Louis van Gaal admitted he found Manchester United’s defeat to Wolfsburg “difficult to understand”.
United fell to a 3-2 defeat in Germany to lose their place in the Champions League, with a Europa League campaign awaiting instead.
The visitors took the lead through Anthony Martial after 10 minutes before falling 2-1 behind in the first half. They found an equaliser – and, at that point, passage to the Champions League last 16 – through an own goal, before Wolfsburg responded to take the lead a minute later.
The Germans held on for a 3-2 victory, and Van Gaal was at odds to explain the lackadaisical defending displayed by his side.
“The result is difficult to understand,” he told BT Sport. “I am happy we have scored and not happy we have two times in two minutes given the goal away. I have to analyse why that is happening. Normally we are very good in that aspect.
“I have said in advance that this is a tight group and you see that in the results that we have made – and also our competitors.
“I have to say that we were not so lucky in a match today, with the decision of the referee, and also in the first match too. When the group is tight that kind of decision can decide whether you go through or not.”