Manchester United have qualified for the 2015-16 UEFA Champions League group stages, and Louis van Gaal’s men will now look ahead to competing against Europe’s elite after a 2014-15 season without any continental trips.
Van Gaal will look to make it a fourth Champions League trophy for the Red Devils, and here we look at United’s highs and lows in the competition.
Did not qualify
It was the second season of the revamped Champions League, and United’s foray ended in the second qualifying round, losing to Galatasaray on away goals.
There was progress from the previous season, but United fans still watched their team exit in the group stages, finishing third behind Swedish side IFK Goteborg and Barcelona.
Did not qualify
United finished second in the group and went on to beat Porto 4-0 on aggregate in the quarterfinal, but the semifinal was a step too far, losing to eventual winners Borussia Dortmund.
In the year that Real Madrid won their seventh European crown, United did not make the last four, beaten by Monaco on away goals in the quarterfinals after they had topped their Group B table ahead of eventual runners-up Juventus.
The Class of `92 reached finishing school in the treble year, as the likes of Gary Neville, David Beckham, Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs ensured a final berth after seeing off Juventus in dramatic fashion. The biggest drama was left for the Camp Nou, though, as Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer helped beat Bayern Munich 2-1 from a goal down.
In attempting to defend the title, United were knocked out in the last eight after getting through an easy group stage, as once again an eventual winner, Real Madrid, came up trumps.
As like the previous season, the team reached the quarterfinals – having negotiated two simple group stages – but champions Bayern Munich finally exacted revenge for the 1999 heartache as the Red Devils lost both legs.
United sailed through both group stages again then saw off Deportivo La Coruna in the last eight, but they had a tough opponent in Bayer Leverkusen to get past next. Although they drew in both legs, it was the Germans who progressed on away goals.
United only lost two games in the whole of the two group stages, but were knocked out by Real Madrid in the quarterfinals, which included a second leg best remembered for hat trick hero Ronaldo getting a standing ovation at Old Trafford.
Jose Mourinho ran down the Old Trafford touchline to celebrate knocking United out at the last-16 stage with FC Porto.
United had to play a qualifying round – winning against Dinamo Bucuresti – and a passage to the round of 16 was sealed as well before AC Milan ended their hopes.
Although United had eased through the qualifying round, they only won one of their games in the group stage – drawing three and losing two. They finished bottom of a table containing Villarreal, Benfica and Lille. It was the first time in 11 years that United had failed to get past the group stages.
United bounced back by taking top spot in the group stages, and then pulled off an incredible 7-1 win at Old Trafford in the quarte-final second leg over Roma. AC Milan ended the run in the semifinals, though.
It was 50 years after the Munich air disaster, 40 years after their Wembley triumph under Sir Matt Busby, and nearly a decade after the treble, but United at last clinched a third European Cup. After beating no less than Barcelona in the semifinals, United faced Chelsea in the first all-English Champions League final, as Edwin van der Sar proved the hero on penalties in Moscow.
Having gone unbeaten in the group stages before knocking out Inter Milan, Porto and Arsenal, United reached the final. However, a Messi-led Barcelona were just too good for the Old Trafford outfit.
Topping the group stages and losing just the one game, United incredibly saw off AC Milan 7-2 on aggregate but were knocked out at the quarterfinal stage by Bayern Munich, away goals sealing the deal in a 4-4 aggregate scoreline.
United made it all the way to a Wembley final, accounting for Marseille, Chelsea and Schalke in the knockout stages. Barcelona again stood in their way, clinching a fourth European crown with a 3-1 win.
They did not make it through the group stage, finishing in third behind Benfica and Basel.
Sir Alex Ferguson may have eyed a third European Cup triumph in his final season in charge, and they began strongly by topping the group, but the drama of a last-16 second leg at Old Trafford, which saw Cristiano Ronaldo score and Nani sent off, saw Real Madrid go through.
David Moyes had the unenviable task of following Ferguson in the dugout and, at least in Europe, made decent headway by leading Group A and then making the quarterfinals. Bayern Munich brought the run to an end, winning 4-2 on aggregate.
Did not qualify
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