A defensive collapse paved the way for Manchester United’s ouster from the UEFA Champions League, as RB Leipzig beat them 3-2 in their final Group H tie.
The game started on the worst possible note for Manchester United, who were down less than two minutes in, with Angelino scoring for RB Leipzig. The hosts were two to the good shortly after, as Amadou Haidara scored from close range. Manchester United did not pose a great deal of threat in the remainder of the first half apart from the odd half chance.
Things went from bad to worse midway through the second half, when Justin Kluivert made it 3-0 in Leipzig’s favour. However, Manchester United set up an exciting final 10 minutes courtesy of quickfire goals from Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba.
Leipzig, though, held on for the narrow 3-2 win, which meant that Manchester United are certain to finish third in Group H and, therefore, crash out of the UEFA Champions League. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men.
David de Gea: 4/10
David de Gea was quite helpless for each of the three goals that Manchester United conceded, having been sold short by the defenders in front of him, although he really did not cover himself in glory when RB Leipzig scored their third. Otherwise, the Spaniard had precious little to do in the game, with Leipzig being content with their lead and focusing on preserving it.
Victor Lindelof: 3/10
Like every Manchester United defender, this was a game to forget for Lindelof, who was never really comfortable in the early exchanges, when the visitors were far too open. Once he found his feet, Leipzig hardly threatened and he was largely untroubled. His long balls lacked imagination and never really had the proper weight on them.
Harry Maguire: 3/10
The Manchester United captain was not really directly culpable for any of the goals that his side let in on the night, although he could have arguably done better for the third. However, what Maguire was guilty of failing to organise the backline, which was inexplicably open on the night. Imposing in the air, but that was the only positive for him in the game.
Luke Shaw: 3/10
Back into the starting lineup after completing his recovery from injury, the rustiness in Shaw’s game was quite palpable. The Englishman was constantly unsure of his positioning and was one of those who were the guilty party when Amadou Haidara scored Leipzig’s second. Extremely sloppy on the ball as well on a horrific evening.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka: 2/10
Installed as the right wing-back, Wan-Bissaka left a lot to be desired. All through the game, the 23-year-old’s touch deserted him and he struggled to make a mark on either end of the pitch and was directly culpable of letting Angelino slip in behind him to easily score the opener for Leipzig. Just is not cutting it this term so far.
Scott McTominay: 5/10
With Fred unavailable, McTominay was in-charge of being the enforcer for Manchester United. The young Scotsman, though, endured an evening of hits and misses. While he was overrun a number of times against Leipzig, he also constantly looked to push Manchester United forward on the night and delivered 3 key passes.
Nemanja Matic: 4/10
An interesting selection from Solskjaer, Matic added nothing to the plate for Manchester United on the night. Easily overrun in the middle of the park, the Serb struggled to put a lid on Marcel Sabitzer’s output early on. Did complete most of his passes accurately, but was not progressive enough with them.
Alex Telles: 3/10
Manchester United’s left wing-back endured a major off night on Tuesday, as he hardly saw much action in the first half before being hooked off at the break. The Brazilian completed an abysmal 43 percent of his passes, but did create one chance that was not converted. Also at fault for letting Haidara have enough space to scored Leipzig’s second.
Bruno Fernandes: 7/10
Bruno Fernandes’ game by numbers vs. RB Leipzig:
73% pass accuracy
6 fouls suffered
4 chances created
Involved in both of Man Utd’s goals on a disappointing evening. ? pic.twitter.com/tHlmTHdpRy
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) December 8, 2020
One of the rare positives on a horrible evening for Manchester United. Bruno Fernandes put a shift in as always and created the most number of chances for his side (4). Did spark hopes of a late comeback with his penalty and came close on a couple of occasions. In the end, though, it was not to be for him.
Mason Greenwood: 6.5/10
Ideally, Greenwood was the best player on the night for Manchester United. The English forward was purposeful in his display and was always looking for ways to make a difference, even dropping deep to collect the ball and carry it forward. Won the penalty that Bruno Fernandes converted, but also missed a big opening.
Marcus Rashford: 4/10
One of those nights when nothing Rashford tried really came off. The English international did not see a lot of the ball. But when he did, he stumbled and fumbled a lot. Did stitch a key pass and aimed a number of shots on goal as well. However, it was a proper off night for Rashford, as was the case for almost all of his teammates.
Donny van de Beek: 6/10
On for Telles at half-time, van de Beek tried his utmost to push Manchester United forward. The Dutchman did succeed in doing so a number of times, which gradually brought Bruno Fernandes and later Paul Pogba into the game. Even created a chance and was generally a fine outlet for Manchester United.
Brandon Williams: 6/10
Thrown on in place of Shaw, Williams provided an injection of energy down the left flank and drove Manchester United forward. Ultimately, though, it was not enough.
Paul Pogba: 7/10
Paul Pogba in just 29 minutes:
17 passes completed (77%)
3/4 duels won
3/4 long passes completed
2 chances created
He almost forced the goal at the end, too. pic.twitter.com/UTVplWC84G
— UtdArena (@utdarena) December 8, 2020
The man who has been in the news for the wrong reasons this week was the man who could have made the difference on the night. Pogba, though, did his part and got the second goal for Manchester United. Created a late chance as well, and it was nearly put in by Ibrahima Konate. The standout for Manchester United despite playing for just 30 minutes.
Timothy Fosu-Mensah: N/A
Thrown on with 12 minutes left, Fosu-Mensah hardly had an impact on the game.
Axel Tuanzebe: N/A
A late introduction, Tuanzebe saw quite a bit of the ball as Manchester United pushed forward in search of an equaliser.