Firstly it is important to note that this is not meant as a jibe against Manchester United. In recent years they have always been the go-to team when it comes to watching British clubs in the Champions League and that remains the same now, even if it is for different reasons.
As again they toiled in the Champions League this time against Portuguese side Braga on Tuesday night I began to wonder when exactly was the last time they even played well in the Champions League.
Of course it is a matter of opinion but for me I think you have to go as far back as last year for such a fixture. The 4-1 win over Schalke at Old Trafford on the 4th May 2011 is, personally, the last time I remember Manchester United dominating a game in European football. The leg before hand was similar and the quarter final victory over Chelsea also impressive but since then it has not been the domineering performances we have come to embrace from Sir Alex Ferguson’s men.
We know of their troubles against Benfica and Basel in last season’s edition and the 2011 final against Barcelona saw them being outclassed for the majority of the game, in their defence many a team would have been.
So far this season they were lucky to come away with three points against Galatasaray and went one-nil-down to Romanian minnows CFR Cluj before clawing back a 2-1 victory.
Tuesday night’s dog-fight with Braga is becoming an unhealthy habit for The Red Devils and the times off breezing through their Group Stage appear a distant memory, and as exciting as it makes it for me the neutral I am certain many a United fan may wish for a slightly more robust performance in their next fixture with Braga at the Estadio AXA on the 7th of November.
image: © Jan S0L0