• July 4, 2022

Man United suffer surprising loss at Basaksehir

Manchester United’s perfect start to the Champions League is gone after they suffered a surprising defeat to Istanbul Basaksehir.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side had been enjoying a European escape from their Premier League problems, having followed up triumph at Paris St Germain in their Group H opener with a five-star performance versus RB Leipzig.

But United would succumb to defeat at unfancied Istanbul Basaksehir on Wednesday, with former Premier League striker Ba and skipper Edin Visca scoring in a 2-1 victory – their first-ever Champions League group stage victory. Anthony Martial had reduced the deficit just before half-time, but this season’s 100 per cent away record came to an end for the lacklustre Red Devils to intensify scrutiny on Solskjaer and his side.

The manner in which the well-drilled Turkish champions defended contrasted markedly with the schoolboy efforts that saw United punished by Ba in the 13th minute.

Inexplicably poor awareness and organization permitted the unmarshalled ex-Newcastle, Chelsea and West Ham striker to collect a long ball and run from the halfway line to score.

United’s backline was again caught out as Baykus captain Visca struck just before half-time, with Martial quickly heading home to give the visitors hope.

Yet despite introducing the likes of Edinson Cavani, Paul Pogba and Mason Greenwood, Solskjaer’s side could not find a leveller on a night that concluded with Alexandru Epureanu hacking off the line.

Basaksehir were penned back as soon as the second half got under way, with Fernandes seeing a free-kick pushed away before another shot was blocked by ex-Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel.

The Portuguese saw an effort deflected wide shortly after, with Solskjaer now having brought Pogba and Cavani off the bench in a bid to add new impetus to the United attack.

Greenwood and Timothy Fosu-Mensah soon followed, but the hosts were not giving an inch. Former United full-back Rafael was playing exceptionally in a Basaksehir backline that survived a stoppage-time scare.

Maguire headed on from a corner and substitute Mehmet Topal inadvertently directed the ball towards his own goal, only for Epureanu to clear off the line to seal a famous victory.

Steve Carr

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