Man Utd remain bottom of Champions League Group A after throwing away a 3-1 lead at Galatasaray to draw 3-3; it is the third time they have dropped points in the competition this season after leading; United need to beat Bayern Munich and hope the other game ends in a draw to qualify
Thursday 30 November 2023 16:36, UK
Erik ten Hag says he must take the blame after yet another Champions League capitulation by Manchester United, with their chances of qualification hanging by a thread.
United remain bottom of Group A after throwing away a 3-1 lead at Galatasaray to draw 3-3 in a breathless game. They must beat Bayern Munich on the final matchday and hope the Turkish side draw at FC Copenhagen to qualify.
Goalkeeper Andre Onana, not for the first time in this competition, cost his side with poor errors for Chelsea loanee Hakim Ziyech's two goals.
United have now dropped points on three occasions after leading in the Champions League this season, having also failed to see out games at FC Copenhagen and at home against Galatasaray.
Asked who is to blame, Ten Hag told TNT Sports: "It is always me. I am responsible for this."
Man Utd are relying on other results on the final day after FC Copenhagen drew 0-0 at Bayern Munich.
They need to win their final Group A game at home to Bayern and hope the result in the other game ends in a draw.
He added: "We should have taken three points. This is the same in more games - home against Galatasaray and away in Copenhagen.
"We played so good. So I have to make a compliment to my team but I also have to criticise the team and us as a coaching staff and me as a manager.
"We are not defending well enough, we are leading 3-1 and you can't afford such mistakes because it makes a difference."
Man Utd have won just one of their five Champions League games this season - their joint-fewest from their opening five matches of a campaign in the competition (also 1994-95 and 2005-06).
They have conceded 14 goals in the competition this season, their most ever in a single group stage. It is also the most ever conceded by an English club in their first five games of the Champions League.
After their defeat at FC Copenhagen and draw on Wednesday, United became only the second side to fail to win two separate matches in which they had a 2+ goal lead in a single Champions League season.
Ten Hag's side have conceded 33 goals in all competitions this season - the most in any campaign for United after 20 games since 1962/63 - but he says they can turn a corner.
"We are in a project and we are moving forward, making improvement," added Ten Hag. "We are going in the right direction. I know which steps we need to take."
The United manager has been encouraged by the improvement his side have made in an attacking sense having scored three goals at Bayern, Copenhagen and now Galatasaray.
"I am very pleased," Ten Hag said of his side's offensive performance. "You see the style of this team, proactive, dynamic and brave.
"We created so many chances and could have won this game. That was not about luck but playing good football."
Manchester United remain bottom of Group A after throwing away a 3-1 lead at Galatasaray to draw 3-3.
But United can still progress from the final round of matches on Tuesday December 12.
Man Utd must beat Bayern Munich and hope Galatasaray draw at FC Copenhagen to qualify.
If either Copenhagen or Galatasaray win, United will be knocked out of the Champions League.
After their surprise 0-0 stalemate in Germany, which has left them second in the group, a draw for Copenhagen, meanwhile, would be sufficient for them to progress to the last 16 so long as United don't beat Bayern.
United must take at least a point against Bayern to have any hope of playing European football after Christmas. As it stands, United are fourth in their group and heading out of Europe.
A draw against Bayern and a Copenhagen win would see United finish level on points with Galatasaray but finish bottom of the group because of their inferior head-to-head record against the Turkish side.
A draw against Bayern and a Galatasaray win would see United finish level on points with Copenhagen but qualify for the Europa League due to scoring more goals in the group stage than the Danish side.
But if United don't beat Bayern, they cannot finish higher than third in Group A.
The Champions League round of 16 draw takes place on Monday December 18.
The round of 16 is played over the course of four weeks:
First legs: February 13/14/20/21, 2024 Second legs: March 5/6/12/13, 2024
Captain Bruno Fernandes says United's performances in the Champions League have not been good enough this season after claiming just four points from five games.
"What we have been doing in the Champions League has not been enough," Fernandes told TNT Sports.
"We have to control our games. It is not the first game we have had like this. Even in Copenhagen, I understand we had a player less, we had to secure the result at 3-2. We have to manage the game better."
Fernandes struck the post in the closing stages, with Scott McTominay, Alejandro Garnacho and substitute Facundo Pellistri also coming close with time running out.
"It was another game where we could have closed the game before," he said. "We had too many chances. It was two mistakes by ourselves on the goals we concede."