Michael Carrick promised Manchester United would make a swift return to the Champions League after defeat to Bayern Munich in Germany all but confirmed they would miss the competition for the first time since the 1995-96 season next year.
United defended well for an almost an hour, but just 22 seconds after Patrice Evra’s thunderbolt gave them a surprise lead Bayern scored the first of three goals that wrapped up a 4-2 aggregate win.
With the odds well against United claiming fourth in the Barclays Premier League, they look set to face a wait before playing on Europe’s biggest stage again.
“Obviously it’s not good enough,” Carrick told Sky Sports 1. “We’ve said that over the last few weeks. It’s not good enough because this club should be in the Champions League. It was always going to be tough tonight, but the reason we’re not in the Champions League is not because of tonight, it’s our league form over the season and we take responsibility for that.
“This is where we want to be. This is where we’ve been for a long time and we’ll be back here in the not too distant future.”
Manager David Moyes was left to lament his side’s defending after they had put themselves in such a great position.
“It was probably 30 seconds after we scored,” he said. “You’re told as a schoolboys not to concede right away but we conceded too quickly and it was always going be a tough night. I think we need to give ourselves five or 10 minutes but they went right up the other end and scored.
“I don’t know if it was about concentration. We played ever so well and our performance really pleased me but a couple of small errors cost me.”