champions League debut. No goalkeeper has made more in that time.

 

  • Manchester United’s 15 goals conceded is the most an English team has ever conceded during a single Champions League group stage.

 

  • Manchester United finished bottom of the group for just the second time in their history. The previous occasion saw the Red Devils also win just one of six games, in a group containing Villarreal, Benfica and Lille in 2005/06.

 

  • The club’s group stage exit is their third in seven Champions League campaigns since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement, having also exited at the first hurdle in 2015/16 and 2020/21. During Ferguson’s 18 campaigns in the competition, the Red Devils were eliminated in the group stage on just three occasions, in 1994/95, 2005/06 and 2011/12.
  • Manchester United have now lost 12 of their 24 games in all competitions. The Red Devils lost just 12 of their 62 games in all competitions during Erik ten Hag’s first season in charge.

Read – Ten Hag in denial as toothless Man United wave goodbye to Europe

See more – Iconic Duos: Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini, and contemporary Catenaccio

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