Manchester United have crashed into the Europa League after a 3-2 defeat to RB Leipzig.
In a Champions League campaign that had started so promisingly for the Premier League club, three defeats in their last four games in Group G saw them finishing third in the standings.
The wheels started to fall off for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men with the defeat to İstanbul Başakşehir where two instances of terrible defending undercut their fantastic opening two victories.
RB Leipzig vs Man Utd
And as much as United exacted revenge over the Turkish club next time out, their qualification hopes dangled in the balance with a 3-1 defeat to Paris Saint-Germain at Old Trafford.
The third goal they conceded to the French champions was particularly damning because it left them with an inferior head-to-head record going into the all-deciding final round of fixtures.
It meant that, regardless of what happened in the PSG vs Başakşehir game, defeat at the Red Bull Arena would see them crash down into Europe’s secondary competition.
Man Utd fall 3-0 down
And United couldn’t have made a sketchier start with Manchester City loanee Angelino, of all players, firing the Germans into the lead within two minutes with a sizzling back-post finish.
Then, to compound United’s misery further, Amadou Haidara doubled the Leipzig advantage during the opening 45 minutes, while a disallowed strike from Willi Orbán looked to have made it 3-0.
However, that nightmare of Solskjaer’s was realised after the break as a mix-up from David de Gea and Harry Maguire allowed Justin Kluivert to give the home side breathing space.
Into the Europa League
But this is United we’re talking about and they love themselves a Champions League comeback whether it’s the 1999 final or the fireworks at the Parc des Princes just two years ago.
So, there was an electricity in the air when the Red Devils somehow hauled themselves back into the game through Bruno Fernandes’ penalty and then a header from Paul Pogba.
But it wasn’t to be for the visitors with the 3-2 scoreline, regardless of the events in Paris, meaning that the Red Devils plummet into the Europa League when survival had once looked so certain.