Manchester United were in a position to continue their perfect start in the UEFA Champions League this season, but nothing will be of that anymore – Istanbul Basaksehir have proven to be a tough opposition, beating the Red Devils 2-1 in the biggest city in Turkey. Basaksehir scored goals through Demba Ba and Edin Visca, before Anthony Martial made it 2-1 just a minue after Istanbuls’ second goal. It was far from a good match from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side who continued their poor run of results, despite occasional wins.
Overall, this season is not going well and here is what we learned from this match.
Manchester United Underestimated Opponents
It did not seem like a real possibility before the match, but in the end, the Devils seemed to underestimate the champions of Turkey. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made some unexpected changes to the starting lineup. He probably wanted to rest some of the players for the Premier League match against Everton that is coming up fast. However, in the Champions League you easily get hurt if you are not at the top of your game. Last season, this was possible in Europa League, but this is a different competition.
Defensive Chaos Reigns
The way Manchester United conceded their first goal shows you way too much – how disorganised and chaotic our defence can be, how lacking in basic training it is and how far this team is from an elite side. Nemanja Matic remained alone at the centre of the pitch when Istanbul went to a quick transition from which Demba Ba scored. This goal was such a bad showing it made Man United players parts of internet memes and no one wonders that was the case.
It Needs More Work For Attacking Cohesion
Solskjaer started all of Donny van de Beek, Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes, Anthony Martial and Juan Mata, but this felt more of a throwing in a number of attacking players hoping something good will come of it. This quintet managed to get just two shots on target in the entire match, with Mata and Van de Beek getting substituted after an hour. There was no cohesion and that also needs good training. Hoping to beat teams on the break should be past a club like Manchester United.
Former Premier League Players Shine For Istanbul
It was interesting to see three former Premier League players start for Istanbul Basaksehir and all three of them had good game. Demba Ba scored the opener when United gifted him their entire half of the pitch. In defence, there were Rafael who did really well against his former club, while Martin Skrtel had shown how sometimes it can be easy to play well against a Man United attack.
Man United Squandered A Big Chance
This was a big chance for Manchester United. Win in Istanbul would have meant the Devils would have had nine points, three more than Leipzig, who defeated Paris Saint-Germain and whole of six more than the champions of France. That would have put United not only in the best possible position to finish top of the group, but would also make PSG under huge pressure to even get out of the group. With United hoping to finish first for an easier draw in the knockout stage, this was a big chance. We are still in a good position, but results like this one should not happen again.