English giants Manchester United are out of the Champions League for the 2023/24 season following an exhilarating 3-3 draw in the must-win fixture against Galatasaray at RAMS Park in Istanbul on Wednesday evening.
The Red Devils started as the better side in the clash, although with the home advantage the resilient Turkish side came from behind to ensure Manchester United dropped crucial points in the competition. The English club is now facing accusations of benefiting from VAR decisions in their favor.
Manchester United accused of favoritism
Manchester United is officially eliminated from the elite European competition despite having their fate in their own hands. They were required to win two of their remaining matches to qualify, as simple calculation would suggest. However, after surrendering a two-goal lead to Galatasaray, walking away with a single point didn’t help their cause.
Coming off a dominating Premier League win, the Eric ten Hag’s side was not short of confidence. In fact, they had a two-goal lead on two occasions, courtesy of teenage talent Alejandro Garnacho and Captain Bruno Fernandes‘ strikes in the early half. The former Chelsea winger Hakim Ziyech scored a brace with two free-kicks, and Andre Onana’s silly mistake cost United the two points.
Kerem Aktürkoğlu came off the bench to cancel out Scott McTominay’s third goal, handing the visitors a disappointing draw that dashed their hopes of reaching the Round of 16. During the game, there were multiple debatable decisions given by VAR, including Mauro Icardi’s goal being flagged off for a close-offside call.
Following McTominay’s handball in the penalty box, the referee believed it was in a natural position. After a thorough check from VAR, the spot-kick was denied for the home side. Nonetheless, with a hard-fought draw, Galatasaray earned a share of points, keeping their hopes alive until the final group stage Matchday.
Manchester United rock bottom in UCL group
UCL 2023-24 has been a forgettable campaign for Eric ten Hag’s side. After nearly winning their crucial fixture in Istanbul, they ended up settling for a draw, leading them out of the European competition.
With three successive defeats, a single draw, and one win, they find themselves at the bottom of the Group A points table with 3 points as their Champions League season wraps up.
Bayern Munich, who are at the top of the Group A points table and already qualified for the knockout stage, had to win their game against Copenhagen to keep Manchester United alive in the competition.
However, Bayern played to a draw, which meant that there is no way for the English side to come back. They would be short of points even after beating Bayern Munich at Old Trafford.