Basaksehir, formed only in 1990, claimed their maiden Turkish Super Lig title last season and had not scored a goal or claimed a point in their opening two games in the competition. Manchester United suffered a chastening night after conceding an embarrassing opening goal as they were humbled by Champions League rookies Istanbul Basaksehir.
They could not have wished for an easier way to get off the mark as United’s defence went missing, allowing former Chelsea and Newcastle striker Demba Ba to run clear from the halfway line and fire past Dean Henderson.
United’s defensive efforts for the second goal were almost as bad, Deniz Turuc dispossessing Juan Mata and finding Edin Visca in acres of space in the box to smash home.
The visitors were given hope when Anthony Martial headed in from a Luke Shaw cross two minutes before the interval, but they could not salvage a result in a shabby second half showing, Basaksehir picking up a famous victory. Slow and ponderous United punished
United’s 6-1 humiliation at the hands of Tottenham last month looked to be the low point in their season, picking up three victories and a draw after that result.
But they were desperately poor in the defeat by Arsenal on Sunday and this was another feeble showing which piles the pressure on manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Like much of the Norwegian’s reign, United seem to build momentum and then throw in dreadful performances, with the inevitable questions likely to come about his suitability for the job.
United finished third last season and the need of a new centre-back was clearly obvious but they failed to make the addition in the transfer window, the fragility once again exploited in Istanbul.
On an uncomfortable night, Ba’s goal was humiliating and Visca’s effort to double the lead proved to be enough as the hosts held on.
Goalkeeper Henderson has been restricted to Carabao Cup appearances but despite not being at fault for either goal, his first major game for United was a forgetful one.
The visitors should have netted more but Danijel Aleksic’s header was straight at Henderson, while Visca flashed a shot narrowly over.
Although Martial pulled a goal back and Bruno Fernandes saw a free-kick comfortably saved by Mert Gunok, United never really looked like scoring in the second period as their passing was often slow and ponderous against a side happy to sit back and soak up the pressure.
United won their opening two group games in impressive fashion against Paris St-Germain and RB Leipzig, but now have work to do to reach the knockout stages after their third straight loss in the Turkish city.
Source – BBC News