|Manager||Ole Gunnar Solskjær|
|Stadium||Old Trafford, Sir Matt Busby Way|
|League Season information|
|Final League position||Premier League, 2nd|
|UEFA Champions League||Group stage|
|UEFA Europa League||Runners-up|
The 2020–21 season is Manchester United's 29th season in the Premier League and their 46th consecutive season in the top flight of English football. The club is participating in the Premier League, the FA Cup, the EFL Cup, and the UEFA Champions League.
Pre-season and friendlies
Due to the belated end to the previous season as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Manchester United played just one friendly before the start of their 2020–21 Premier League season, away to Aston Villa on 12 September 2020. Aston Villa's Ollie Watkins scored the only goal of the game in the 16th minute.
|12 September 2020||Aston Villa||1–0||Manchester United||Aston, Birmingham|
|14:00 BST||Watkins 15'||Report||Stadium: Villa Park|
Referee: Lee Mason
Manchester United's opening match of the 2020–21 Premier League season was due to be away to Burnley on 12 September, but was postponed to ensure a minimum of 30 days between seasons, as per Premier League regulations; the club's final game of the 2019–20 season was on 16 August. Instead, United began their season on 19 September at home to Crystal Palace. After Andros Townsend opened the scoring for the visitors early on, David de Gea denied Jordan Ayew from the penalty spot in the second half, only for the video assistant referee (VAR) to intervene as De Gea had advanced from his line before Ayew had struck the ball; former Manchester United winger Wilfried Zaha scored from the re-take. Donny van de Beek, making his debut after coming on midway through the second half, pulled a goal back for United, but Zaha scored a third for Palace five minutes later, making him the first former United player to score more than one Premier League goal in a match against United. It was the third time United had lost their opening home match of a Premier League season and the first since 2014–15. The following week, away to Brighton & Hove Albion, United came back from a goal down via an own goal by Lewis Dunk and one from Marcus Rashford – the 10,000th goal in the club's history – to lead 2–1 as the match entered stoppage time at the end of the second half; however, as additional time drew to an end, Solly March equalised for the home side. As United searched for a last-minute winning goal, the referee blew the final whistle with the score at 2–2, only for the VAR to award a penalty to United for a handball by Neal Maupay. Bruno Fernandes scored the penalty to give United their first league win of the season.
In the following match on 4 October, the last before the international break, a Bruno Fernandes penalty gave United an early lead at home to Tottenham Hotspur, who were led by former United manager José Mourinho; however, Spurs overturned the deficit thanks to Tanguy Ndombele and Son Heung-min. After United forward Anthony Martial was sent off for slapping Erik Lamela in the face, Harry Kane scored a brace, Son added a second goal and Serge Aurier also scored to give Tottenham a 6–1 win. It was Manchester United's joint-biggest defeat in the Premier League, matching the scoreline from the Manchester derby in 2011, as well as the heaviest defeat under either Ole Gunnar Solskjær as manager or Ed Woodward as executive vice-chairman. The four goals United conceded in the first half was the most they had conceded at home in a single half since November 1957, also against Tottenham. United returned from the international break with a trip to Newcastle United on 17 October, and went behind early on to a Luke Shaw own goal. After Harry Maguire equalised with a header midway through the first half, Fernandes had a penalty saved by Newcastle goalkeeper Karl Darlow in the second, the first he had failed to score since joining the club in February. He eventually scored in the 86th minute, followed by goals from Aaron Wan-Bissaka in the 90th – the first of his senior career – and Rashford in the sixth minute of added time. On 24 October, United were held to a goalless draw by Chelsea. The result meant the club had failed to win any of their first three home league games for the first time since 1972–73; however, the result also extended United's unbeaten league record against Chelsea to six matches, with the most recent defeat coming in November 2017, while Chelsea had not won in the league at Old Trafford since the 2012–13 season.
On 1 November, United played rival Arsenal at home. Paul Pogba's foul inside the box led to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's winning penalty as Arsenal won a league match at Old Trafford for the first time since 17 September 2006. Before the international break, United travelled to Everton. The visitors won 3–1; Fernandes scored his first brace of the season before Edinson Cavani sealed the victory deep into the added time with his first United goal. Two weeks later, United returned to action at home against West Bromwich Albion. A retaken penalty from Fernandes – given after Albion's goalkeeper, former United shot stopper Sam Johnstone stepped out of the line before saving the first – secured United's first home league win of the season. On 29 November, United visited Southampton. Trailed 2–0 at half-time by goals from Jan Bednarek and James Ward-Prowse, United came back to win 3–2 via Fernandes and a brace from Cavani. Goalkeeper Dean Henderson made his league debut for the club, coming on at the interval for the injured De Gea. The win made United the first side in Premier League history to win four consecutive away games despite trailing in everyone of them, and also made United won eight consecutive top-flight away matches for the first time in their history.
On 5 December, United played West Ham United at the London Stadium. Henderson, who made his first league start for the club, conceded to Tomáš Souček in the first half. In the second half, the visitors produced yet another comeback to win 3–1. Pogba and Mason Greenwood made their first league goal of the season, before Rashford sealed the club's ninth straight league away victory.
United got the right to enter the 2020–21 FA Cup in the Third Round Proper along with the other Premier League and Championship clubs. For this round, they were drawn against Championship side Watford.
9 January 2021
|20:00 BST||McTominay 5'||Report||Stadium: Old Trafford|
Referee: Andrew Madley
24 January 2021
|17:00 BST||Report||Stadium: Old Trafford|
Referee: Craig Pawson
Manchester United received a bye to the third round of the 2020–21 EFL Cup, having finished third in the 2019–20 Premier League and thus qualified for the 2020–21 UEFA Champions League. The draw took place on 6 September 2020 and paired United with the winners of the second round tie between Reading and Luton Town, both of the Championship. Luton won that match 1–0 and hosted the third round match on 22 September. United took the lead just before half-time through a Juan Mata penalty kick. In the second half, goalkeeper Dean Henderson, making his first-team debut, denied Luton an equaliser with a one-handed save from Tom Lockyer, before substitutes Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood both scored in the last couple of minutes to give United a 3–0 win.
In the fourth round, the club was drawn against the winners of the match between Preston North End and Brighton & Hove Albion, which Brighton won 2–0. The match came just four days after the two sides had met in the league, and saw Scott McTominay and Paul Pogba score their first goals of the season, while Juan Mata was again on the scoresheet to give United a 3–0 win.
In the quarter-finals, United were again given an away draw, this time against fellow Premier League club Everton.
22 September 2020
|Luton Town||3–0||Manchester United||Luton|
|20:15 BST||Report||Mata 44' (Pen)
|Stadium: Kenilworth Road|
Referee: Tim Robinson
30 September 2020
|Brighton & Hove Albion||3–0||Manchester United||Brighton|
|19:45 GMT||Report||McTominay 44'
|Stadium: Falmer Stadium|
Referee: Graham Scott
23 December 2020
|20:00 GMT||Report||Cavani 88'
|Stadium: Goodison Park|
Referee: Andrew Madley
6 January 2021
|Manchester United||v||Manchester City||Manchester|
|19:45 GMT||[ Report]||Stadium: Old Trafford|
UEFA Champions League
- Main article: 2020–21 UEFA Champions League group stage
United qualified for the 2020–21 UEFA Champions League after finishing third in the 2019–20 Premier League. This is their 23rd UEFA Champions League campaign, more than any English club. The draw for the group stage took place in Geneva, Switzerland on 1 October 2020. The club was drawn in Group H with Paris Saint-Germain, RB Leipzig and Champions League group stage debutant İstanbul Başakşehir. This is United's first meeting with Paris Saint-Germain since the 2018–19 round of 16 tie, which United won on away goals through a stoppage time penalty, while they have never met Leipzig and Başakşehir.
In the first group match, United got a 2–1 away win at Paris Saint-Germain; goals from Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford cancelled out Anthony Martial's own goal. United then beat RB Leipzig 5–0 in the second match a week later; Mason Greenwood opened the scoring in the first half, Rashford scored his first senior hat-trick after coming on as a second-half substitute, and Martial also scored a late penalty. Rashford's hat-trick was the first scored by a United substitute since current manager Solskjær did so against Nottingham Forest in 1999. It was United's eighth hat-trick in the Champions League, scored by six different players. It was the club's first in the competition since Wayne Rooney against Club Brugge in the 2015–16 play-off round, their first in the Champions League proper since Robin van Persie against Olympiacos in the 2013–14 knockout phase, and the first in the competition's group stage since Michael Owen against Wolfsburg in the 2009–10 season. Spanning 16 minutes, it was also the quickest of the five hat-tricks scored by substitutes in the competition's history.
On the third match, United lost 2–1 to host İstanbul Başakşehir, which featured former United defender Rafael. In this game, Başakşehir scored their first ever goal in the Champions League, made by former Chelsea forward Demba Ba, and claimed their first point – as well as their first win – in the competition. At the other hand, this ended United's 10-match winning streak on the road in all competitions, stretching back to 1–1 draw against Tottenham in June 2020.
In the return leg 20 days later, United got their revenge against Başakşehir by winning 4–1. Fernandes scored twice inside 20 minutes before Rashford slotted home a penalty to bring United led by three goals at half-time in a Champions League game for the first time since the 7–1 demolition of Roma in April 2007. A direct free-kick goal from Deniz Türüç – the first to be scored in the Champions League against United since Franck Ribéry in March 2010 – was replied by Daniel James, who scored at home for the first time since August 2019.
On 2 December United was defeated 1–3 by Paris Saint-Germain, with a brace from Neymar and a goal from Marquinhos cancelled Rashford's, who scored for the third consecutive match against the Parisians. The next week, Leipzig also got their revenge by winning 3–2 with goals from Angelino, Amadou Haidara, and Justin Kluivert; Angelino's goal at 1:49 was the quickest Champions League goal scored against United since Sporting Braga's Alan in October 2012 (1:27). United scored two late goals via Fernandes and Pogba but their Champions League time was up before they could get the equaliser needed to progress. This was the first time since both legs of the quarter-finals in 2002–03 that they conceded three or more goals in consecutive Champions League games while Solskjær became the first manager of an English club to lose at least six times in his first 10 Champions League games, having lost in 2018–19 on his first – against Paris Saint-Germain at home as well – and both of the season's quarter-final matches versus Barcelona.
|1 20 October 2020||Paris Saint-Germain||1–2||Manchester United||Paris, France|
|21:00 CEST (UTC+2)||Martial 55' (o.g.)||Report||Fernandes 23' (pen.)
|Stadium: Parc de Princes|
Referee: Antonio Mateu Lahoz (Spain)
|2 28 October 2020||Manchester United||5–0||RB Leipzig||Manchester, England|
|21:00 CET (UTC+1)||Greenwood 21'
Rashford 76', 78', 90+2'
Martial 86' (pen.)
|Report||Stadium: Old Trafford|
Referee: Matej Jug (Slovenia)
|3 4 November 2020||İstanbul Başakşehir||2–1||Manchester United||Istanbul, Turkey|
|18:55 CET (UTC+1)||Ba 13'
|Report||Martial 43'||Stadium: Başakşehir Fatih Terim Stadium|
Referee: Davide Massa (Italy)
|4 24 November 2020||Manchester United||4–1||İstanbul Başakşehir||Manchester, England|
|21:00 CET (UTC+1)||Fernandes 7', 19'
Rashford 35' (pen.)
|Report||Türüç 75'||Stadium: Old Trafford|
Referee: Ovidiu Hațegan (Romania)
|5 2 December 2020||Manchester United||1–3||Paris Saint-Germain||Manchester, England|
|21:00 CET (UTC+1)||Fred 23', 70'
|Report||Neymar 6', 90+1'
|Stadium: Old Trafford|
Referee: Daniele Orsato (Italy)
|6 8 December 2020||RB Leipzig||3–2||Manchester United||Leipzig, Germany|
|21:00 CET (UTC+1)||Angeliño 2'
|Report||Fernandes 80' (pen.)
Konaté 82' (o.g.)
|Stadium: Red Bull Arena|
Referee: Antonio Mateu Lahoz (Spain)
|Paris Saint-Germain||6||4||0||2||13||6||+7||12||Advance to knockout phase|
|Manchester United||6||3||0||3||15||10||+5||9||Transfer to Europa League|
UEFA Europa League
As one of the third-place finishers in the Champions League group stage, United will enter the UEFA Europa League knockout phase. This will be their fifth Europa League campaign in 10 years, having also entered in the knockout phase in 2011–12 and 2015–16 as well as starting in the group stage in 2016–17 and 2019–20.
|First leg 18 February 2021||Real Sociedad||v||Manchester United||San Sebastián, Spain|
|18:55 CET (UTC+1)||Stadium: Anoeta|
|Second leg 25 February 2021||Manchester United||v||Real Sociedad||Manchester, England|
|21:00 CET (UTC+1)||Stadium: Old Trafford|
|Manchester United F.C.|
|Manchester United F.C. seasons|
|Manchester United F.C. matches - 2020-21|
|2020-21 Premier League|
|2020-21 FA Cup|
|2020-21 League Cup|
|2020-21 Champions League|
|2020-21 Europa League|
|Manchester United F.C. match images - 2020-21|
|2020-21 Premier League|
|2020-21 FA Cup|
|2020-21 League Cup|
|2020-21 Champions League|