Manchester United suffer worst trophy drought in 40 years after Champions League exit

Man Utd's Champions League exit means they are suffering their worst trophy drought in 40 years; United's last piece of silverware was the Europa League in 2017 under Jose Mourinho; a win rate of 45 per cent in all competitions this season is their lowest since the 1989-90 campaign

Manchester United
Image: Manchester United are suffering their worst trophy drought in 40 years

Manchester United are suffering their worst trophy drought in 40 years after being knocked out of the Champions League by Atletico Madrid.

Defeat in Europe means the earliest United can achieve silverware is by winning next season's League Cup final, which is due to take place on February 26, 2023.

With 2017 the last time United won a major trophy, they are now on their longest drought in four decades. After victory in the 1977 FA Cup, they had to wait until 1983 for their next triumph when they won the competition again.

United's win rate of 45 per cent in all competitions this season is their lowest since 1989-90.

Sir Alex Ferguson
Image: Manchester United have not won the Premier League since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013

Since former manager Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013, United have lifted just three pieces of silverware. The FA Cup under Louis van Gaal in 2016, and the League Cup and Europa League under Jose Mourinho the following year.

    After the high-profile arrivals of Cristiano Ronaldo, Raphael Varane and Jadon Sancho last summer, United were expected to mount a serious challenge for trophies this season, but they quickly fell behind rivals Manchester City and Liverpool in the Premier League and now face an uphill struggle to finish in the top four.

    In a campaign that has seen former player Ole Gunnar Solskjaer lose his job as manager and Ralf Rangnick become interim boss, United crashed out of both domestic cup competitions with home losses to West Ham in September and Middlesbrough last month.

    Also See:

    Their remaining hope was the Champions League, but defeat by Atletico Madrid in the last 16 sees their trophy drought extend into a sixth consecutive season.

    Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

    FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Manchester United's win over Tottenham in the Premier League

    History repeating itself?

    Sky Sports' Dan Sansom:

    May 24, 2017. The last time Manchester United won a major trophy.

    April 22, 2013. The last time Manchester United won the Premier League.

    Under Sir Alex Ferguson, United never went more than three seasons without winning the Premier League title. For those who grew up knowing nothing else but endless success under the Scot, it is understandable to view the current run of nine years following his retirement as a catastrophe.

    But for a club and institution the size of United, that's exactly what it is. Since his departure, United have lifted just three major trophies in nine seasons.

    Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was tasked with restoring United to former glories when he replaced Jose Mourinho in 2018, but a mammoth penalty shootout loss to Villarreal in last season's Europa League final was the closest he came before eventually being sacked later that year.

    OLE GUNNAR SOLSKJAER
    Image: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was sacked in November and replaced by Ralf Rangnick after failing to win silverware

    Attention then turned to interim boss Ralf Rangnick, but a shock FA Cup defeat by Middlesbrough ended United's best chance of winning silverware in what has been - to put it mildly - a disastrous 2021/22 campaign.

    It is now half a decade since United last won a major trophy - their longest drought in 40 years.

    Liverpool waited 30 years for a top-flight title. It will already be 10 if United fall short in the league next season and although it might be a stretch to suggest they are on the same path, history has a strange way of repeating itself.

    On current evidence, United's barren streak looks set to continue for a while yet.

    Man Utd's performance since 2013

    How have Manchester United performed since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013?

    2013-14 season

    Manager: David Moyes, Ryan Giggs (caretaker)
    Premier League: 7th
    FA Cup: Third Round
    League Cup: Semi-finals
    Champions League: Quarter-finals

    2014-15 season

    Manager: Louis van Gaal
    Premier League: 4th
    FA Cup: Quarter-finals
    League Cup: Second Round

    2015-16 season

    Louis van Gaal
    Image: Louis van Gaal's final game in charge of Manchester United was the FA Cup final in 2016

    Manager: Louis van Gaal
    Premier League: 5th
    FA Cup: Winners
    League Cup: Fourth Round
    Champions League: Group stage
    Europa League: Round of 16

    2016-17 season

    Jose Mourinho, Manchester United
    Image: Jose Mourinho's first of two major trophies as Manchester United manager was the League Cup in 2017

    Manager: Jose Mourinho
    Premier League: 6th
    FA Cup: Quarter-finals
    League Cup: Winners
    Europa League: Winners

    Jose Mourinho
    Image: Manchester United won the Europa League for the first time in 2017 after beating Ajax 2-0 in the final

    2017-18 season

    Manager: Jose Mourinho
    Premier League: 2nd
    FA Cup: Runners-up
    League Cup: Quarter-finals
    Champions League: Round of 16

    2018-19 season

    Manager: Jose Mourinho, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (caretaker then permanent)
    Premier League: 6th
    FA Cup: Quarter-finals
    League Cup: Third Round
    Champions League: Quarter-finals

    2019-20 season

    Manager: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
    Premier League: 3rd
    FA Cup: Semi-finals
    League Cup: Semi-finals
    Europa League: Semi-finals

    2020-21 season

    Emery kisses the Europa League trophy in Gdansk
    Image: Manchester United were beaten in last season's Europa League final by Unai Emery's Villarreal

    Manager: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
    Premier League: 2nd
    FA Cup: Quarter-finals
    League Cup: Semi-finals
    Champions League: Group stage
    Europa League: Runners-up

    2021-22 season

    Manager: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Michael Carrick (caretaker), Ralf Rangnick (interim)
    Premier League: TBC
    FA Cup: Fourth Round
    League Cup: Third Round
    Champions League: Round of 16

    Follow Manchester United with Sky Sports

    Follow every Man Utd game in the Premier League this season with our live blogs on the Sky Sports website and app, and watch match highlights for free shortly after full-time.

    Want the Man Utd latest? Bookmark our Man Utd news page, check out Man Utd's fixtures and Man Utd's latest results, watch Man Utd goals and video, keep track of the Premier League table and see which Man Utd games are coming up live on Sky Sports.

    Get all this and more - including notifications sent straight to your phone - by downloading the Sky Sports Scores app and setting Man Utd as your favourite team.

    Hear the best Premier League reaction and expert analysis with the Essential Football and Gary Neville podcasts, keep up-to-date with our dedicated Transfer Centre, follow the Sky Sports social accounts on Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, and find out how to get Sky Sports.

    Win £250,000 on Wednesday!

    Win £250,000 on Wednesday!

    Do not miss your chance to land £250,000 in Wednesday's Super 6 round. Play for free, entries by 7:30pm.

    Around Sky