Manchester United have only themselves to blame for their Champions League exit following a 3-2 loss to RB Leipzig on Tuesday, launching their comeback far too late, coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said.
United only needed a point from their final Group H game to advance to the knockout stage but left themselves with a mountain to climb after falling three goals behind against Leipzig.
“We started too late. Great spirit and comeback again,” Solskjaer said. “It’s different to the Premier League, you can’t give a team a three-goal lead and expect to come back,” he added after United fought back to win their last two Premier League games against Southampton and West Ham United.
Leipzig were leading 3-0 until an 80th-minute penalty from Bruno Fernandes and a deflected header from Paul Pogba two minutes later gave them hope.
“We were unlucky towards the end and you almost thought it was in at the last minute there,” Solskjaer said of a stoppage-time save by Leipzig keeper Peter Gulacsi.
Solskjaer’s team have now lost back-to-back Champions League games.
“Of course you can’t say we were good enough, we weren’t,” he said. “Today we were close but we knew we had to defend crosses and balls into the box and we just couldn’t clear them.”
Leipzig scored twice in the opening 13 minutes with the United defence out of position.
“As a footballer you can’t feel sorry for yourself. You feel sorry for a few minutes tonight and then we focus on a massive game on Saturday,” he said ahead of United’s match against local rivals Manchester City.