In what turned out to be twice-winner Sir Alex Ferguson’s last Champions League campaign at the helm at Old Trafford, the Red Devils endured an indifferent campaign. Unlike their neighbours Manchester City, they had a somewhat favourable draw on paper with a group containing Galatasaray, Braga and Cluj.
Many had United down as comfortable favourites to breeze through to the last 16. After winning their first four games and qualifying for the next round they faltered with losses away to Galatasaray and more embarrassingly at home to Cluj. Despite this, United went on to claim first place and were unlucky to draw Real Madrid – probably the worst possible outcome. After losing over two legs, it is probably the one regret Sir Alex had from his last season in the dugout.
This campaign, United probably face a tougher challenge to make it through the group stage. Nevertheless, the critics really will be out to get David Moyes if he fails to steer this group of players through Real Sociedad, Bayer Leverkusen and Shaktar Donetsk. On first analysis there is no real ‘whipping boys’ in the group which makes each game even more important for United. The group could be a tight one.