Manchester United, Champions League, group stage,

Introducing Bayern's UCL opponents Manchester United

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The Champions League is back! FC Bayern begin their 2023/24 European campaign with a home fixture against Manchester United. We take a closer look at our opening opponents.

Barcelona and a good record

Deep sadness and absolute elation – the previous encounters with Manchester United evoke wildly mixed reactions among Bayern fans. They certainly don't leave anyone cold, though. This fixture has its beginnings in the 1998/99 UCL season. After two draws in the group stage, the two teams met around six months later in the final in Barcelona – and nobody needs reminding of the outcome of the match. However, Bayern later avenged the painful 2-1 injury-time defeat in a way...

FC Bayern, Manchester United, 2001
Revenge served: In the 2000/01 Champions League quarter-finals, Bayern avenged the heartbreaking final defeat of 1999.

In 2001, the Bavarians overcame the Red Devils in the quarter-finals on their way to the title. And since then, too, FCB have mostly got the better of United, suffering just one defeat – "probably the nicest" in spring 2010, when Arjen Robben's wonder goal was enough to reach the semi-finals despite a 3-2 loss at Old Trafford. With four wins, five draws and only two defeats, the overall head-to-head record favours the German record champions.

Still number one in England, but number two in the city

Manchester United, Premier League, 2013
United claimed their last Premier League title under Sir Alex Ferguson in 2013.

With 20 top-flight titles, Man Utd are still England's most successful club behind Liverpool (19). However, it's 10 years since their last Premier League title. The dominant position that the Red Devils enjoyed under legendary coach Sir Alex Ferguson, particularly in the 1990s and early 2000s, has since been passed on to city rivals Manchester City. However, even after winning the treble in the summer, the Cityzens have by no means earned as many international merits as United.

Manchester United, Champions League, 2008
Manchester United's last Champions League triumph came in 2008 in the all-English final against Chelsea. Their team featured the likes of Ryan Giggs, Cristiano Ronaldo and Rio Ferdinand.

From the Champions League (1968, 1999, 2008) to the Intercontinental Cup (1999) or the FIFA Club World Cup (2008), the European Cup Winners' Cup (1991) and the Europa League (2017), the team's last European title, the Red Devils have won every major trophy in world football. However, in recent times the famous old club have failed to reach those heights, neither domestically nor in Europe. They did reach the final of the Europa League two years ago, but lost in dramatic fashion to Villarreal 11-10 on penalties.

Trophy drought ended by ten Hag

Erik ten Hag, Manchester United
Erik ten Hag has been in charge at United since July 2022. The Dutchman previously coached Ajax and the Bayern reserves.

Coach Erik ten Hag managed to end United's six-year wait for a trophy with victory in the EFL Cup in late February. The Dutchman, who coached the FC Bayern reserves from 2013 to 2015, took over at Old Trafford last summer and guided them to third place in the league, earning them a place in the Champions League following a one-year absence.

EFL Cup, Manchester United
First trophy in six years: Erik ten Hag's side won the EFL Cup last season.

It's been a stuttering start to the new Premier League season, though. Both away matches at Tottenham (0-2) and Arsenal (1-3) ended in clear defeats, while on home soil, narrow wins against Wolverhampton Wanderers (1-0) and Nottingham Forest (3-2) were followed by a 3-1 loss to Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday.

High-class names

Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes, Manchester United
Marcus Rashford, who came through the club's own academy, as well as Portugal international Bruno Fernandes are among the core members of the team.

Such a start is below the expectations in Manchester, particularly when you look at the star names in the squad, which include Portuguese playmaker Bruno Fernandes, speedy forward Marcus Rashford and highly decorated Brazilian holding midfielder Casemiro.

Before Wednesday's meeting of his two former clubs, spoke to Owen Hargreaves:

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