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Published: 10:23 | 17/12/15

United crash out of Champions League

Manchester United are out of the Champions League after they suffered a thrilling 3-2 defeat to Wolfsburg in Germany on Wednesday night.

Louis van Gaal’s men needed to better the result of PSV Eindhoven to secure their passage to the last-16, but they were unable to get a positive result in Germany, while the Dutch outfit beat CSKA 2-1 in Eindhoven to seal their place in the knockout stages with Wolfsburg.

United took the lead through Anthony Martial, and were level with just eight minutes remaining, but they lacked defensive discipline throghout as they fell to a disappointing defeat.

The visitors took the lead after 10 minutes when Juan Mata collected 30 yards from goal and played a superb ball into the path of Martial, who calmly slotted home to make it 1-0.

However, the lead didn’t last long as Wolfsburg equalised almost immediately.

Ricardo Rodriguez clipped in a sublime free-kick that was met at the near-post by centre-half Naldo and he volleyed home a stunning strike to make it one a-piece.

And the game was turned on its head by a fantastic team goal from Wolfsburg after 29 minutes. Andre Schurrle collected a switch of play and found Julian Draxler on the edge of the box.

Draxler skipped past three United defenders, before playing a brilliant one-two and pulling the ball into the path of Vierinha who tapped into an empty net to make it 2-1.

The Reds continued to look suspect at the back, but dangerous going forward and they thought they levelled on the stroke of halftime when Jesse Lingard curled a cross beyond the keeper from just outside the area.

However, the effort was correctly ruled out after the officials eventually decided that Juan Mata was in an offside position as Wolfsburg went in 2-1 up at the break.

The second half started much like the first had finished with United on the attack and they went close again after 58 minutes when Memphis volleyed an effort on goal that was well saved by Benaglio.

The Reds then had David De Gea to thank for keeping theme in the game as he made three top-class saves in the space of five minutes as Wolfsburg cranked up the pressure.

And these saves proved absolutely vital with 8 minutes remaining when, from a corner, Felliani rose highest and saw his header flicked into his own net by Josuha Guilavogui as United made it 2-2 and looked on course to qualify.

Again, though, the visitors were unable to defend and they were undone just a minute later when Naldo headed home from a corner to send United towards the Europa League.

The visitors threw everything forward in the dying minutes, and went close on a number of occasions, but they were unable to find the two goals needed as they fell to a 3-2 defeat and out of the Champions League.

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