A decade of pain and false hope: Manchester United's awful Champions League knockout record 2013 to 2022
Manchester United are out of the Champions League and who knows when we may be back.
In 2018 after defeat to Sevilla, Jose Mourinho infamously hit out at a culture of failure at the club, telling BBC Sport: “It is not something new for the club.”
Not a lot has changed. Here is a look back at how United’s Champions League ties have panned out over the last decade.
2013: Defeat to Real Madrid
The ‘Nani red card game’. This was Sir Alex Ferguson’s final Champions League game in charge of Manchester United, and he was outraged.
United had gone 1-0 up early in the second half through a Sergio Ramos own goal. Then disaster struck as Nani was red carded minutes later for a high boot, a decision which still angers United fans to this day.
Real took advantage quickly, responding well to the change in mood at Old Trafford, with Luka Modric and Cristiano Ronaldo scoring the goals to seal a 2-1 win for the Spanish side.
2014: Win over Olympiakos
The knives were out for David Moyes after an embarrassing 2-0 defeat away to Olympiakos in the first leg. Surely his first Champions League tie would not end in an immediate exit?
Thanks to Robin van Persie, United made it through. The Dutchman scored a stunning hat-trick at Old Trafford in the second leg to secure a 3-2 aggregate win.
2014: Defeat to Bayern Munich
The Moyes resurgence did not go a stage further. After a 1-1 draw in the first leg, United were well beaten in Germany to go out 4-2 on aggregate.
Patrice Evra’s stunning goal had appeared to put United on course for a win, before Mario Mandzukic equalised just two minutes later.
Suddenly all the momentum was with Bayern and Thomas Muller and Arjen Robben struck to eliminate United and spell the end of an era for several of Sir Alex’s old side.
2018: Defeat to Sevilla
A four year gap between Champions League knockout games summed up how badly United got it wrong in between. It was not worth the wait.
This game is better remembered for Jose Mourinho’s explosive post-game press conference than the match itself.
United were flat at Old Trafford and this was a dark day for supporters. The team were disjointed, with some peculiar selection decisions, and new signing Alexis Sanchez failing to shine.
2019: Win over Paris Saint-Germain
A footballing miracle seemed to occur in Paris. Having lost the first leg 2-0 at Old Trafford, a midfield of Scott McTominay, Fred, and Andreas Pereira stunned PSG in the away tie.
Marcus Rashford’s last gasp penalty after a fortunate VAR call gave United a 3-1 win on the night after Romelu Lukaku’s brace, and progression on away goals.
This was the result which changed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s role as interim boss to permanent, but unfortunately the rest of the season quickly went downhill.
2019: Defeat to Barcelona
United had a chance to make a statement with the home leg first up. But a 1-0 defeat courtesy of a Luke Shaw own goal left the team with a lot to do.
There was no second leg turnaround this time, with United outclassed at the Nou Camp. Marcus Rashford missed an early chance, and from there on, the game is more unfortunately remembered for some terrible Ashley Young defending.
2022: Defeat to Atletico Madrid
Like in 2013 and 2018, and in the Europa League in 2020 and 2021, Manchester United were eliminated by Spanish opposition.
After claiming a creditable first leg draw after being largely outplayed, United were undone on the counter attack at Old Trafford.
Even Cristiano Ronaldo could not find a way through and provide a touch of magic, and United’s woeful decade of Champions League disappointment continued.