Manchester United didn't even show up

Manchester United didn't even show up

They could have at least tried.

It ended up not mattering. Manchester United needed the other game in their group, FC Copenhagen and Galatasaray, to end in a draw along with United beating Munich to advance into the Champions League knockout stages. It didn’t. It was a long shot, at best. But you’d think that even though it would take a miracle, a team that has nothing else to do in the evening might, you know, go for it. Even if United were to give up three goals on the counterattack, they could point at the odds of what they were attempting and be comfortable that it was worth a shot. At least they would have made something happen.

Instead, United took the field at Old Trafford seemingly having already accepted their fate. They definitely presented 11 players, so they didn’t have to forfeit, which meant that if Munich felt like punting the ball into their own net for funsies, United could have accepted that. Which apparently was their only plan.

A barely interested Bayern team controlled the ball, toyed with United for most of the match, and eventually put an end to proceedings with this gorgeous Harry Kane pass, if only to feel something on the evening and justify the flight:

In a game that United had to win to have any chance of holding on to even slipping into the Europa League, they had one shot on target. They had five shots total. They merely showed up to get through the 90 minutes because it was on the list of job requirements, and displayed that level of passion.

United sealed their fate by being unable to hold two two-goal leads in Istanbul, or another one in Denmark, or getting pantsed at home by Galatasaray, as well. Beating Munich in the last game was always a tough ask, especially after the latter had gotten rolled by Eintracht last weekend, 5-1, and would have shown up with a burr on their ass. But fans would probably liked to have believed that the team believed they could do such a thing. They never got a glimpse.

They also managed to get two more defenders hurt and will roll up to Anfield on Sunday with Jonny Evans in defense (I have just guaranteed their victory).

It’s one thing to just be bad or unorganized or overmatched. It’s another to be meek, which is where United finds itself. That, and out of Europe, too. And at yet another crossroads. Or maybe the same one they’ve been at for 10 years. Who can tell anymore?

A fight with a goalie?

Time to jump around a bit. To the NHL, where Brady Tkachuk is about the only person on the planet who can turn a penalty shot into an excuse to start a fight. A fight with a goalie, even:

Keith’s other garbage son was a little pissy because he got stonewalled on a penalty shot, though he shrouded it in claiming he thought Pyotr Kochetkov dived more at his legs than at the puck, sending him careening into the endboards. Deep down, Tkachuk knows that coming in with that much speed tips off Kochetkov that he probably can’t make a move to avoid a poke-check. And it’s unlikely The Dreaded Laramie has concerned himself too much with the speed everyone he’s cross-checked into the wall either. You got beat, dude. Just eat it.

Connor Bedard and his magic tour continues

On the flip side, some Connor Bedard silliness, which, of course, took place in another ass-waxing of the Hawks:

Get outta here with this.

Giants want you to know they really, really tried with Ohtani

It’s apparent to the Giants that they’re becoming the “27 Dresses” of MLB free agency (yes, I’ve seen it. You’ve been on a plane, you know how this goes). In the span of about a year they’ve been spurned by Aaron Judge, saw Carlos Correa’s ankle eat up the contract they offered him, and then watched Shohei Ohtani toddle off to their biggest rival. And they want you to know just how hard they tried.

Whenever the big fish sign, there’s the requisite ass-covering from the losers. Front offices want their fans to know they tried and they’re always in it until the last minute, to hear them tell it. The Giants seem to be getting good at this part, but it’s not helping them on the field. This is as much of a tradition as hockey teams announcing the dozens of surgeries their players are going to have after they’re dumped out of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

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Original source here

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About the Author

Anthony Barnett
Anthony is the author of the Science & Technology section of ANH.