Erstwhile bigshots Manchester United and Sevilla’s UEFA Championship 2024 dreams were crushed after both the teams were left at the bottom of their respective Group table.
Manchester United had to beat Bayern Munich to keep their dreams afloat but lost 1-0 to the six-time champions. Central defender Harry Maguire appeared to have a groin injury and limped off near the end of the first half.
Manchester United’s loss in stature isn’t recent. Henry Bushnell, senior soccer reporter at Yahoo Sports wrote ‘United has been crumbling for more than a decade now. It is rotting, and Tuesday’s 1-0 loss to Bayern Munich, which left United at the bottom of its Champions League group, was merely the latest reminder.’
‘Its remains are a mediocre team cobbled together by clueless executives, hampered by injuries and elevated only by the mystique and prestige of a once-great institution.
They have managed just one convincing win all season. Their goal differential and underlying metrics suggest they belong in the Premier League’s bottom half’ writes Henry Bushnell.
His scathing remarks reflect what the fans feel about the team’s dismal performance at European Club football’s biggest stage, UEFA Champions League.
Contrary to expectations, the relatively unknown Danish team, Copenhagen, secured the second qualifying spot by defeating Turkish side Galatasaray 1-0 on their home turf.
Despite Galatasaray finishing third and securing a place in the Europa League knockout round playoff, Manchester United, who endured 4-3 defeats against Bayern and Copenhagen and conceded a total of 15 goals in six games, found themselves at the bottom of the group.
Defending Europa League champions Sevilla was knocked out of European competition on Tuesday in a 2-1 loss to Lens in their final Champions League group game.
Lens secured third place in Group B with just a draw needed, and they managed to take the lead in the 63rd minute. Polish winger Przemysław Frankowski successfully converted a penalty, firing the ball into the right goalpost corner after Boubakary Soumaré fouled Facundo Medina.
This marks only the fourth instance in which a Premier League team has concluded the Champions League group stage in the last position.
Disappointed Manchester United fans in attendance started booing and started to leave the stadium a good 10 minutes before the final whistle.
Much criticism was directed at ManU’s manager Erik Ten Hag and how he marshalled the resources at his disposal.
In other game, group winner Arsenal drew 1-1 at PSV Eindhoven with both already sealing their place in the round of 16.