In what was a do or die affair in the group stage of the UEFA Champions League, RB Leipzig managed to beat Manchester United 3-2, thus certifying the former’s qualification to the next stage of the tournament and sending the Red Devils to the Europa League. A huge blow for a tenure that seems bound to fail.
Regardless of personal opinions about Ole Gunnar Solskjær as Manchester United’s manager, no one can deny that he has improved their squad and unified the dressing room after the many issues that happened during the Jose Mourinho’s era. However, the recent defeat against RB Leipzig by 3-2 in the group stage of the UEFA Champions League, causing a premature departure from the main European competition, might be the final nail in the coffin for his tenure as the manager of the Red Devils. It is not only the reputational damage but also the financial loss which may have infuriated the board and owner of Manchester United.
And while the result might suggest that Manchester United fought hard to get the necessary victory or draw to qualify for the next round, the reality is that they were duly outclassed by RB Leipzig, to the point that after 13 minutes of the first half the German team was leading 2-0 making the entire game an uphill battle for the Red Devils.
Manchester United clawed two goals in the late stages of the game and Paul Pogba almost forced an own goal to level the score, but the reality is that they were more heart than brain at that point of the match and it showed the worst traits of Solskjær’s time throughout his tenure: lack of concentration in defensive situations, lack of structure to defend and to attack, poor movements to create chances, wasting chances when presented and overall a distinct lack of tactical nuances when it mattered. If there ever is a summary of all the things that failed in the Norwegian’s time at the club as a manager, this game would be a clear cut example.
Manchester United are facing Manchester City next Saturday with the impending rumors of changes in the manager position, with Mauricio Pochettino being the most likely candidate. In that regard, the game against Manchester City might define Solskjær’s fate at the club and at this point you have to wonder that, despite the good things he has done in terms of structure and squad-building, if it isn’t the best for all parties involved to go their separate ways.