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Manchester United on the brink of an early Champions League exit after chaotic draw against Galatasaray

United twice threw away a two-goal lead./Nick Potts/PA Images/Getty Images


Manchester United
 is on the brink of an early Champions League exit after twice throwing away a two-goal lead in a chaotic 3-3 draw with Galatasaray.

Erik ten Hag’s side started the match well, clearly unperturbed by the famously hostile atmosphere inside Istanbul’s RAMS Park, and took the lead through Alejandro Garnacho after only 11 minutes following a wonderful flowing move.

Captain Bruno Fernandes doubled United’s lead with stunning long-range strike just seven minutes later, before Hakim Ziyech’s free-kick wrong-footed Andre Onana and halved the deficit after half an hour.

Scott McTominay restored United’s two-goal lead just 10 minutes into the second half after a swift United counterattack, but Onana’s nightmare for his new club continued as the Cameroon international inexplicably diverted Ziyech’s cross into his own net to make it 3-2.

The goal galvanized the players and the home crowd as Galatasaray went in search of an equalizer.

They didn’t have to wait long as substitute Muhammed Kerem Aktürkoğlu fired a blistering strike past Onana to draw his side level less than 10 minutes later.

Both teams had plenty of chances to win the match in the final 20 minutes but, in the end, had to settle for a share of the spoils.

After the match, ten Hag said he was happy with the team’s performance but lamented another night of errors that cost his team dearly.

Garnacho got united off to a flying start./Yasin Akgul/AFP/Getty Images

“We should have taken three points,” the Dutchman told TNT Sports after the game. “But also like in other games, home against Galatasaray and away in Copenhagen, we played so good, so I have to give a big compliment to the team.

United has now conceded 14 goals in just five Champions League group matches, the most by an English club after five games in the competition’s history, according to Opta.

United is now bottom of Group A on four points, with Copenhagen and Galatasaray one point ahead in second and third place respectively. Bayern had already qualified for the knockout stages ahead of the team’s 0-0 draw with Copenhagen on Tuesday.

While United’s form in the Premier League has improved, winning five of its last six matches to climb to sixth in the table, the team’s performances have remained largely turgid and uninspiring.

The 3-0 home defeat to Manchester City only served to hammer home just how far away United currently is from competing with the top teams in England and Europe, despite spending vast sums on player transfers.

An error-plagued evening from Andre Onana proved costly./Murad Sezer/Reuters

The team was also emphatically dumped out of the League Cup by Newcastle after another 3-0 home defeat, leaving the FA Cup as the only realistic chance of silverware for the Red Devils this season.

The team’s only chance of reaching the Champions League knockout stages is to beat Bayern Munich at Old Trafford in the final group game and hope that Copenhagen and Galatasaray draw.

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