Man Utd

Man Utd's three worst performers in the Champions League

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side were dumped out of the competition in the group stage after a loss against RB Leipzig

 
10:57am on Wednesday 9th December 2020
By
Martin Macdonald

Man Utd started their 2020/21 Champions League campaign with two hugely impressive results.

Group H was seen as one of the proverbial groups of death, with United in alongside two of the competition's semi-finalists from last season, RB Leipzig and PSG, with Turkish side Istanbul Basaksehir making up the four.

However, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side won 2-1 in Paris on Matchday One before demolishing the Bundesliga side 5-0 at Old Trafford.

Things were looking rosy, but took a turn in their third fixture as they were defeated 2-1 in Turkey by Basaksehir in a game that displayed some of the worst defending the competition has seen this campaign.

After they got revenge with a return win versus Basaksehir, all they needed was one point from their remaining two games to qualify.

They lost both, including on Matchday Six against RB Leipzig to drop down to the Europa League.

The manager will rightfully take most of the blame, but who were United's worst performers on the pitch in the group stage?

Harry Maguire

United captain Maguire was missing for the opening game against PSG which his team won, and restored to the starting XI for the 5-0 win against Leipzig which saw him score a 7.3 FC Rating.

Unfortunately for the Englishman, thats's as good as it would get as he failed to score over a 6.6 for the remainder of the group stage, with his worst rating coming in the damaging loss in Germany on Matchday Six.

Maguire earned a 5.7 FC Rating for his outing in the crunch match against Leipzig, desperately failing to organise a shambolic United defence. He, quite remarkably, failed to win a single tackle during his time on the pitch, and also won less than half of his duels (3/8).

His worst moment came as Leipzig went 3-0 up, as he allowed the ball to go by him in a dangerous area inside the box which allowed Justin Kluivert to pounce and score. That goal proved to be the match winner and the one which would send United out as the game eventually finished 3-2.

As Man Utd captain, a certain amount of organisational skill is expected, but it is becoming clear Maguire just doesn't have this attribute. The away loss against Basaksehir has become meme-worthy for just how poorly constructed the backline was, though Solskjaer takes plenty of blame for that, too.

David De Gea

David De Gea hasn't been an elite goalkeeper for some time now, and the more he plays in this Man Utd team, the more exposed he is.

The Spaniard conceded eight goals in five games while between the sticks in the Champions League group stage. The away match against PSG was the highlight of his European season so far as he scored a 7.3 FC Rating.

Thereafter, he wouldn't score higher than 6.8.

Crucially, in United's last two games which required just one accumulative point to qualify, he scored a 5.8 and a 5.4.

The 5.4 came in the loss against RB Leipzig, when he conceded three goals to send United out.

The aforementioned third goal scored by Kluivert was just as much De Gea's fault as Maguire's as he should have let his captain know to smash the ball into the stand.

Instead, he failed to react in time off his line.

2.8 saves per game in the Champions League isn't exactly groundbreaking.

Alex Telles

Out of the Man Utd players who started at least four games in the Champions League group stage, new signing Alex Telles was statistically the worst performer, as he averaged a 5.9 FC Rating for his performances.

Over his four starts, he has won less than half of his duels (4/8.6 per 90), while he, on average, loses possession just over 20 times a game.

Very much an attacking full-back in his days at Porto, his lack of defensive know-how can be summed up by the loss in Leipzig, as he left Amadou Haidara with all the freedom of the right-hand side of the box to comfortably volley home to make it 2-0.

Luke Shaw was seen after the goal questioning where his wing-back was.

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