2016/17 – UEFA Europa League – Fenerbahce – Away


Manchester United were beaten 2-1 in Istanbul in a match where Moussa Sow scored a spectacular overhead kick inside the first two minutes of the match and Jeremain Lens also scoring a stunning goal to attain all three points from the match. Wayne Rooney, despite missing a decent chance on goal in the early stages of the match scored s stunner himself in the 89th minute of the match.

United manager Jose Mourinho made a few changes to his starting XI against Fenerbahce with Morgan Schneiderlin, Wayne Rooney and Anthony Martial all returning to the starting lineup. Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who had been absent since the Manchester derby defeat to Manchester City at Old Trafford on the 10th September, returned to the squad, taking a place on the bench, which will have stopped some moaning from the supporters. United did not start their match well, conceding an early goal, a spectacular overhead kick from Moussa Sow just two minutes into the match, which gave United a much bigger job to do. The atmosphere inside the Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium was fantastic, something United may have to deal with in order to get something from the match.

United had some good build up play coming up to the ninth minute with Morgan Schneiderlin starting the play, some passing between Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford, with the latter having a shot on goal, wich was off target. United have a lot of work to do after that early goal, but they were trying to get the better of the home side. The night could have been so much worse for United after Schneiderlin took a Jeremain Lens out with his trailing leg, just outside the box, earning himself a yellow card. United immediately went on the attack, which came to nothing other than United winning a corner, which added some pressure for the home side, but nothing that would level the score for United. Ander Herrera became the second United player to be booked in the 18th minute of the match, it’s surely not going to end up like the Burnley match, is it?

United just seemed to be a side that were a shadow of themselves, especially since the opening goal just two minutes into the match. The talent was there, it just was not attainable by the players on the pitch for whatever reason. United had a good chance to level the score in the 21st minute of the match as Martial threaded the ball into the box, towards Rooney, whose touch was poor, sending it over the crossbar. Just another reason why Rooney is no longer the top player in this side. Fenerbahce then attacked, putting United under a lot of pressure, but failing to get themselves another goal. Paul Pogba was unable to continue after 28 minutes of the match, suffering from a dead leg and trying to run it off, being unable to. United brought Zlatan Ibrahimovic on for the Frenchman, who will now lead the line, with Rooney playing in Pogba’s number ten role.

United now needed to keep their heads, get themselves back into the match and try and ensure all three points head back to Manchester with them. United had some good periods in the first half, but failing to take any control in the match. Tempers seemed to boil in the dying embers of the match after Rooney fouled Sousa and Volkan Demirel saw himself booked for a skirmish. United still out of sorts and the arrival of Ibrahimovic after Pogba’s injury has not changed anything. Sow nearly scored for the home side in stoppage time at the end of the first half, United clinging onto their position in the match so far. The first half ended with United needing to take their chances in the second half.

At the start of the second half, Mourinho made another change with Juan Mata replacing Morgan Schneiderlin. United, despite trying to find something from the game and being out of sorts in achieving it. Just before the hour, Jeremain Lens scored another stunning effort doubling the home sides lead. Immediately, Mourinho made his third change of the match bringing on Henrikh Mkhitaryan for Marcus Rashford. United were the livelier of the two sides with the Armenian attempting to get something for his side, gaining possession and trying to work his magic. Fenerbahce seemed dangerous on the counter attack, which seems to threaten United all the more, leaving them back tracking. United continued to try and find something, with that coming in the 89th minute with Rooney scoring his 247th Manchester United goal. Despite the late resurgence from United, it was not enough and now they will need results from their last two matches in order to qualify for the knockout stages in the UEFA Europa League.

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′

About John Walker 1411 Articles
I support Manchester United, the greatest English football team to have ever existed. Bruno Fernandes is the latest in a long line of players with great ability to play for the club. I idolised Bryan Robson, David Beckham, Paul Scholes, and Eric Cantona growing up.

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