Manchester United’s European Dreams Shattered: Erik ten Hag Expresses No Regrets”

By Xorkpe Sosu 6 Min Read

Similar to the leaks in Old Trafford’s roof, Erik ten Hag’s team crumbled against Bayern Munich, leading to their elimination from both the Champions League and European competitions altogether.

The Bavarian side secured a 1-0 victory, with Kingsley Coman scoring the decisive goal, leaving the Red Devils at the bottom of Group A.

In their final group match, Manchester United faced the daunting task of defeating Bayern Munich to have any chance of progressing to the knockout stages.

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Additionally, they relied on a draw between Copenhagen and Galatasaray, but Copenhagen’s win secured the second spot in the group.

Had Manchester United won on Tuesday night, they could have at least dropped down to the Europa League, potentially offering them a path to Champions League qualification for the next season.

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However, their offensive efforts were lackluster, managing only one shot on target against Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.

Erik ten Hag asserts that he harbors “no regrets” regarding Manchester United’s lackluster exit from European competition.

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“We didn’t lose today in the Champions League, we lost it before. We have to acknowledge that. I think we’ve had some good performances but then also we made mistakes, individual errors from players.”

“There are still many things to play for and now we can focus, of course, on the Premier League,” Ten Hag said, “and this is the level we want to play – Champions League.

“So we have to give every effort in to be in the top four and next year be back in Champions League and then of course, we have the FA Cup, so there are so many things to play for.”

“I look to my team and we had I think the opportunities in games (against Copenhagen and Galatasaray) where we were in winning positions, we scored many goals but then also you have to see we gave it away sometimes by individual errors – by not one player but by more players, not every time the same – they give the opponent opportunities to turn.”

“We also had very good spells in games but we have to do better. The facts are we do not have enough points, we are disappointed as a group.”

“As a manager, I am disappointed. We should have done better.”

This defeat marks the seventh loss at the Theatre of Dreams in various competitions this season, including a recent 3-0 defeat by Bournemouth.

The upcoming challenge for Erik ten Hag is a match against Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool at Anfield, where last season, United suffered their heaviest Premier League defeat, succumbing to a 7-0 loss.

And there are few who would doubt that league leaders Liverpool can secure all three points, especially considering Manchester United’s recent setback with a double injury blow.

The absence of captain Bruno Fernandes, suspended due to accumulating five yellow cards, adds to their challenges after the defeat to Bournemouth.

United now faces the possibility of fielding a makeshift defense, as both Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw were forced off during the Bayern match.

Maguire departed shortly before half-time due to a suspected groin injury, receiving medical treatment but unable to continue.

Meanwhile, Shaw was substituted for Aaron Wan-Bissaka at the start of the second half, potentially due to a hamstring issue.

When asked about the severity of Maguire and Shaw’s injuries in an interview with TNT Sports after the game, Erik ten Hag refrained from providing a definitive answer, stating, “I can’t say at this moment; we have to wait 24 hours.”

“Then we will have an assessment and diagnose, so we have to wait for it.”

Victor Lindelof remains uncertain for the upcoming match due to an injury sustained in the 2-0 victory over Chelsea last week.

Additionally, Lisandro Martinez is expected to be sidelined until the New Year due to a foot problem.

As a result, Erik ten Hag may opt for the same defensive lineup that played the second half against Bayern, featuring Jonny Evans alongside Raphael Varane in the center-back positions, with Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Diogo Dalot as the full-backs.

If results do not favor them, Manchester United could potentially drop as low as ninth in the standings by the end of the week.

Another significant defeat would only intensify the scrutiny on Erik ten Hag.

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