Manchester United have been knocked out of the Champions League at the first hurdle and we have found seven stats which will be cause for concern on the back of their European exit.
The Red Devils did show some flashes of quality in Europe, but ultimately their dodgy defensive record was their undoing. Erik ten Hag’s side finished bottom of Group A, having only collected four points from their six group stage matches.
The last time United were knocked out of the Champions League at the first hurdle was back in 2020–21, although they did secure a spot in the Europa League during that campaign as they finished third in their group.
Ten Hag must now switch his full attention to the Premier League as the Red Devils will no doubt be desperate to make amends for their struggles in the Champions League.
United headed into their final group stage match against Bayern Munich knowing they needed to win if they wanted any chance of qualifying. Despite the game being a close encounter, Bayern’s quality eventually prevailed as Kingsley Coman’s second-half strike made the difference.
“I think it’s very difficult to decide who is letting who down to be honest. These players have let two or three managers down now, a lot of these players have,” Paul Scholes told TNT Sports.
“Yes, they have a few new faces in there now but the Newcastle performance was worrying for me – I don’t think Ten Hag’s position was being questioned before that but not being able to get his players to work hard enough to face Newcastle was scary. It’s not enough at a club like this, you need to be working week in, week out, it’s not been good enough.”
Ten Hag will be looking to bounce back from this setback as soon as possible, but these seven concerning stats highlight just how disappointing United have been in Europe this season.
– Ten Hag’s side have conceded 15 goals in the Champions League this season which is the most ever by a Premier League side in the group stage.
– United have finished bottom of their Champions League group for just the second time, having previously done so in 2005-06.
– Andre Onana conceded 2.1 more goals than he should have, based on the xG numbers. Only Antwerp goalkeeper Jean Butez has had a bigger xG underperformance in the Champions League this season.
– Across all competitions, United have now lost 12 of their 24 games which is as many as they lost in all 62 matches they played last season.
– Only Red Star, Benfica and Young Boys have faced a higher xG than United in the group stage. Ten Hag’s side faced an xG of 11.5 and had a total of 87 shots against them in just six matches.
– A total of 10 United players underperformed their xG during the group stage. Unsurprisingly, Rasmus Hojlund was their biggest xG overperformer after scoring five goals.
– Only Royal Antwerp and Celtic have conceded more goals from set-pieces (four) than United have in the group stages (three).