, when Manchester United is eliminated for the first time since 2015-16 under Louis van Gaal in the group stage of the Champions League campaign.
The Manchester United players fell on the turf in Germany on Tuesday out of gratitude for what they did in the last first half of the pedestrian show.
A 3-2 defeat for RB Leipzig means that United will not be among the 16 teams participating in the knockout round of the Champions League.
And that’s not the only price for failure.
The damage will be felt in accounting, in relations with current and possible future players and in the confidence of the fans in manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
When Paul Pogba’s agent tries to make a gesture in front of his client and former United defender Phil Neville speaks of a witch-hunt against his former teammate Solskier, Sports looks at the consequences and reaction to United’s major defeat.
UEFA Champions League: Decade of Chess
Solskjaer accepted the defeat on Tuesday, which means that he became the first manager of a British club that lost six of the first ten matches of the Champions League.
We didn’t play well enough as a team. He said we never left. This is the manager’s responsibility.
However, the Norwegian record is a continuation of United’s bad form in Europe since Sir Alex Ferguson left the club.
The Red Devils came second in 2010/11 under a Scotsman who won the tournament twice during his reign at Old Trafford. They didn’t make it to the quarter finals, the last time they reached this level was in 2018-19.
The percentage of their Champions League victories in the seven seasons since Ferguson’s elimination is 45.71 percent. Seven years ago it was 61.33%.
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Their inability to get out of the group stage on this occasion may be easier to defend than in 2014-15, when they finished third after Wolfsburg and PSV Eindhoven, and in 2011-12, when Benfica and Basel beat them in qualifying.
But it remains a disappointment for the party, who hoped to be in Paris above one of the RBs from Leipzig or Saint-Germain, especially after the victory in the first two games of Group H.
But although the European League is not a great consolation at the moment, it does offer United a new chance to win the European competition they won four seasons ago.
United loses kilos and maybe Pogba?
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Surprisingly, United have only won two UEFA Champions League knockout matches since qualifying for the 2011 final: in 2014, when David Mois’ side defeated Olympiacos 2-0 in the first leg, and in 2019, on that incredible night against PSG, when Markus Rashford’s failed penalty shoot-out made up for the loss of two goals in their opening game at Old Trafford.
But in addition to the football team – and the more inevitable questions about Solskar and his ridiculously controversial team – there are also financial implications to consider.
If United had reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League, it would have earned an extra €21 million (£19.04 million) in prize money alone. If they reach the same level as the Europa League, they will receive €3.1 million (£2.81 million). These amounts will in fact be higher due to the distribution of the central market pool, but this only widens the gap.
Because of the size of the stadium, United is the company that suffers most from the continuing lack of fans – currently over £100 million since the start of the pandemic – and the lack of this lucrative source of income is painful.
This will sharpen the mood for next month’s transfer, as Mino Rajola is agitated over Cogba’s reduced selling price, Sergio Romero and Marcos Rojo are struggling with huge salaries without making it to the first team, while Solskjaer is looking for reinforcements to strengthen his team.
Witch-hunt to disable Ole.
Six victories in ten league games have left United-6 at the Premier League table, five points behind leaders Tottenham Hotspur with one game to spare. I don’t think that’s a record for losers.
However, they are used to getting behind in games before they play to win as a team, as they did in the last two league games in Southampton and West Ham.
They did the same on Tuesday, when they missed the 2-0 with 13 minutes to go, before Angelino and Amada Hydara scored their third goal, Justin Kluwert.
This time they could not recover, despite all the efforts of Bruno Fernand and Paul Pogba.
That will further warm the votes against Solskiers’ leadership position, although former United Force defender Phil Neville quickly defended his former United Force teammate.
I think there’s a terrible story – once United loses a game, it looks like disaster. It’s not a disaster, it’s a disappointment, he said live on Radio 5.
In the past there have been United teams with better managers than Ole who have come out at this stage, and there are managers in a league under United who do not have the same stick as Ole.
The story inside the club is very different from what happens outside, where there seems to be a real witch-hunt to make this boy unemployed.
We didn’t execute.
The Director and Captain United have found no excuse for this defeat.
We talked about what they would do at the beginning of the game, Solskjaer said. We’ve had to deal with the situation and we haven’t handled it well enough.
We did everything we could to prepare. We know everyone wants to play a game like that. It may take 15 to 20 minutes for the players to leave, but we may not have enough sets.
It didn’t work today. Of course, we were done. Character and effort, which I can’t blame.
Captain Maguire of the United Armed Forces reacted to these feelings.
We started the game too slowly, he told BT Sport. This wasn’t enough – the first 20 minutes weren’t included. They threw two bullets in the box, and we couldn’t handle it.
We have to face ourselves, we’ve given too much of ourselves. You saw how close we were to the end, but we started too slow and we can’t keep up.
We said at halftime on Saturday, 2-0 behind, that the next goal is crucial, and we said it again tonight. They made it 3-0, and the task gets even bigger. The third goal was decisive, but there were also three defeats.
I don’t want to make excuses. You have to be aggressive, win the balls. These are the basic principles. If you can’t defend the flanks, you lose the game. I won’t look at the uniform. That’s no excuse.
It’s a difficult group, but we thought we had to get through it. Those are the rules of this club. I’m disappointed for everyone, we’ve worked so hard to get to this race. Whatever group we get, it’s gonna be tough. We need to do more.