Manchester United’s poor form continued on Wednesday night when the Premier League side suffered a shocking 2-1 loss to Istanbul Basaksehir in UEFA Champions League.
Man Utd entered the game against Basaksehir looking to bounce back after a tough loss to Arsenal at home over the weekend. It was a perfect opportunity for the Reds to regain some confidence against a struggling Turkish club and also increase their chances to advance to the next stage of UCL.
However, things didn’t work out the way United envisioned.
The English club played a terrible first half in which they failed to execute their attacking plan while playing poorly in the defense. Istanbul used this to their advantage and managed to seize control of the game early on and then hold onto it.
The first goal saw winger Edin Visca catching Man Utd off guard with a long ball towards striker Demba Ba from his own penalty box. Ba found himself behind the entire United defense and didn’t have much trouble advancing to the goal and giving his team a lead in the 13th minute.
Visca was once again the star of the moment in the 40th minute. Ba delivered a beautiful dummy that allowed the Bosnian to emerge in front of goalie Dean Henderson and make it 2:0 with a powerful shot.
These two goals were a wake-up call for Manchester United, as the Premier League powerhouse struck back just three minutes later. It was forward Anthony Martial who gave his club a lifeline thanks to an assist by Luke Shaw.
Everyone expected United to make a push for an equalizer in the second half, and they did try to a certain extent. Manager Ole Gunnar Solskajer made several attacking-minded substitutions and instructed his players to got forward more often.
Still, that didn’t do much as Basaksehir held their ground and disrupted Manchester in the midfield to secure themselves their first win in the Champions League in the club’s history.
“It’s our first win in the Champions League ever, we wish we could play Manchester United every week,” said Istanbul’s defender Martin Skrtel after the game.
Despite the loss, Manchester United managed to keep their lead in Group H with six points. Istanbul Basaksehir, on the other hand, is on the bottom of the group, but they still kept their chances for advancing.