They conquered Paris; they thrashed the Germans but failed against the Turkish. Manchester United saw their 18-match unbeaten away run come to an end as they lost 2-1 to Istanbul Basaksehir. It was expected that the Manchester United of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would stand up and deliver despite the defeat against Arsenal in the Premier League. But Manchester United dished out a below-par performance.

Ole brought on Edinson Cavani, Paul Pogba, and Scott McTominay to bolster the side, but to no avail.

Demba Ba and Edin Visca scored got on the score-sheet for the hosts in the opening stanza while Anthony Martial reduced the deficit just before the half-time whistle. And, the shoreline remained such until the final whistle.

The champions of Turkey held on to secure their first Champions League win and one of their best results in Europe.

The defensive line of Manchester United has always been the headache and at times their comical errors tested the patience of the diehard fans.

The game entered into the 12th-minute and United were looking good, but all of a sudden the defenders were caught napping as they committed everyone forward for a corner, only to leave Demba Ba free in acres of space to latch on to a clearance and slot home the opener. It was a one-man counter and the defensive shape looked disorganized – well, it looked childish.

Ex-United midfielder Paul Scholes described the passage of play that led to Demba Ba’s opener as “like Under-10s football” in his role as a pundit on BT Sport, and even that might have been kind.

Not since Steven Gerrard was bemoaning the Anfield turf in 2014 has Ba had as much space to run in on goal and score, with the whole of the United team having been caught hopelessly upfield!

The United defence proceeded to repeat the mistake on multiple occasions.

The Red Devils left gaping holes in their backline for their opponents to exploit.

The hosts, who passed up more than a few chances to double their lead, finally did so in the 40th minute through Captain Edin Visca. He capitalized on more poor defending from Manchester United to hammer home a confident finish.

Juan Mata was robbed before Ba’s dummy fooled three United defenders and allowed Visca acres of space to fire past Dean Henderson.

The young goalkeeper, making his Champions League debut, was vocal in his dismay in the mess that was presenting itself in front of him, and he was right to be angry.

Taking off Axel Tuanzebe and pushing Nemanja Matic back to play on the left of the back three did not seem to be a smart move. There was no coordination between any players – it lacked the runs with the intent to score and lacked the heart to defend as a unit.

Paul Pogba and Edinson Cavani were given half an hour off the bench to make an impact while Mason Greenwood was also thrown on before the end, but the team was clueless and zero imagination, with their failure to get in behind the defence.

Roy Keane lamented the lack of leaders in the United side at the weekend, and again here there was a damning lack of responsibility being taken by United’s defenders or senior midfielders.

Keane sounded right and even though, United sit at the top and the defeat of PSG means their chances become brighter to advance, but in this long fixture, you never what might turn out next.

In this season, football has been very unpredictable.

With the reverse of these fixtures to be played later on in the month, the door has been thrown wide open for one of PSG or RB Leipzig to dethrone Manchester United from the top of the standings.


Moreover, any of the four teams now have a realistic shot at progressing from this group, as the final outcome is far from certain based on current form and recent results.

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