Manchester United only required a single point from their last two outings against Paris Saint-Germain and RB Leipzig to qualify for the knockout stages, but they couldn’t pick up that point from either of those matches and they are now relegated to Europa League.
United horrifically started the Tuesday night game, they were behind at the second-minute mark, and at the end of the first half, they were already trailing 2-0. Midway to the second half Justin Kluivert made the night even more miserable for United.
Manchester United scored two goals at the end from Bruno Fernandes and Ibrahima Konaté‘s own goal, but it was too little, too late to come back from three goals deficit.
Solskjaer’ embarrassing record:
This loss for Manchester United under Ole Gunner Solskjaer means In his 10 Champions League games as manager, Solskjaer has now lost six – something no other manager of an English club has ever done in the competition.
Solskjaer and United had made a habit of coming from behind to win on the road, having done it in their last three away games. But it isn’t easy to overcome the three goals margin especially when the stake is so high.
After the match, Solskjær took the blame of this defeat on himself, he stated in the post-match press conference
“We didn’t perform as a team well enough, and that’s always the manager’s responsibility to get everyone ready. We knew they were going to come at us, we knew they were going to put crosses into the box. Unfortunately, we conceded two goals and we never got going.”
“Well, today we never got going, that’s right. And as I said before, in the other games that we conceded the first goal we’ve started pretty well and played pretty well. But this one and the Istanbul… No actually, the Istanbul one, the first 10 minutes we played pretty well. But today, we didn’t start until 2-0.
And that’s something we need to address even more. Of course, we’ve addressed it, of course, we’ve spoken about it. Of course, we’ve talked about especially Leipzig. What they would do early on in the game, we need to manage that one. And we didn’t manage it well enough, definitely.”– Solskjaer
What went wrong for Manchester United and Solskjaer?
In this season Solskjaer has changed his side a lot in terms of formation and it is definitely unsettling for Manchester United. He went this game with the 3-4-1-2 formation, they only played this formation for 60 minutes this season. That’s why at first they looked all over the place during the first quarter. The players were unable to figure out what should they do off the ball.
Leipzig started this match without a forward and 6 midfielders, Emil Forsberg and Dani Olmo played in forward position alternatively and they brought the centre backs of United in the midfield that’s why Aaron Wan-Bissaka went inside to cover those spaces and two full-backs of Leipzig had acres of spaces out wide.
Manchester United could not figure it out and they conceded two goals in a blink of an eye. And they put themselves in a mountain to climb situation.
Solskjær selected Luke Shaw for the game of this magnitude who hasn’t had a game in a month and put Paul Pogba on the beach who looked lively in the second half. He started Pogba early in the season when he looked unfit.
It looked bizarre what Solskjær was doing where against PSG he didn’t make the substitution of Fred, it cost the game at the end, and in this game, he was tactically outdone by Julian Nagelsmann in the most important game of the season.
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