It was suggested that United’s manager Erik Ten Hag was the transformational figure who had swept the cobwebs away from a decaying Old Trafford after we became witnesses of Manchester United’s comeback to the Champions League.
The goal was to demonstrate that, despite winning the League Cup and Europa League, Jose Mourinho, Louis van Gaal, and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, United had learned their lessons and were once again where they belonged. Playing Champions League football is not easy, and from the beginning, all of United’s weaknesses—and they have plenty of them—have been ruthlessly shown.
Ten Hag’s ten managed only one shot on goal during the game, and it all ended in the bleakest of ways—a United team that should have started strong losing 1-0 to a Bayern team that had nothing to lose.
Everything was very different from the previous Old Trafford evenings when fans would stay glued to their seats until the very last whistle blew.
This was far from the end for many United supporters, and who could blame them for giving up?
“United’s Champions League comeback has been a complete mess”
The numbers speak for themselves and highlight United’s lack of organisation, strategic thinking, talent, and fundamental character that have defined their Champions League comeback and the majority of their season. While United has let up the most goals of any Premier League team in the group stage of the competition, their four points from six games are the fewest of any Champions League season.
The fact remains that Manchester United is currently not a team suitable for success, which is made worse by their strange tendency to shoot themselves in the foot when things are least expected.
With two dismal performances at home against Galatasaray and a dreadful showing in the 3-3 draw with the Turkish team in Istanbul, goalkeeper Andre Onana has suffered a miserable season so far. He was at fault in the 4-3 loss away to Bayern, and he gave up two goals from easy free kicks to Hakim Ziyech. Because of the outcome, United might not have been able to win even this match against Bayern.
United, as it happened, never once raised the prospect of breaking their end of the contract. Goalkeeper David de Gea departed United after 12 years in July of last year, but Onana hasn’t done anything to indicate that he was the perfect replacement for the Spaniard.
Bayern didn’t even have to put in any effort
United managed a total of five shots on a night when they had to at least demonstrate their willingness to rescue themselves. Five shots on a crucial night…
There can’t be any excuses for their poor performance, even though Harry Maguire’s injury in the first half and Luke Shaw’s hamstring issue that prevented him from playing in the second half hindered them. When measured against the high standards Manchester United strives for, this is an abjectly inadequate side.
This was by no means a traditional Bayern team. Good but not exceptional; not a side you would place a significant bet on to win the Champions League.
But Bayern managed to handle United without difficulty in a match that was insignificant for Thomas Tuchel’s club. It seemed as though, had there been any sort of pressure on the Bundesliga champions, they might have easily shifted gears and defeated United with no hassle.
Throughout this unfortunate season, United has demonstrated a few things, and sadly, none of them are something to be proud of.
For the time being, United has demonstrated that they have no place in this exclusive group. They are not negatively impacted by their ultimate standing in Group A. Real Madrid, Manchester City, and Bayern Munich were shown to be above their league by them.
Ten Hag, who is struggling to control this enormous football beast, is at the centre of it all. He appears to be a sinking manager, trying to figure out why the glimmer of hope from the previous season has vanished so swiftly and is now dejected and hopeless.
On Sunday at Anfield, Ten Hag will have to work hard to improve in yet another brutal setting as Premier League champions Liverpool defeated United 7-0 in the previous campaign. The fact that United was not even good enough to obtain the safety net of consolation thrown up by the Europa League shows them exactly where they truly are, contrary to United’s hopes that returning to the Champions League stage would mean they were making progress back towards the top table.