For Manchester United to qualify from the UEFA Champions League (UCL) group stage, they will now have to avoid defeat away at Galatasaray on matchday five, after they twice gave up a lead to lose 4-3 against Copenhagen at Parken Stadium.
That defeat cemented United to the bottom of the group on just three points, while also putting Erik Ten Hag’s job in extra jeopardy. Can they still do it, or will the Old Trafford side finally crash and burn?
Manchester United to qualify from UCL group stage – Latest news
Copenhagen surge into second as United hit rock bottom
United were comfortable in Denmark half-an-hour in, as their own great Dane Rasmus Hojlund had scored a brace to put them 2-0 up. However, Marcus Rashford then got sent off, swinging the game in the hosts' favour.
Copenhagen brought the match level at 2-2 before half-time through a Mohamed Elyounoussi goal and Diogo Goncalves penalty, but United promptly won a penalty of their own in the second half. Bruno Fernandes converted to give them the lead once more, but they could not hold on, as goals from Lukas Lerager and Roony Bardghji ensured that the hosts claimed all three points.
The result lifted the unfancied Copenhagen up to second, contrasting sharply with United’s woes.
Kane ensures Bayern qualification in first place
A Harry Kane double ensured Bayern Munich qualified for the UCL knockout stages in first place in the group. They beat Galatasaray 2-1 at the Allianz Arena on matchday four, despite a late consolation from Cedric Bakambu.
The result left them on 12 points and maintained their 100% record in the group stage, leaving the other three teams to battle it out for the last qualification spot.
Galatasaray's chances of qualifying have been affected slightly, as they are now down in third place, but the result in the other match has left the group wide open.
Manchester United to qualify from UCL group stage – Current outrights
The latest matchday results mean that Galatasaray are now 6/5 favourites to qualify for the UCL knockout stages alongside Bayern. They know that if they beat United at home on matchday five, they will knock Erik ten Hag's side out of the competition.
Given that the Turks won 3-2 at Old Trafford in the reverse fixture, they will be confident in getting a positive result. And should Copenhagen also lose to Bayern on matchday five, they would just need to avoid defeat in Denmark on matchday six to go through.
After Wednesday night's defeat, United are now 15/8 second-favourites to qualify from the group alongside Bayern, behind Galatasaray. It was a damaging loss in more ways than one for the Red Devils, as they will also be without the suspended Rashford for the remainder of the group stage.
Having already been beaten by Galatasaray on their own patch, they will not be as confident of winning in Turkey, while they also host the so-far perfect Bayern on matchday six. Nonetheless, it is looking very bleak now for United, and qualifying for the knockout stages is now a huge ask.
Despite Wednesday’s heroics, Copenhagen are still only 2/1 third-favourites to reach the knockouts with Bayern. This is perhaps because they face a daunting trip to Germany on matchday five, and their historical record shows that they have only qualified for the knockout stages once – in the 2010/11 season.
Nonetheless, Copenhagen have shown that they can cause an upset, and crucially have home advantage against Galatasaray on matchday six.