Manchester United, who needed a draw to progress, crumbled to a 3-2 defeat away to Germany’s RB Leipzig as Ole Gunnar Solksjaer’s team dropped to the Europa after finishing third.
Leipzig raced into a two-goal lead with goals from on-loan Manchester City man Angeliño and another from Amadou Haidara inside the opening thirteen minutes, before a third from substitute Justin Kluivert – which turned out to be the decider – with twenty minutes left of the 90.
United pressed hard for a comeback with goals from the in-form Bruno Fernandes (penalty) and substitute Paul Pogba but it was too little too late for the three-time champions as the Bundesliga side won to finish the night top of the group.
Leipzig have followed up their impressive semi-final finish last term by qualifying yet again this year for the knockout stages.
However, they’ll have to wait to find out whether or not they’ll finish top of the group or as runners-up, depending on the outcome of the game between Paris Saint Germain and Istanbul Basaksehir in a game that had to be suspended after players from both teams left the pitch as a result of a match official allegedly using a racist term towards a member of Basaksehir’s backroom staff.
Stats and facts from the match (Backed by Opta)
- Man Utd have conceded 3+ goals in consecutive Champions League games for the first time since April 2003.
- Man Utd exited at the group stage in a Champions League campaign for the first time since 2015-16 under Louis van Gaal.
- Solskjær has lost six of his 10 UEFA Champions League matches as a manager (W4); the first manager to lose six or more times in their first 10 games in the competition while in charge of an English side.
- Since his Man Utd debut in February, no player in Europe’s top five leagues has scored more penalties in all competitions than Bruno Fernandes (13 – level with Cristiano Ronaldo).
- Only against Juventus in April 1999 (11 minutes) had Man Utd been 0-2 down earlier in a Champions League match than they were today against RB Leipzig (13 mins).
Zenit St Petersburg 1-2 Dortmund: German side Dortmund seals top spot in Group F
Meanwhile in Russia, Axel Witsel scored the decider against his former employers Zenit St Petersburg as Germany’s Borussia Dortmund won the game to seal qualification to the knock-out stages having fallen behind earlier on.
Sebastian Driussi put Zenit ahead but Dortmund responded with goals of their own, first from Polish defender Lukasz Piszczek for the equalizer, before a winner from Belgian Axel Witsel to seal the game.
The group’s other game saw Lazio get held to a 2-2 draw by 10-man Club Bruges.
Monday’s draw could see Dortmund take on one of the unseeded duo of Porto or Sevilla in the round of 16.
UEFA Champions League Matchday 6 results
Tuesday 8th December
- Lazio 2-2 Club Brugge
- Zenit St. Petersburg 1-2 Borussia Dortmund
- Barcelona 0-3 Juventus
- Chelsea 1-1 Krasnodar
- Dynamo Kiev 1-0 Ferencvaros
- RB Leipzig 3-2 Manchester United
- Rennes 1-3 Sevilla