Devastated goalkeeper Andre Onana said he let the team down with his costly mistake at the start of Manchester United’s Champions League loss to Bayern Munich.
Erik ten Hag’s side suffered a fourth loss in five matches as a bright start in Bavaria went up in smoke with the summer signing somehow letting a Leroy Sane shot squirm home.
Bayern quickly added a second through Serge Gnabry and never relinquished control of the Group A opener, with Harry Kane scoring a penalty straight after Rasmus Hojlund had pulled one back after half-time.
Casemiro scored either side of Mathys Tel’s stoppage-time strike in a dramatic conclusion to a 4-3 defeat that glum Onana took responsibility for.
“It’s difficult,” the Cameroon international said.
“It’s difficult to lose this way because I think in the beginning we started very good and after my mistake we lost control of the game.
“It’s a difficult situation for us, for me especially because I’m the one who let the team down. But the team were good, very good, but because of me we didn’t win the game.
“I am happy for the work of the team and we just have to move on. This is life of the goalkeeper and if we didn’t win today it’s because of me.”
Onana requested to face the media after the game and was clearly cut up about his error in the first half, which he said was “the key point” in the loss.
“I have to learn from it and be strong, move on,” the former Inter Milan player told TNT Sports.
“It’s not an easy situation but I’m very happy for the comeback of the team. We were fighting until the end, but I have to recognise because of me we didn’t win.
“I have a lot to prove because, to be honest, my start in Manchester is not so good, not how I want.
“Play how I play today is one of my worst games and it’s difficult because we have big ambition, we are a very big club and we want to win everything.
“It was a big opportunity for us to bounce back after the situation we are facing. It’s tough, a tough time. We have to be together, we have to continue what we are doing, learn from our mistakes because it’s the only thing to do.”
Ten Hag did not sugarcoat things when asked about Onana’s error in the press conference, but made clear it is about the team rather than an individual.
“I think he shows that he takes responsibility and shows personality and the personality he needs to get in high levels,” the United boss said.
“But that’s not only about him, it’s about the team’s performance, so we have to support him on the pitch, not only in life, we have to help him.
“But it doesn’t only count for Andre, it counts for all the players on the pitch. They have to understand they are in the same boat and they have to be on the same page to get results.”
Ten Hag said people should “not make it bigger than it is” and is sure Onana will bounce back from the clanger as attention turns to Saturday’s Premier League trip to Burnley.
“When you score three goals in Munich you have to take at least a point, which we didn’t,” the Dutchman said. “We have to take a look at ourselves in the mirror.”
As for Bayern, they were far from their free flowing best but Thomas Tuchel – banned from the touchline – was happy with the result.
“It is a deserved win,” the ex-Chelsea boss said. “Every win in the Champions League is a big point.
“Every win against Manchester United is a big point. We didn’t have the rhythm that we wanted and in the phase after we made it 3-1 we could have killed the game off. But we reacted well to every setback.”