Ratings: Darmian unimpressive as Manchester United fall to Fenerbahce defeat


Starting with five changes in the line up from their reverse fixture at Old Trafford, Manchester United went behind under two minutes, courtesies to a spectacular goal by Senegalese forward Moussa Sow. The first half did have the shades of the Burnley game at the weekend, where despite the superiority in possession and shots, United were not able to break through. Pogba’s injury didn’t help as he was replaced by a hungry-for-goal Zlatan Ibrahimovic at the half hour mark.

A rather lackluster and unimpressive Morgan Schneiderlin was hooked at half time, replaced by the popular Spaniard Juan Mata. An hour in and Fenerbahce scored yet another wonderful goal through Jermain Len’s free kick conceded by a generic Zlatan Ibrahimovic challenge. Despite all the dominance, Manchester United looked shabby and static on the ball with hardly anyone making any forward runs, seemingly still playing with the jet lag. Bringing on Mkhitaryan didn’t help either, as Fenerbahce players did a good job pressurising the player.

United came close to conceding a third twice, both the times involving opponent’s substitute Emmanuel Emenike. With all the possession United gained, they lacked the inspiration and that spark to win tonight. They fell short on the finishing yet again, majority of Fenerbahce’s attacks come from counters, and the centre backs, Marcos Rojo and Dailey Blind looked clueless when defending crosses, an area which was always handled by Eric Bailly and Chris Smalling.

In a game of brilliant goals, Rooney managed to score an extravagant shot in the top left in the 89th minute, getting ever closer to breaking Sir Bobby Charlton’s record. Despite a magnificent effort from the captain, constant penetrating attack and a shout for hand ball in extra time, Manchester United were not able to find an equalizer in the dying moments and had to leave with no points.

Goals: Wayne Rooney 89′

Manchester United: De Gea; Darmian, Blind, Rojo, Shaw; Schneiderlin (Mata 46′), Herrera; Pogba (Ibrahimovic 30′); Rashford (Mkhitaryan 60′), Rooney, Martial

Substitutes Not Used: Romero; Jones; Young, Fellaini

Bookings: Morgan Schneiderlin 12′, Ander Herrera 18′, Juan Mata 73′

Manchester United

David De Gea

1 David De Gea

Was caught off guard for the first goal, and helpless during the second. Otherwise, a crucial one on one save against Eminike that looked to have saved United from a 3 goal deficit.

Matteo Darmian

36 Matteo Darmian

Darmian tried too hard to emulate Antonio Valencia when attacking and failed miserably. Was caught out of position many a times leading to successful counter attacks by the opponent.

Daley Blind

17 Daley Blind

Partially at fault for the first goal, didn’t do much else the whole match except a bad touch and a couple of successful interceptions. Looked uncomfortable while playing as a right sided centre back

Marcos Rojo

5 Marcos Rojo

Much like his central defensive partner, was partially at fault for the first goal. Did well in winning the headers, however Smalling’s absence was felt.

Luke Shaw

23 Luke Shaw

Had a couple of good moments and bombarded well with the ball, otherwise, showcased very lazy defending tonight especially when going against Jermain Lens

Morgan Schneiderlin

28 Morgan Schneiderlin

Proved to everyone why he is out of favor by Mourinho. A very naïve challenge near the box, almost conceded a penalty, and got himself an early booking. Was right to get subbed off at half-time

Ander Herrera

21 Ander Herrera

Got an early booking with yet another clumsy challenge. Managed to cover that up by putting some good pressure on the opponents in the first half. Position change to a Number 6 in the second half, didn’t make much impact.

Marcus Rashford

19 Marcus Rashford

Put a good cross in the first half, parried away by the Fenerbahce keeper along with an effort off target. Otherwise, didn’t have much impact in the game. However, he did manage to be clumsy in his defensive duties.

Paul Pogba

6 Paul Pogba

Got to play one-third of the game due to a sudden injury. Despite losing possession a couple of times, Pogba showed some great abilities while holding the ball and stretching the play to the wider areas.

Anthony Martial

11 Anthony Martial

Was isolated in the first half and kept losing possession. Played miles better after the first half whistle, and was the orchestrator to the two best chances where Rooney and Mata had the effort off target.

Wayne Rooney

10 Wayne Rooney

Performed poorly as a striker but when shifted to the Number 10 role, he got more involved in the game. Despite a belter of a goal, he looked lazy at times. Could have had a second in injury time if not for the clearance.



Zlatan Ibrahimovic

9 Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Brought some physical presence up front and conceded the free kick leading to the second goal. Otherwise didn’t offer that much to the team. His great start to the campaign seems like a distant memory now. His goal drought continues.

Juan Mata

8 Juan Mata

Had to play in a midfield three, not at his preferred role however he did create and had his fair share of chances, didn’t impact the game the way he was expected to.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan

22 Henrikh Mkhitaryan

No fairytale story for him. Got on immediately after United conceded the second goal but he didn’t make any impact. Drifted a lot towards the centre, and lost the ball a few times.


By Umang Bharali

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