Ten Hag shoulders blame as Man United crumble in Champions League

Bellingham has the speed of a motorbike, says Ancelotti after Englishman sets scoring record for Real in win over Napoli

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Galatasaray's Hakim Ziyech scores their second goal past Manchester United's Andre Onana in the Champions League - Reuters
Galatasaray's Hakim Ziyech scores their second goal past Manchester United's Andre Onana in the Champions League - Reuters

Published: Thu 30 Nov 2023, 8:23 PM

Last updated: Fri 1 Dec 2023, 11:42 AM

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag said he was responsible for his side throwing away yet another lead in the Champions League after they were pegged back to a 3-3 draw with Galatasaray on Wednesday.

The three-time European champions blew a two-goal lead twice in Istanbul, with goalkeeper Andre Onana making two costly errors, to leave their hopes of reaching the last 16 hanging by a thread.


United are bottom of Group A with four points from five matches but still just one point adrift of Copenhagen and Galatasaray. They must beat group winners Bayern Munich on Dec. 12 to progress.

United let a two-goal lead slip in an earlier group game in Copenhagen before losing 4-3 and Ten Hag said their inability to see games out was down to him.


"It's always me (who is to blame for throwing away leads). I am responsible for this, but also know we are in a project," the Dutchman told TNT Sports.

"We are in the right direction, so I know where we have to go and which steps we have to take and I'm sure we will be successful in the long term.

"If we want to stay in the Champions League, we have to win the next game."

Ten Hag was confident they would find a way to stop conceding so many goals.

On the contrary Arsenal's form in Europe this season has been in stark contrast to that of United, and the Gunners romped into the last 16 with a 6-0 demolition of Lens in London.

Mikel Arteta's side were five goals up at the break with Kai Havertz, Gabriel Jesus, Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and Martin Odegaard all netting.

Jorginho completed the scoring from a late penalty as Arsenal gained revenge for their 2-1 defeat by Lens in France last month.

"Today was the day to get it done. We did it in a beautiful way," Arteta told broadcaster TNT Sports.

Arsenal have scored 12 goals without reply in winning their three home matches in Group B and have now wrapped up top spot ahead of PSV, who are also through.

The Dutch side, European Cup winners in 1988, produced a superb comeback to triumph 3-2 away to Sevilla and put themselves out of sight in second place.

Sevilla now have to win at Lens next month to salvage a place in the Europa League, the competition they won last season.

Real Madrid were already through to the last 16 before hosting Napoli and they clinched top spot in Group C with a 4-2 victory at the Santiago Bernabeu as Jude Bellingham became the first player to score in each of his first four Champions League appearances.

The England midfielder headed in David Alaba's cross in the 22nd minute to put the 14-time winners 2-1 ahead. It was the 20-year-old's 15th goal in his 16th appearance for Los Blancos.

"He's spectacular in getting into the box, he comes into the box like a motorbike," Real manager Carlo Ancelotti told Movistar Plus.

"It's surprising because nobody could have imagined such fast adaptation here, to this club and the football he is showing. He surprises the fans, team mates and even rivals.".

Real Sociedad and Inter Milan were both already through from Group D and their meeting next month will decide who tops the section.

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On Wednesday, a much-changed Inter side recovered from three goals down to draw 3-3 with Benfica in Portugal after Joao Mario scored a first-half hat-trick against his old club.

Marko Arnautovic and Davide Frattesi pulled goals back for Inter before Alexis Sanchez levelled from the penalty spot, and Benfica were reduced to 10 men late on when Antonio Silva was sent off.

Real Sociedad drew 0-0 with Red Bull Salzburg.


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