Manchester United beat Istanbul Basaksehir 4-1 in the UEFA Champions League at Old Trafford on Tuesday evening. Bruno Fernandes scored a brace in the first 19 minutes of the match with United winning a penalty in the 33rd minute, which was eventually scored by Marcus Rashford. United had a fair amount of chances in the match. Late in the match, the Turkish side scored a consolation from a set-piece with Deniz Türüç beating the United wall and David De Gea to eradicate the clean sheet in. Daniel James scored a late added time goal, adding his first in the Champions League in his career, which was good to see. United top their group with nine points.
United started out well against the Turkish side, keeping in mind how they fared three weeks ago in the first group stage match between the two sides. Marcus Rashford had a chance in the second minute, weaving through the box before forcing a save from the goalkeeper. In the seventh minute, Harry Maguire surged forward with the ball and fed Alex Telles, who won a corner off Rafael da Silva. Telles took the corner, found Edinson Cavani who had the ball flicked off him by Alexandra Epureanu which eventually found Bruno Fernandes, who found the back of the net with a. stunning strike of the ball to put United 1-0 ahead early in the match.
United doubled their lead in the 19th minute of the match through Fernandes once again, who now has 21 goals and 13 assists since signing for United in January. Cavani laid the ball out to Telles to cross into the box but the Turkish goalkeeper spilled the ball into the feet of the Portuguese magnifico who scored his second goal of the match putting United 2-0 up. In the 33rd minute of the match, United won a penalty, which could have sealed a hat-trick for Fernandes but he gave the spot kick to Rashford, who won it. The England forward scored his eighth goal of the season to put United 3-0 up in this match. United were playing some brilliant football.
The first half ended with United at 3-0 with further chances to put them into the winning position. It shows that United have some confidence and something in them in order to get the results that they desire. It also puts the defeat in Istanbul three weeks ago back into the past, where it will remain, until the ABU or the Ole Out brigade desire to bring it back to continue their agendas against the club and the manager. At the start of the second half, Solskjaer made his first substitute bringing on Axel Tuanzebe in replacement for Victor Lindelof, who seems to still be carrying his lower back injury that he also carried through the international break.
Tuanzebe was booked for a challenge in the 55th minute of the match, which means he will not be able to face Paris Saint-Germain in the clash at Old Trafford next week, which is going to add some problems for Solskjaer. In the 59th minute of the match, Solskjaer made a triple change with Brandon Williams replacing Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who went straight down the tunnel, which is worrying; Daniel James replaced Rashford and Mason Greenwood replaced Fernandes. Almost immediately, Greenwood was through into the opposition box aiming to score but with the number of players in the box, he was unable to do anything to the advantage of United.
The Turkish side scored from a free-kick in the 75th minute of the match through Deniz Türüç, whose set-piece went right over the United wall with David De Gea making a diving save to deflect the threat. It looked as if the Spaniard made the save but the referee blew his whistle for the goal, which looking at the angled replay, showed that the ball had crossed the line meaning that United did not keep a clean sheet at Old Trafford. United seemed to be off the pace in the minutes up until the goal was scored, which might just have woken them up to avert the Turkish side coming back and opening the game, which was very firmly a one horse race, until that goal.
Solskjaer made his fifth substitute in the 82nd minute with United struggling with the Turkish side continuing to attack late in the match. Nemanja Matic replaced Martial to add some more defensive play to the midfield, which was needed to stop the Turks from getting another goal and opening the entire match, which is not something United would want to do. United then won a free kick in the 85th minute through Fred, who was fouled in United’s half. Cavani had a chance late in the match after seeing the goalkeeper off his line but it did not go to plan for the Uruguayan, who is searching for his 50th UEFA Champions League goal of his career.
It was not over for United, who scored a fourth goal in the match with Donny van de Beek, Mason Greenwood and Daniel James all running into the box. The Dutch international played the ball to Greenwood, who in turn found James in the box, who scored his first Champions League goal of his career. The Welshman will be full of confidence after that and his goal for Wales last week, which puts him in better form than he has been with the matches starting to stack up for United now. United will face Southampton in the Premier League at St Mary’s on Sunday, which will be another important match for United to continue their form on the road.
Goals: Bruno Fernandes 7′, 19′, Marcus Rashford 35′ penalty, Daniel James 90+2′; Deniz Türüç 75′
Assists: Mason Greenwood 90+2′
Manchester United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka (Williams 59′), Lindelof (Tuanzebe 46′), Maguire, Telles; Van de Beek, Fred; Rashford (James 59′), Fernandes (Greenwood 59′), Martial (Matic 82′); Cavani
Substitutes Not Used: Grant, Henderson; Fosu-Mensah, Mengi; Mata, Pellistri; Ighalo
Bookings: Axel Tuanzebe 55′, Harry Maguire 86′; Martin Skrtel 78′, Mahmut Tekdemir 85′, Deniz Türüç 89′
Written by John Walker