Manchester United have had a terrible season. It seems the club announced the signing of Cristiano Ronaldo a long time ago and some fans have even gone so far as to say that the team managed by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could mount a challenge for the title.
However, we are now in May, Solskjaer was sacked in November and United are 28 points from first place having played two more games than leaders Manchester City. United will finish the season without silverware and it remains to be seen which European competition they will play under Erik ten Hag.
With a place in the top four and the Champions League now out of reach, the minimum many fans expected was Europa League football, although some fans did not want to play in Europe at all given that Arsenal is rebuilt with fewer games to worry about. . But United’s 4-0 loss to Brighton upended that plan.
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Had United beaten Brighton or even drawn against them, it would have all but secured their place in the Europa League. West Ham United take on Manchester City in midweek, in which they will struggle to get a result, and then take on Brighton in the final game of the season.
It would also have meant they would have been out of reach for Wolves, who can still mathematically overtake United as they have two games in hand. This could mean United would be completely without European competition, but given that the Midlands side have yet to play both Liverpool and City, that is highly unlikely to happen.
The 4-0 defeat erased United’s goal difference and then West Ham won 4-0 against Norwich. This means they are only three points behind.
If West Ham win against City then United will be level on points with David Moyes’ side and will need the London club not to match or better their result against Palace in the final game of the season (with a goal difference of 10 to West in favor of Ham, it seems unlikely to come into play). This completely removes power from Rangnick and his player’s hands.
If West Ham draw against City, United must win against Palace to confirm their place in the Europa League next season. If they draw, they must hope Moyes’ men don’t win against Brighton otherwise they will be in the UEFA Europa Conference League next season.
If West Ham lose to City then United only need a result to confirm their place, although they will enter the Europa League by default if West Ham do not beat Brighton.
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