Man down



May 16, 2016
Man down
United’s Champions League hopes blow up

Not only have Manchester United missed out on Champions League football next season, Louis van Gaal’s manne’s season has truly bombed.

Their final-day match against Bournemouth was abandoned after a suspect package was found in their ground and an army bomb disposal unit was called.

The Alex Ferguson Stand and the Stretford End of Old Trafford were evacuated 20 minutes before the 4pm kickoff.

Sniffer dogs were used to search the area and a controlled explosion was carried out inside the stadium by bomb disposal experts at Old Trafford.

They play Crystal Palace in the FA Cup final on Saturday and it is not clear when a rescheduled game against Bournemouth will be played.

In a statement posted on Twitter, the Premier League said it would seek to rearrange the fixture “as soon as practically possible”.

“When it comes to matters of security it is obviously right that Manchester United and the Premier League place the safety of supporters and employees foremost,” it said.

“It is always the last resort to abandon one of our fixtures.”

Meanwhile, Manchester City secured their participation in the Champions League when they finished fourth in the Premier League with a 1-1 with Swansea.

While United can end level on 66 points with City, the 20-time champions will have to make up 12 goals on goal difference – but there was more “attacking threat” at Old Trafford yesterday without Wayne Rooney and company on the pitch.

It was Manuel Pellegrini’s final match in charge of the Eastlands side and he got the job done to send his successor Pep Guardiola to the Champions League.

Pellegrini insists his team weren’t affected by the abandonment of the United tie.

He says: “I knew that the game was abandoned but I didn’t know why.

“We were focusing just on our game because we weren’t depending on the result of Man United.”

The departing Chilean adds: “It’s been a very special day without any doubt.

“If you analyse the season, we won the League Cup and we reached the semifinal of the Champions League losing only to an own goal.

“We could not continue in the FA Cup and in the Premier League we finished not in the position we wanted but we’ve been very near the top of the table all year.

“In February we lost two games at home against Leicester and Tottenham so it was hard to fight for the title. If you think of all those things, it’s been a good season, not a very good season but still good.

“If you’ve been in the Champions League places for 37 games then it is important to qualify.

“I think that if you are a big team you must play in the Champions League, so it was very important to finish the way we did.”

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