Manchester United Wolfsburg.

Here's how Manchester United crashed out of the Champions League

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Never mind how Manchester United fans felt, we neutrals here at GiveMeSport were left in a complete head spin after the referee called time on an extraordinary night in Wolfsburg.

It was a completely different team to the one that has ground to five 0-0 draws in their last nine games. Louis van Gaal had seemingly thrown caution to the wind, allowing the likes of Anthony Martial, Memphis Depay, and Juan Mata the creative license they've been begging for.

But that attacking mentality would eventually prove to be their undoing as Wolfsburg, who currently sit fifth in the Bundesliga, proved their class to take all three points in their very own Volkswagen Arena.


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Now it is morning and the dust is settling, we want to try and help you digest exactly what happened last night. Why was Michael Carrick started on the bench? Who the blinking heck is Guillermo Varela and why did he start ahead of Ashley Young?

Here we are going to take you through the key events of the match. Enjoy!

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Team sheets

At 6.45pm, Van Gaal handed his team sheet to match officials and the first big decision of the night had been made. The aforementioned Varela, a 22-year-old Uruguayan who had never started a game for Manchester United, was picked at right-back over Young.

Michael Carrick is named on the bench. Rio Ferdinand, speaking to BT Sport, is baffled by the decision.

10th minute

Manchester United erupt with joy as Martial gives them the lead. The France international was the welcoming receiver of a lovely pass from Mata, and, as is becoming his trademark, opened up his body before nestling the ball in the net with a side-footed shot.

As it stood, United were going through as group winners.

13th minute

It suddenly became clear that it was not going to be a simple night as Naldo's sharp volley brought the teams back on level terms. However, with PSV Eindhoven drawing against CSKA Moscow, Manchester United were still going through albeit in second place.

29th minute

It was the kind of goal no manager can be angry with conceding. Vieirinha was left with a simple tap-in after Julian Draxler cut through Manchester Untied's back line in a move that started with Wolfsburg goalkeeper Diego Benaglio. It took just 11 passes.

43rd minute

Another day, another injury for Van Gaal to worry about as Matteo Damian was forced off. Cameron Borthwick-Jackson, another inexperienced youngster, replaced him. Although Manchester United lost, the consensus is the 18-year-old performed well. 

44th minute

Oh, the offside rule. We men regularly laugh at the fact that women cannot understand it, but what hope do they have if we ourselves remain unsure? Jesse Lingard believed he had equalised just before half-time, only for the linesman to rule it out. The reason? Mata was standing in an offside position, and even though he didn't touch the ball, was standing in the way of Benaglio.

69th minute

Mata is taken off for another inexperienced youngster. Nick Powell, who hadn't played for Manchester United since their 4-0 defeat to MK Dons in last season's League Cup second round, comes on to try and salvage a deteriorating situation. Fan reaction is....mixed.

76th minute & 78th minute

It didn't happen in Germany, but it sent Manchester United fans into fits of hysteria. CSKA Moscow take an unlikely lead in Holland, which would have put the Red Devils through regardless of the result. Sergei Ignashevich gave the Russian the lead from the penalty spot, but Luuk de Jong equalised two minutes later.

82nd minute

More drama as Guilavogui scores an own goal to give Manchester United the point they need. As it stood, they were going through as runners-up, but would have to hope PSV did not score a winner against CSKA and, of course, keep drawing themselves.

84th minute

Oh dear. A minute to forget in Manchester United's illustrious history. Naldo netted his second of the game, giving Wolfsburg a 3-2 advantage. Only seconds later, PSV completed their comeback through Davy Propper. Manchester United needed two goals.

Final whistle

The fallout begins.

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UEFA Champions League
Manchester United
Wayne Rooney

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