Manchester United v Istanbul Basaksehir result, final result and report

As amateur football teams across the country prepare to be banned, Manchester United paid tribute to the kind of ramshackle defense that will sadly be absent from car parks on Sunday morning this winter. It may still be a long and busy season at the elite level, but you will do well to see two worse examples of collective defense organization than the two Istanbul Basaksehir goals.

If only there was one well-known example of why you shouldn’t let Demba Ba run one-on-one against your goalkeeper from the center line. But it is precisely on the banks of the Bosporus that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team clinched their first Champions League win of the season and gave the Turkish title winner Basaksehir their first Champions League victory in their history.

Ba’s goal was bad enough, but Basaksehir’s second Edin Visca goal wasn’t much better as United were easily dispossessed and pulled out of position. Anthony Martial’s header offered a way back into the competition but United couldn’t take it. Her limp attempts to level the game in the second half were also worrying. Solskjaer’s players received little attention until Alexandru Epureanu forced a late shot on goal.

After the brilliant victories over Paris Saint-Germain and RB Leipzig, this was a result that brought United back to the ground. The return to the undiluted level of European football’s elite club tournament had previously given Solskjaer and his players a break from a difficult national campaign, but United’s problems are too big to be confined to a single competition.

It’s puzzling how a team that can play as well as they did in the 5-0 win over Leipzig can perform like this just a week later, but Solskjaer’s time so far has told us that we have to expect the unexpected with wild fluctuations from the sublime to the ridiculous. This was an achievement not even his former teammates now working in the pandemic could not defend. Paul Scholes described the defense for Ba’s goal as “soccer under 10” and “embarrassing”.

It started with the collapse of a short corner and Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s cross being blocked and cleared. No problem, one would think, only Nemanja Matic was a full 20 meters in Basaksehir’s half and somehow United’s deepest player. With that Ba sat halfway, completely unmarked and with a clear run on Dean Henderson’s goal. It was surprisingly bad for United and no surprise when Ba converted effortlessly, as it did six years ago at Anfield against Simon Mignolet.

Yet the defensive disasters did not end there. Basaksehir would double his vigorous Visca advantage if Juan Mata was easily deprived of possession by Deniz Turuc, only to unleash another counterattack immediately. United defense rushed to close down both Turuc and Ba, completely neglecting Visca’s late arrival across the box. Turuc’s pass went through and Visca emphatically finished.

It was another amazingly bad piece of defense and yet it was only the second worst goal United conceded that evening. At least her answer was instant. One positive result over the past few weeks was Luke Shaw’s greater threat to the future. It was his cross that turned Martial into a clever header down and into the farthest corner out of reach of goalkeeper Mert Gunok. It was a valuable pillar to break into and more than United’s first-half performance deserved.

Solskjaer had to change something. Scott McTominay replaced Axel Tuanzebe and Matic fell back into defense – a strange decision when Victor Lindelof, United’s most formidable central defender, remained among the substitutes. Unsurprisingly, this didn’t result in any improvement in United’s performance or a brief introduction by Paul Pogba and Edinson Cavani. It was unclear how Solskjaer wanted to build this new formation. United’s attempts at equalization were confused and pointless.

The closest they came to was a Basaksehir player in the second minute of added time. Mehmet Topal’s heart was in his mouth as his sliced ​​distance to a corner went back towards his own destination. It was only millimeters from the line, but Epureanu’s own cut sent the ball high over the bar. The fact that United had little influence on a slightly undeserved equalizer summed up their ineffective night in front of goal.

However, the blame shouldn’t just lie on the unproductive attack, cryptic defense, or questionable management. They all have to take their share of the responsibility for an all-round miserable United performance.



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