‘Every goal has its own story’: Onana howler leaves Man United CL campaign in peril

Manchester United’s hopes of reaching the knockout rounds in the Champions League are in grave danger after Erik ten Hag’s men gave away a two-goal lead in a chaotic, thrill-a-minute 3-3 draw on an ear-splitting night at Galatasaray.

Having lost three of their four Group A fixtures, the Red Devils knew defeat in Istanbul on Wednesday would extinguish their hopes of reaching the knockout phase with a game to spare.

United avoided a loss but blew a two-goal lead on in an incredible night in Istanbul, meaning their knockout hopes will be over if Copenhagen beat Bayern Munich in Wednesday’s late fixtures.

This was a wild, helter-skelter encounter befitting of a Champions League campaign punctuated by goals, madness and mistakes.

A rocking Rams Park witnessed a dream United start to a breathless match, with Alejandro Garnacho completing a fine team move before Bruno Fernandes rocketed the visitors further ahead in the 18th minute.

Manchester United open the scoring, and the home fans were not happy! ????

↳ UEFA Champions League. Galatasaray SK v Man UTD, live now. Every match, only on Stan Sport. Exclusive & Ad-free. Live & On Demand.#StanSportAU #UCL #GSvMUN pic.twitter.com/FK4QvDO4KR

— Stan Sport Football (@StanSportFC) November 29, 2023

Hakim Ziyech’s free-kick all too easily beat Andre Onana to give Galatasaray hope, which Scott McTominay appeared to extinguish when scoring in the 55th minute.

But United, not for the first time in Group A, unravelled as Onana’s howler allowed Ziyech to score another free-kick before substitute Kerem Akturkoglu levelled with a scorcher.

Onana is a gift that keeps on givingpic.twitter.com/k73GxU7Bka

— Troll Football (@TrollFootball) November 29, 2023

Fernandes hit the post from distance and Facundo Pellistri somehow failed to score as the visitors laid siege to Galatasaray’s goal, with the draw leaving them bottom of Group A and facing an early Champions League exit.

 “We were winning and then we’re losing it. We should have taken three points, that’s clear,”said Man United manager Eric ten Hag.

“We did this in other games. I was pleased with how we played but at the same time I have to criticise the team because the defending is not good enough. We are leading 3-1 and we cannot afford mistakes as it makes a difference.

“Every goal has its own story. Whether it’s a transition moment and we don’t block the middle or the second goal which is a free-kick and the third goal we are organised but have an overload. That cannot happen. We have to learn from that.

“I am very pleased because you see the style of this team which is pro-active, dynamic and brave. I was pleased with the performance because we created so many chances but at the same time we have to win this game.”

Ten Hag said he took full responsibility: “It’s always me. I am responsible for this. We know we are in a project. We are making improvements so that’s very hopeful. We are going in the right direction so I know we will be successful in the long-term but if you want to stay in the Champions League you need to win these games.”

In the last group stage match, United host Bayern while Galatasaray visit Copenhagen, with the second Group A spot in the last 16 and a ticket to the Europa League up for grabs.

Elsewhere, PSV are close to reaching the last 16 after Ricardo Pepi’s stoppage-time goal gave them a 3-2 comeback win against 10-man Sevilla.

Veteran Sergio Ramos scored the 10,000th goal in Champions League history to give Sevilla the lead in the 24th and Youssef En-Nesyri made it 2-0 early in the second half.

But things started going downhill after Lucas Ocampos saw a red card in the 66th and PSV pulled one back with Ismael Saibari just two minutes later.

PSV levelled thanks to Nemanja Gudelj’s own goal in the 81st before Pepi sealed the comeback.

PSV will make it to the last 16 if Arsenal defeat Lens later, while Sevilla are out of contention.

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