United could join exclusive group after LOSING first two CL games

There’s hope for Man United yet! 15 other clubs have reached Champions League knockouts despite LOSING their first two group games – including a Premier League rival who went on to make the final

  • Man United suffered their second successive defeat in this season’s competition
  • Erik ten Hag’s side next face a double header against Copenhagen needing a win
  • Click HERE to listen to the latest episode of Mail Sport’s ‘It’s All Kicking Off’

Manchester United will be the 16th member of an exclusive group if they are to qualify for the Champions League knockout stages after losing their opening two games. 

The three-time winners followed up their 4-3 matchday one defeat to Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena with a 3-2 home loss to Galatasaray on Tuesday night. 

United sit bottom of Group A and a point behind Copenhagen who they face in their next two fixtures. 

Erik ten Hag’s side have an uphill task to avoid their second group stage exit in three Champions League campaigns but can take heart from the 15 clubs to have triumphed from their current predicament. 

Ukrainian giants Dynamo Kyiv became the first side to advance in the 1999-00 season after they finished level on points and goal difference with third-placed Bayer Leverkusen. 

Man United still have hope of progressing from this season’s group stage but topping the standings could already be beyond them following Tuesday night’s 3-2 defeat

Harry Kane scored from the spot for Bayern Munich in their opening game win against United

Ex-Inter striker Mauro Icardi atoned for his penalty miss to score the winner at Old Trafford

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Shock semi-finalists a year prior, Dynamo progressed by virtue of their 4-2 victory over the Germans. Leverkusen and Newcastle joined them in the 2002-03 season with all three teams making it out of the competition’s first group stage in it’s previous format.

Werder Bremen, Inter and Lyon also managed to escape the opening round in subsequent seasons before in 2008 Greek outfit Panathinaikos became one of only two teams to top a group following a pair of early losses. 

Coincidentally Henk ten Cate’s team suffered defeats to Bremen and Inter in matchdays one and two before finishing atop the standings with 10 points having won three and drawn one of their remaining fixtures. 

Then-French champions Marseille and Galatasaray achieved the feat in the 2010-11 and 2012-13 seasons respectively. 

Ahead of Arsenal who became just the second English team to do so following shock defeats to Dinamo Zagreb and Olympiacos which necessitated a gutsy 2-0 home win against Bayern Munich on matchday three. 

Olivier Giroud netted a hat-trick for Arsenal in 2015 to see them advance to the knockouts

Lucas Moura repeated his last minute antics in the semi-final second leg against Ajax in 2019, having scored the equaliser at the Nou Camp that took Spurs into the round of 16

Despite a humbling 5-1 defeat in the return tie, Arsene Wenger’s side were able to progress with nine points but were dumped out in the round of 16 by Lionel Messi and Co. 

Three seasons later their north London rivals Tottenham were able to ride their great escape all the way to the final. Mauricio Pochettino’s side’s feat was made all the more impressive by their failure to win any of their first three games. 

Spurs progressed thanks to Lucas Moura’s 85th minute equaliser at the Nou Camp before a routine round of 16 win set up an epic quarter-final victory over Man City and an unbelievable semi-final comeback against Ajax when Moura was again the star. 

Tottenham have since been joined by Atalanta, Sporting Lisbon, Porto and RB Leipzig. The latter two having done so in last season’s competition with the Portuguese outfit topping a group that contained Club Brugge, Leverkusen and Atletico Madrid.


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