Jadon Sancho and Marcel Sabitzer hand Manchester United another Champions League blow

Man Utd won't be winning the Champions League this season but Jadon Sancho could be.
Germany are set to get an extra Champions League place ahead of EnglandGermany are set to get an extra Champions League place ahead of England
Germany are set to get an extra Champions League place ahead of England

Manchester United have been handed yet another blow in their faint hopes of qualifying for the Champions League.

Erik ten Hag's side have an uphill challenge to qualify for the top continental club competition next season, mostly because of their frustrating level of inconsistency across the Premier League campaign.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

United failed to capitalise on Tottenham's 4-0 thrashing at the hands of Newcastle last Saturday as they were held to a 2-2 draw by Bournemouth later in the day. Things got even worse for them the following day when Aston Villa shocked Arsenal with a 2-0 away win at the Emirates.

It means United are now seventh in the Premier League, 13 points behind Aston Villa with just six games left to play, though Unai Emery's side have played a game more. Villa just need seven points from their remaining five matches to guarantee they finish above United, though given their far superior goal difference, two wins would most likely be enough.

For much of the season, it had looked like a fifth-place finish would also be enough to secure Champions League football, with an additional place granted to the two countries with the best coefficient across the current campaign. A week ago, England was well on course to secure that place ahead of Germany, but now there has since been a huge shift which could grow even greater by the end of the week.

A win is worth two points and a draw one, with extra points for qualification to the next phase of a tournament. Those points are then divided by the total number of clubs each country had in Europe this season (England produced eight and the Germany seven).

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

England moved level with Germany in the rankings after Man City and Arsenal both drew their quarter-final first legs last week, but they now trail with a score of 16.750 compared with 17.214 for the German sides. Liverpool were thrashed 3-0 by Atalanta last week and West Ham were comfortably beaten 2-0 by Bundesliga champions Bayer Leverkusen. Aston Villa defeated Lille 2-1 in their first leg, but there is no guarantee any of the five English sides will qualify for the semi-finals of their respective competitions.

Germany's hopes of securing the additional Champions League place were boosted further when Jadon Sancho and Marcel Sabitzer inspired Borussia Dortmund to a comeback victory over Atletico Madrid on Tuesday night and they could all but confirm the spot if Bayern Munich and Leverkusen reach the last-four at the expense of English opposition.

United are already highly unlikely to finish fifth, never mind fourth this season. Even if they miraculously did, it very well might not be enough for them to return to the Champions League.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.