Manchester United have been accused of playing boring football under Louis Van Gaal, but the Champions League game at Wolfsburg was certainly not one of them. However, with not-so-boring football comes defensive mistakes and on a night that the Manchester United defence will not want to remember, the English Premier League club crashed out of the Champions League in dramatic style.
Needing a win to assure themselves of a place in the last 16, it all started in hunky dory style for Manchester United as Anthony Martial put them ahead on 10 minutes, latching onto a beautiful through ball from Juan Mata, before slotting it easily past Diego Benaglio.
The lead, though, lasted only three minutes as Naldo got in ahead of Chris Smalling to head home off a freekick.
On 29 minutes, the nightmare for Manchester United began as Vierinha got on the end of a brilliant team move, tapping in from close range to give Wolfsburg a 2-1 lead at halftime.
Manchester United, to their great credit, poured forward in attack, but the flip side of that is that you give your opponents chances on the break as well.
There were plenty of those, with David De Gea having to make two fabulous saves to deny Andre Schurrle, the former Chelsea forward, a goal – one might have come off a defender as well, making the save even better.
Benaglio, at the other end, also had to be smart and aware, jumping to his right to deny Memphis Depay an equaliser, while a goal was disallowed for offside.
There was a moment in between 70 and 80 minutes when the 2-1 loss would have still been enough for Manchester United to go through as PSV Eindhoven went 1-0 down to CSKA Moscow, but that did not last long as the Dutch side equalised to put United on the brink.
The Premier League team came back from the brink, though, in the 82nd minute as an own goal from Josuha Guilavogui made it 2-2. However, just when PSV scored a winner in Eindhoven, so did Wolfsburg, with Naldo getting ahead of his marker again, this time Michael Carrick, to head home one final time and give the German team a dramatic 3-2 victory.
It is onto the Europa League now for Manchester United.