Man United finishing bottom of their Champions League group and not dropping into the Europa League is a GOOD thing, insisting Rio Ferdinand
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Man United finishing bottom of their Champions League group and not dropping into the Europa League is a GOOD thing, insisting Rio Ferdinand

Jan 4, 2024
  • Manchester United were eliminated from the Champions League on Tuesday
  • Erik ten Hag’s side finished bottom of their group in the European competition
  • Will Marcus Rashford EVER be the real deal? Listen to It’s All Kicking Off

Rio Ferdinand believes it is a good thing Manchester United won’t be dropping down to the Europa League after crashing out of the Champions League on Tuesday.

United’s debut campaign in Europe’s top cup competition under Erik ten Hag is over after they were beaten by Bayern Munich at Old Trafford and Copenhagen beat Galatasaray to finish group runners-up.

The Red Devils finished bottom of the group with just one win from six games, meaning they won’t drop into the Europa League, with third-placed Galatasaray taking that honour.

Having already been knocked out of the Carabao Cup, United’s only chance of silverware this season is now in either the FA Cup or the Premier League.

They are currently 10-points adrift of league leaders Arsenal and will play Wigan in the third-round of the FA Cup at the start of January.

Manchester United were knocked out of the Champions League on Tuesday after losing to Bayern Munich

Manchester United were knocked out of the Champions League on Tuesday after losing to Bayern Munich

Erik ten Hag's squad finished bottom of their group and miss out on dropping into the Europa League

Erik ten Hag’s squad finished bottom of their group and miss out on dropping into the Europa League

However, Ferdinand believes being knocked out of Europe altogether is better than dropping down into the second-tier UEFA competition because of the injuries United are currently dealing with.

Analysing United’s defeat against Bayern on TNT Sports, Ferdinand said: ‘You think it was a game that you’ve got to go out and we lay it all out there to get a result and get a win today, that never quite materialised. 

‘I still think that it may not have opened up and I’ve gone and played like we’ve seen a throughout this group, open and wild kind of performances. 

‘It could have been three or four who said they’d have been picked up quite easily I think by this team, who I thought could have been through the gears even more if need be. 

‘But again, I think best case worst case scenario if you know what I’m talking about, I would have rather go out of Europe completely to concentrate on the League and get players back fit rather than get into the Europa League and having to exert themselves even more,’ he added.

United went as far as the Europa Cup semi-finals last season before being beaten by eventual winners Sevilla.

Rio Ferdinand believes United not going into the Europa League is the 'best-case scenario' for his former side

Rio Ferdinand believes United not going into the Europa League is the ‘best-case scenario’ for his former side

Brighton, Liverpool and West Ham are the English top-flight’s remaining representatives in the Europa League, with United now preparing for a trip to Anfield in the Premier League on Sunday.

They needed to beat Bayern at Old Trafford on Tuesday and hope Copenhagen and Galatasaray played out a draw in order to stay in the Champions League.

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Copenhagen scored late in the second half and United’s exit from Europe was confirmed.

Further misery was also heaped on Ten Hag’s squad after Harry Maguire limped off injured in the first half before Luke Shaw was withdrawn at half time with another injury. 



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