Manchester United went into their Champions League clash with Bayern Munich with a point to prove.
After consecutive defeats to Brighton and Arsenal either side of the international break, Eric ten Hag was eager to mastermind the Munich miracle.
The Canada international was alert to prevent Facundo Pellistri from tapping in, Christian Eriksen then saw his shot saved.
Man Utd star Andre Onana scored a costly clanger during his team’s Champions League defeat to Bayern Munich
However, the story of United’s season so far has been that getting close soon brings disaster.
And it was certainly a night to forget for Andre Onana.
Big things were expected from the Cameroon international when he returned from Serie A giants Inter Milan in the summer transfer window as an A-list replacement for David De Gea.
United never had any problems with De Gea’s shot-stopping abilities. Instead, they felt they needed a goalkeeper who could play from the back.
But although it is still too early to evaluate Onana, it already appears to be a disastrous sign. Whisper it quietly but De Gea is still out of work…
Just four minutes later, the former Manchester City star scored a goal and the match ended suddenly.
Bayern doubled their lead after Serge Gnabry fired into the bottom corner after some sensational work from Jamal Musiala.
Diogo Dalot and Lisandro Martínez did not perform well enough. However, Victor Lindelof appeared to switch off at the crucial moment – reacting to developments in slow motion.
Sweden is a matter of international concern. He has been at United for six years but has never really convinced. The sooner Raphael Varane returns, the better.
And then there is Casemiro, with the Brazil star a shadow of the player who marshalled the United midfield last season despite scoring twice.
Just a few months ago the Samba star was being hailed as a brilliant signing, a true game-changer. He scored his goals well in the second half – but he is not in the team for this.
For most of the game, except for the final stages, the match seemed to be going ahead of Casemiro. Leon Goretzka and Joshua Kimmich were both in a league of their own.
Perhaps that’s why Real Madrid were happy to sell their midfield gladiator last summer. When you look at how their current central players are performing, Casemiro cannot be overlooked.
Certainly, Hjolund’s strike early in the second half was one of the biggest positives of the night.
Höglund dreamed of playing for United, scoring for United and even playing in the Champions League with the club.
He can now cross all three items off his bucket list.
However, Bayern was only nervous for a few minutes. Shortly after Hjölund’s goal, a penalty was awarded after Christian Eriksen’s handball. The Danish playmaker was unlucky as the ball fell straight at him but UEFA’s rules are much stricter than the Premier League.
Man Utd midfielder Casemiro works hard during his team’s Champions League clash with Bayern Munich
Harry Kane, per usual, did the rest – Mathis Tell netting late either side of Casemiro’s goals.
United will not have time to dwell on the defeat for long. Their next match will be against Burnley on Saturday, in which they cannot afford to drop points.
Onana, Lindelof and Casemiro will have to step up if they are still to start their season.