RB Leipzig 3 Manchester United 2 – Shambolic defending by Red Devils as Solskjaer’s United knocked out; Leipzig storm into Round of 16

RB Leipzig 3 Manchester United 2

2020-21 UEFA Champions' League Group H report: RB Leipzig vs. Manchester United – Tuesday, 8 December 2020 – Matchday 6 of 6

RB Leipzig 3 Manchester United 2 – Red Bull Arena

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Manchester United had to bid adieu to the 2020-21 Champions' League when they went down to RB Leipzig 2-3 in a critical Group H encounter at the Red Bull Arena on Tuesday night.

United needing just a draw to progress into the next stage, were down quickly in the 2nd minute of play when Angelino was allowed space by Aaron Wan-Bissaka to run down the flank and unleash a left-footed shot to the far post beating David De Gea all ends up.

The on-loan defender from Manchester City was again allowed to careen down the left and set up Amadou Haidara with a delightful cross. United defenders Luke Shaw and Alex Telles were completely out of sync at the back, permitting Haidara to smash in a volley to make it 2-0 for the home side in the 20th minute.

The Red Devils could have easily taken in a third a little later as Angelino made a mockery of the United defense when he found an unmarked Emil Forsberg only for the Lepzig forward to miss the target from close range.

Mason Greenwood tried to take advantage of a rare counter-attacking move but his low shot was too close to keeper Peter Gulacsi who collected without much difficulty as the score went 2-0 into half-time.

Donny van de Beek came on for Telles during the interval and Paul Pogba who did not start was introduced late on the stroke of the hour. The changes did have an effect as Bruno Fernandes found the space to drive in a low shot that forced Gulacsi into a clawing save.

The Portuguese playmaker went even closer with his dipping free-kick as it hit the bar from 20 yards. Just when a United revival looked all set  on the cards, the bubble was burst when Harry Maguire allowed Christopher Nkunku to float in a cross to Justin Kluivert inside the box and the Leipzig winger was quick to react as he clipped the ball over De Gea to make it 3-0 in the 69th minute.

The Kluivert goal seemed to have sparked a comeback of sorts fir the Red Devils with a darting Greenwood being fouled by Ibrahima Konate inside the area and a penalty awarded.

Fernandes slotted home the spot-kick to reduce the deficit in the 80th minute and it was lessened further a couple of minutes later with Pogba leaping high to meet a corner at the far post, his header going in off Maguire and Konate.

A spectacular comeback looked probable as Scott McTominay and Marcus Rashford had their efforts saved and Gulacsi somehow prevented Nordi Mukiele from scoring an own goal late on. But the hosts safely saw the match through as they progressed into the Round of 16.

After the defeat at Leipzig, the focus will be on Ole Solskjaer and United's shambolic defending as they find themselves out of the Champions' League soccer for the first time since 2015-16 with some of the Norwegian manager's recent decisions and strategies going horribly wrong.

RB Leipzig starting XI: Gulacsi (goal), Mukiele, Orban, Konate, Angelino, Haidara, Sabitzer, Kampl, Olmo, Nkunku, Forsberg

Subs: Poulsen, Kluivert, Adams

Manchester United starting XI: De Gea (goal), Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw, Wan-Bissaka, Matic, McTominay, Fernandes, Telles, Greenwood, Rashford

Subs: Pogba, Van De Beek, Williams, Tuanzebe, Fosu-Mensah

Man of the match: Angelino

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Andy Nelson

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