Manchester United travelled to Turkey in a bid to secure 3 wins out of 3 in the first leg of the group stage. Istanbul Başakşehir notched up their maiden win in the competition at the expense of Manchester United who were far from their best.
Having won their last 10 away fixtures, the Red Devils were hoping to extend their current club record with a win against Istanbul Başakşehir. The home side were yet to secure a point after defeats to the other members of the group of death, Paris Saint-Germain and RB Leipzig.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer named Bruno Fernandes, Juan Mata and Donny van de Beek to break down the opposition backline considering the trouble the side have faced against such teams. Former Manchester United and Premier League stalwarts such as Rafael, Demba Ba and Martin Skrtel found places in the playing eleven of the Turkish side.
Manchester United’s approach to go all-in for the opening goal proved to be costly as a simple clearance from the back reached Demba Ba who found himself an empty half in front of him. The former Chelsea striker ran the entire half with no resistance and dispatched his effort into the bottom corner past Champions League debutant Dean Henderson.
Problems mounted for the visitors following an error on the flanks. Turuc outwrestled Mata to win the ball on the sidelines before putting a ball into the box. Harry Maguire was foxed by Ba with a dummy as Visca slammed his effort to extend the lead to 2-0.
Manchester United were handed a respite right before half time following a perfect header from Anthony Martial off Luke Shaw’s cross from the left flank.
Resilient Istanbul hold Manchester United off for maiden win
Despite their best efforts, the visitors failed to break down their opposition. A flurry of substitutions which brought in attacking reinforcements in the form of Mason Greenwood, Edinson Cavani, and Paul Pogba proved ineffective as Istanbul held on to their slender lead.
Manchester United’s best chance to equalize came late in injury time after an attempt to clear by the Istanbul defence almost turned into an own goal. However, a stellar goal-line clearance secured the Turkish side’s maiden victory in the Champions League.
The Red Devils have a trip to Goodison Park up next and have had lacklustre outings in their last two matches.