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Manchester United battle back but fall short in defeat to Bayern Munich

The final score perhaps flattered the Red Devils, as the Bundesliga giants were in control throughout

Why Kane is the focus of Bayern Munich v. Man Utd
Joe Prince-Wright, Andy Edwards and Nick Mendola preview Bayern Munich's Champions League group stage matchup against Manchester United.

Manchester United’s UEFA Champions League campaign got off to a disastrous start on Wednesday, before the Red Devils clawed back a bit of respect late on in a 4-3 defeat away to Bayern Munich.

[ WATCH: Arsenal’s four goals, plus seven between Man United & Bayern Munich ]

Andre Onana will certainly want to forget his first UCL appearance for Manchester United after his 28th-minute howler saw the 11-time defending Bundesliga champions go ahead from absolutely nothing, as Leroy Sane’s effort from outside the penalty area beat the Cameroon international despite hitting him squarely in the hands. Four minutes later, Jamal Musiala picked out Serge Gnabry to apply the sweeping finish and make it 2-0 in the blink of an eye.

Erik ten Hag’s side responded quickly following the halftime restart, with Rasmus Hojlund bagging his first goal since signing late in the transfer window this summer, but Bayern’s two-goal lead was restored just as quickly in the 53rd minute when Harry Kane converted from the penalty spot for his fifth goal for Bayern.

It would remain 3-1 until Casemiro cleaned up in front of goal in the 88th, but again Bayern immediately hit back through 18-year-old Mathys Tel in the 91st. Casemiro then headed home Bruno Fernandes’ free kick in the 94th, but time would run out before they could fashion another scoring chance.

Man United’s missing piece of full display

Perhaps Hojlund will one day reach the level at which Kane has operated for many years not (perhaps he won’t), but it’s hard to watch Manchester United play against Bayern Munich, with Kane leading the line, and not wonder how different things might look at Old Trafford these days had they convinced him to join them instead. Of course, Kane had no reason to join a club in such disarray, while moving to Bayern all but guarantees him the first trophy of his career.

Everything that Kane represents and what makes him a perfect fit at Bayern — his professionalism, consistency, focus and team-first attitude — is precisely what has been missing at Old Trafford for the last decade.

Bayern Munich vs Manchester United, final score: 4-3

Goalscorers: Leroy Sane (28'), Serge Gnabry (32'), Rasmus Hojlund (49'), Harry Kane (53' - PK), Casemiro (88', 90'+5), Mathys Tel (90'+1)

Bayern Munich vs Manchester United: How to watch, updates, start time

Date: Wednesday, September 20
Kick off: 3pm ET
How to watch: Paramount+ and TUDN USA

Bayern Munich starting lineup

Manchester United starting lineup

Focus on Manchester United

Where do we start with the injury and off-field issues Erik ten Hag has to deal with?

Jadon Sancho and Antony are still away from the team due to Sancho’s discipline issue and allegations of abuse against Antony made by several women.

In injury news, Luke Shaw, Raphael Varane and Aaron Wan-Bissaka are all out, with new signing Sofyan Amrabat still recovering from injury. Mason Mount, Amad Diallo, Tom Heaton, Tyrell Malacia and Kobbie Mainoo also remain out.

It looks like Erik ten Hag will roll with pretty much the same lineup which lost at home to Brighton but the likes of Hannibal, Garnacho and Pellistri could start.

Focus on Bayern Munich

Thomas Tuchel has Bayern Munich clicking through the gears early in the season, although they did draw 2-2 with Leverkusen ahead of this game as a few defensive cracks appeared.

At the other end of the pitch Harry Kane, Leroy Sane, Serge Gnabry and Thomas Muller are delivering and all signs point towards another German title and a deep Champions League run this season.

In injury news, Manuel Neuer and Raphael Guerreiro remain out for Bayern.