Manchester United were eliminated from the Champions League after a 3-2 defeat to RB Leipzig.

But there will be a Manchester United player in the knockout stages.

Loaned out midfielder Andreas Pereira will be United’s only representative in the last 16.

He played a minor role as Lazio secured qualification from Group F in second place.

Spezia Calcio v SS Lazio - Serie A
(Photo by Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images)

Lazio finished behind Dortmund but ahead of Club Brugge and Zenit in a group which was far more kind than United’s.

Pereira was an 86th minute substitute as Lazio held on for a 2-2 draw at home to a 10 man Club Brugge in a nervous finale.

At least he has the chance

Pereira has played a limited role in Lazio’s success. He has made four substitute appearances for a combined 100 minutes.

 

But he at least has the chance next February and may be beyond to play a bigger role.

So far he has two Serie A starts to his name and is still working his way into Lazio’s starting line-up.

It will probably take an injury or two for him to get a run, but he is at least in the matchday 18 each and every week.

Spezia Calcio v SS Lazio - Serie A
(Photo by Danilo Di Giovanni/Getty Images)

At United he was in a similar situation to the one Jesse Lingard finds himself in now, struggling to get on the bench most weeks. Pereira’s step forward is a small one, yet it is progress for him.

Had United qualified and drawn Lazio, Pereira would have been eligible to play against us.

Instead that possibility is no more – although United could face Diogo Dalot’s AC Milan in the Europa League.

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