Champions League: What Needs to Happen for Man United to Qualify for the Last 16

Champions League: What Needs to Happen for Man United to Qualify for the Last 16

Fred Kennedy
updated at November 29, 2023 at 9:07 AM
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  • Man United currently sit bottom of Group A of the Champions League
  • The EPL side has won just one of the four matches they have played
  • Their only victory came against FC Copenhagen at Old Trafford

Manchester United are facing the prospect of missing out on a spot in the last 16 of the Champions League this season after a difficult start to their campaign.

The Red Devils returned to the European elite competition after they finished third in the Premier League last term behind Manchester City and Arsenal.

Manchester United stars check in ahead of their flight to Istanbul at Manchester Airport. Photo by Ash Donelon.
Manchester United stars check in ahead of their flight to Istanbul at Manchester Airport. Photo by Ash Donelon.
Source: Getty Images

Erik ten Hag's charges were subsequently pooled in Group A of the tournament alongside Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich, Galatasaray, and FC Copenhagen.

While United and Bayern appeared as the firm favourites to seal the top two slots in the group, the former have been far from convincing and are in danger of being dumped out of the tournament.

Man United's Champions League campaign

Erik ten Hag's charges currently find themselves sitting at the bottom of the group with just three points from four of their outings in the pool.

Galatasaray and FC Copenhagen have each racked up four points, while Bayern have all but confirmed their spot in the knockouts after picking up 12 points from four fixtures.

Sky Sports reports that United kicked off their European campaign with a 4-3 defeat away at Bayern.

Andre Onana allowed Leroy Sane to score Bayern's opener during the tie before Serge Gnabry added a second before the break.

Rasmus Hojlund went on to score his first Man United goal in the second half, with Harry Kane scoring a penalty shortly after.

United followed up the defeat with another 3-2 loss vs Galatasaray at Old Trafford before picking up their first win against FC Copenhagen in October.

However, the Danish side earned revenge over the Premier League side during the reverse tie played at Parken in November to deal them a blow in their hopes of booking a spot in the last 16.

What Man United need to qualify

United's setback in Denmark means they need nothing short of a win against Galatasaray on Wednesday night to stand a chance of qualifying for the knockouts.

According to The Mirror, a defeat in Turkey would see United sent packing, while a victory coupled with Bayern beating Copenhagen in the other group fixture would give the pool an entirely different outlook.

Such an outcome would also mean a draw for United against Bayern in the final group match would likely be enough for the Red Devils to sail through, thanks to their head-to-head record.

Meanwhile, the Galatasaray clash comes when ten Hag's charges are enjoying a fine run of form that has seen them win four of their last five EPL matches.

Their most recent outing ended in a 3-0 thrilling win over Everton in the Premier League, with Alejandro Garnacho scoring a stunning overhead kick.

Werner linked with Man United move

Earlier, Sports Brief reported Manchester United have been linked with a sensational transfer move for Chelsea flop, Timo Werner ahead of the January transfer window.

The German spent two years in the Premier League with the Blues, who he joined in the summer of 2020 from Bundesliga giants, RB Leipzig.

Fred Kennedy photo
Fred Kennedy
Fred Kennedy has a Bachelor's degree in journalism (Daystar University), currently working as a Sports Editor. He has more than five years of experience in digital journalism.
Erik Ten Haag