Talking Points: RB Leipzig 3 Man Utd 2
Manchester United were left thinking what could have been as we were beaten 3-2 by RB Leipzig in the Champions League.
It was a difficult start for Ole Gunnar Solsjaer’s side at the Red Bull Arena, who found ourselves two goals down within a quarter of an hour, after strikes from Manchester City loanee Angelino and Amadou Haidara.
The Reds battled hard in the second half and were unlucky not to have a goal from a Bruno Fernandes free-kick that struck the bar, before Justin Kluivert netted a third.
Despite Fernandes then scoring from the penalty spot, after a foul on Mason Greenwood, and Paul Pogba claiming a goal from a corner to set up grandstand finish, United were ultimately unable to turn the tide.
Here are the key discussion points from a night of fine margins in Germany…
Close but not enough gallery
Check out some of the pictures from the tense encounter at Red Bull Arena.
WHAT DOES DEFEAT MEAN?
The result in Leipzig means United will have to settle for a place in the Europa League with the Germans, semi-finalists last season, going through to the last-16 at our expense. Meanwhile, the other match in the group between PSG and Istanbul Basaksehir was halted in the first half, following an alleged racist incident, but, whatever the eventual result when the game is now played on Wednesday, PSG, will also progress as they have a superior head-to-head record with the Reds.
The effort from the Reds in the second period left the game in the balance right until the dying moments and that turnaround was led by the likes of substitutes Donny van de Beek and goalscorer Paul Pogba. It was, however, not quite enough - even though there were a couple of late scares for home keeper Peter Gulacsi. It was a brave effort at the death but, in some respects, it only heightened the frustration, particularly given the manner of Leipzig's third goal.
BRUNO ON THE SPOT AGAIN
Our Portuguese midfield maestro has now netted 13 penalties in all competition since making his debut for the club in February. No player in Europe's top five leagues has scored more penalties in all competitions than Bruno in that time. That tally is only equalled by Cristiano Ronaldo, who helped Juventus beat Barcelona 3-0 on Tuesday night.
The match certainly had its controversial incidents, with VAR rightly ruling out a goal for the hosts for a clear offside in the opening period, when Willi Orban found the net from an Ibrahima Konate header that struck a post. However, the video officials were unmoved after replays showed an apparent push on Alex Telles by Emil Forsberg in box as Leipzig scored their second. There were also a couple of handball appeals in the Leipzig box and a flurry of yellow cards.
LANDMARK FOR LUKE
Having joined the Reds as a teenager, Luke Shaw is now one of the club’s most experienced players and, against Leipzig, turned out in United colours for his 150th competitive appearance. Since making his debut at Old Trafford for the visit of West Ham in 2014, he has made significant contributions, including playing his part in victories in the Emirates FA Cup and Europa League. The hour or so he was on the pitch marked his return from a hamstring injury.
WE GO AGAIN...
After a disappointing result in Germany, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team will have the chance to that put that very much behind us on Saturday, when we contest the small matter of the Manchester derby. The Reds sit one point ahead of our local rivals in the table, with both clubs having a game in hand on the sides in the top four. It will be played behind closed doors as no fans are still allowed at Old Trafford as we are in Tier 3 of the Government's restrictions.