David Moyes’ Manchester United side are set to begin an exile of sorts from Champions League football after a 3-1 defeat at the hands of European champions Bayern Munich last night in the Allianz Arena.
While United certainly weren’t disgraced in their 4-2 aggregate defeat in the quarter finals, the fact that they lie 7th in the Premier League means they won’t have any Champions League football to look forward to next season now either.
As for Man Utd, they made more of a game of it than many expected. Bayern got through but have lost the air of invincibility for me.
— Joseph Barton (@Joey7Barton) April 9, 2014
Coming into last night’s game, Bayern had the advantage having secured a precious away goal at Old Trafford last week in a 1-1 draw. The first half saw Bayern once again retain all of the possession but United actually have the better of the chances, with Rooney botching an attempt and Antonio Valencia having a goal being disallowed for being marginally offside. The second half then saw Manchester United take the lead when left-back Patrice Evra scored a thunderbolt, handing control of the tie to the Red Devils temporarily.
Unfortunately for them though, Bayern equalised almost instantly through Mario Mandzukic two minutes later in the 59th minute. Then only eight minutes later they took the lead through German international Thomas Muller. A quick turnaround and a despondent United were now struggling to come to terms.
A 2-1 lead and 3-2 aggregate lead meant Bayern now had their tails well up, and they capitalised on their dominance once again when Arjen Robben did what he always does, though somehow the United defenders couldn’t stop him. He cut in from the right onto his left foot, beating three players before smashing the ball into the back of David De Gea’s net. Game over. After the game, David Moyes admitted that this was likely to be United’s last game in the Champions League for some time:
“That’s how it looks,” Moyes told Sky Sports after the 3-1 defeat. “But I believe it’s not far away. Hopefully it will only be one year where we have to rebuild.
“My focus now is on getting this team back in the competition. It’s a great competition and we’ve really enjoyed it.
“There’s no shame going out to Bayern Munich – they are a good side. The players have played really well. We’ll show the quality we’ve got, re-group and start building towards being back in the competition.”
Midfielder Darren Fletcher doesn’t think the players will find it difficult to have motivation in the remaining Premier League fixtures, despite having little to play for.
“Players have got to play well to stay in the manager’s thoughts for next season – it’s as simple as that,” Fletcher told MUTV. “There’s talk of a lot of changes and who knows? If you get an opportunity to play you’ve got to go out there and perform, and show the manager that you want to be at United.
“A lot of people will say there’s nothing to play for in terms of league position or winning anything but there’s a lot to play for in terms of personal pride and to be in the squad next season.”
Next up for United incidentally is David Moyes’ first trip back to Goodison Park since taking over at Old Trafford when Everton host the champions on Sunday April 20th.