Harry Maguire admits Man Utd weren’t ready and started too slow in crunch Champions League clash

HARRY MAGUIRE shared his frustration as he admitted Manchester United started too slow in their crushing defeat to RB Leipzig.

The Red Devils were dumped out of the Champions League after a dismal 3-2 defeat to the Bundesliga side in Germany.

Harry Maguire was gutted after Manchester United crashed out of the Champions League


Harry Maguire was gutted after Manchester United crashed out of the Champions LeagueCredit: Reuters

On-loan Manchester City player Angelino stunned United with a SECOND-MINUTE strike before setting up Amadou Haidara for No2.

Justin Kluivert struck Leipzig’s third before a late Bruno Fernandes penalty and a Paul Pogba header – that hit Maguire – gave the away side hope.

But England star Maguire could only have his head in his hands as the final whistle went and United dropped into the Europa League.

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And speaking afterwards, the 27-year-old chastised his teammates as they were punished for starting slowly once again.

He told BT Sport: “We started the game too slow. It wasn’t good enough.

“The first 20 minutes we weren’t at it. They put two balls in the box and we failed to deal with them.

“We have to look at ourselves, we gave ourselves too much to do. You’ve seen how close we came at the end but we started too slow and we can’t keep falling behind.

“We said on Saturday at half-time, 2-0 down, the next goal is crucial and we said it again tonight. They made it 3-0 and the task becomes even bigger. The third goal proved to be the crucial one but even three down we came close at the end.

We started the game too slow. It wasn’t good enough. The first 20 minutes we weren’t at it.

Harry Maguire

“I don’t want to look at excuses. We have to go out and be aggressive, win balls. That’s the basics. If you can’t defend crosses you’re going to lose games. I don’t want to look at shape – it’s not an excuse.

“It’s a tough group but we felt we should get through. That’s the standards of this club. I’m gutted for everyone, we worked so hard to reach this competition. No matter what group we got it would be tough. We have to do more.”

United had just needed a point on the night but are now condemned to the Europa League after finishing third in Group H.

Having come from behind to win five away games in the Premier League they gave themselves too big a mountain to climb in Leipzig.

Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said: “We didn’t perform as a team well enough.

“That’s always the manager’s responsibility to get everyone ready.

“We knew they were going to come at us and put crosses in the box unfortunately we conceded two goals and never got going.

“We started too late, there was great spirit in the comeback again but it’s different to the Premier League, you can’t give a team a 3-0 lead and expect to come back.

“We weren’t good enough in a difficult group. We started well in the group but the big turning point was Istanbul and that was the one you thought we lost the points we should have had.

“In this game we were close but knew we had to defend crosses and balls in the box and we couldn’t clear it.”

Solskjaer also hit out at Paul Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola who had disrupted the preparations by announcing on the eve of the game that his clients time at United was over.

The Norwegian added: “As soon as Paul’s agent realises this is a team sport and we work together the better, and that’s maybe the last thing I’ll say about that, I don’t want to spend energy on that.”

“You have to ask Paul if he is happy or not, I’m not going to speak for him. Paul is focused on doing his best for the team and when he’s here he’s working hard in training just needs to focus on his performances.”

Man Utd lose 3-2 at RB Leipzig and are out of the Champions League

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