Leroy Sane holds off Diogo Dalot

Manchester United 0 Bayern Munich 1

Tuesday 12 December 2023 22:01

Manchester United’s UEFA Champions League campaign is over despite a battling performance against Bayern Munich at Old Trafford.

Erik ten Hag’s side showed heart and commitment against the already qualified Germans but were unable to find the goal that was needed to give us any chance of progressing to the round of 16.

And Kingsley Coman’s second-half strike, combined with FC Copenhagen’s 1-0 win over Galatasaray in the other Group A game, meant that we finished fourth and out of Europe, with the damage done by disappointing earlier results against those teams.

Attention will quickly turn back to domestic matters and a trip to Anfield on Sunday to face Liverpool, where Ten Hag could be without Harry Maguire after the defender was forced off in the first half.

Rasmus Hojlund holds off Dayot Upamecano.


United, unusually attacking the Stretford End in the first half, answered Ten Hag’s call to press Bayern high up the pitch in the early stages, showing plenty of endeavour and energy to lift the Old Trafford faithful.

But 10 minutes had elapsed before the first real attempt from either side. Coman picked out Harry Kane, whose low first-time shot from the edge of the box lacked pace and Andre Onana claimed it comfortably.

From there, Bayern gained a foothold in the game, with Noussair Mazraoui and Coman, in particular, linking up effectively down the right. And after a rapid raid from the visitors, Onana was called upon to keep out a Joshua Kimmich strike from distance. 

The Reds’ main threat was coming on the break and Dayot Upamecano had to be at full stretch to prevent Bruno Fernandes’s clever through ball from reaching Rasmus Hojlund in front of goal.

Luke Shaw’s vicious strike then stung the palms of Manuel Neuer before a one-two between Leroy Sane and Jamal Musiala almost opened up United’s defence.

Just after the half-hour mark, Sane spurned a great opportunity to put Bayern ahead when he misconnected with a superb Coman cross, but the Reds continued to work hard all over the pitch to thwart the German champions.

However, there was a blow seven minutes before the break when Maguire pulled up holding his groin and, despite the centre-back’s attempts to continue, he had to be replaced by Jonny Evans.


Ten Hag made a change at the break, bringing on Aaron Wan-Bissaka for Shaw, who may also be a doubt for the weekend, with Diogo Dalot switching to left-back. And the substitute was quickly involved in an excellent chance as he pulled the ball back for Fernandes, who blasted over from the edge of the box and reacted in disgust at the finish.

United were in the ascendency early in the second period and Alejandro Garnacho fired in a dangerous low cross that Kim Min-jae scrambled away, ahead of a lurking Antony and Hojlund. But as the hour mark passed, neither goalkeeper had been hugely tested and Kimmich did not change that when he hit a presentable chance from 20 yards well over Onana’s goal.

News filtered through that Copenhagen had taken the lead over Galatasaray but United’s players were focused on doing their bit, though clear-cut openings were proving hard to come by and Thomas Tuchel’s side looked increasingly comfortable.

And then came the killer blow. United were unable to get a tackle in as Bayern skirted across our box and Kane stabbed the ball through for Coman, who took a touch to steady himself before hammering past Onana from close range.

With the atmosphere around Old Trafford flat and hopes of qualification fading, Ten Hag brought on youngsters Hannibal, Facundo Pellistri and Kobbie Mainoo.

Evans blocked an effort from Kim and, from the resultant corner, an unmarked Kane guided a header wide as Bayern looked to add to their lead.

In the end, one goal was enough as United could not break through, and the focus will now be on domestic matters for the rest of the campaign.

Alejandro Garnacho tracks Harry Kane.


United: Onana; Dalot, Maguire (Evans 41), Varane (Mainoo 80), Shaw (Wan-Bissaka 46); Amrabat, McTominay; Antony (Pellistri 75), Fernandes (c), Garnacho (Hannibal 75); Hojlund. 

Unused substitutes: Bayindir, Heaton, Reguilon, Gore, Hugill.

Bookings: Antony 53, Amrabat 61.

Bayern Munich: Neuer; Mazraoui (Laimer 46), Upamecano, Kim, Davies; Kimmich, Goretzka; Coman (Tel 77), Musiala (Muller 67), Sane (Guerreiro 90); Kane.

Unused substitutes: Peretz, Kratzig, Pavlovic, Choupo-Moting. 

Goals: Coman 70.

Booking: Goretzka 88.