A trip to Bayern Munich’s Allianz Arena would kickstart Manchester United’s 2023/24 UEFA Champions League campaign, with Erik Ten Hag’s plagued by controversy in the buildup to the fixture. With Antony and Jadon Sancho both sitting out of this clash for complex reasons, and a lengthy injury list, the Red Devils would have to toil to secure a result against the Bundesliga champions.
BAY: Ulreich; Davies, Upamecano, Min-jae, Laimer; Goretzka, Kimmich; Gnabry, Musiala, Sané; Kane
MUN: Onana; Reguilon, Lindelöf, Martínez, Dalot; Casemiro, Eriksen; Rashford, Fernandes, Pellistri; Højlund
Despite countless rumours linking Harry Kane to Manchester United throughout the recent transfer window, the ex-Tottenham man opted to sign for Bayern Munich – and his first European clash with his new side would be against his former suitors.
And while the Red Devils may have hoped to get off to a flying start and show Kane what he was missing out on, it was a goalkeeping blunder from André Onana that defined the first half. A simply shocking error saw the goalkeeper let Leroy Sané’s strike slip under his outstretched arms, providing Bayern with the lead after just 28 minutes.
A dogged performance saw the visitors concede again just four minutes later, with Serge Gnabry picking out the corner with a low effort – and once more, Onana was unable to deny the German outfit.
Rasmus Højlund was able to restore some hope for the travelling United contingent just after the break, as he netted his first goal for the club to reduce the deficit. But the inevitable occurred soon after, with Harry Kane netting for his new side once again to build a two-goal buffer.
Casemiro was able to net a second for Manchester United with merely a few minutes of regulation time remaining, but when Mathys Tel equalised in stoppage time, it was clear that the Red Devils stood no chance of completing a remarkable comeback.
Not quite content with just the one goal, Casemiro added his second of the evening in the 98th minute as he nodded Bruno Fernandes’ free-kick delivery past Sven Ulreich. But alas, United’s attacking prowess had revealed itself too late – and the referee’s final whistle had soon blown.
Manchester United’s attention will now turn to their next UEFA Champions League clash on 3 October, when they welcome Galatasaray to Old Trafford. As for Bayern Munich, they travel to Copenhagen on the same day.