“Manchester United’s Anthony Martial looks on after his shot against Wolfsburg in Tuesday’s Champions League match” (Credit to Manchester United Facebook Page).
Manchester United had high hopes heading into the UEFA Champions League earlier this fall. Those hopes were crushed on Tuesday as Louis Van Gaal’s men fell 3-2 in their final Group Stage match on the road against VFL Wolfsburg.
With the defeat, and the 2-1 victory by Dutch-side PSV over CSKA Moscow on Tuesday, it means that Wolfsburg and PSV will move onto the knockout stage of the Champions League and Manchester United will be sent to the Europa League.
Forward Anthony Martial gave United an early 1-0 lead in the 1oth minute, which was quickly cancelled out by Wolfsburg’s Ronaldo Naldo just four minutes later. Adelino Vieirinha gave the hosts a 2-1 over United with a strike in the 29th minute.
Woflsburg went into the halftime break leading 2-1 and in control of the top spot in the group. United were able to tie the game at 2-2, after Josua Guilavogui own-goal following a corner, gave them hope with less than 10 minutes remaining.
Naldo provided the game-winner for the hosts as his header in the 84th minute clinched the 3-2 victory for Wolfsburg. United definitely had their chances, possessing the ball for 56% of the match, and smashing 10 shots on target. At the end of the game, Wolfsburg made the most of their chances and are safely into the next round of the tournament.
According to The Guardian, former Man United defender Rio Ferdinand questions the teams “lack of power, resiliency at times, and leadership”.
Louis Van Gaal will now be faced with criticism as his side will exit the tournament sooner than expected. The Red Devils will now have to wait till Monday to find out what group they will enter in for the UEFA Europa League.
Meanwhile for now, they will continue to push on in the Barclays Premier League, as currently they sit in 4th place in the table with 29 points.
Larry Henry Jr
Spark Sports Analyst