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Turkish Delight

Istanbul Basaksehir wins first ever Champions League match 2-1 over Man United

Manchester United had its first setback in the Champions League Wednesday losing 2-1 to Istanbul Basaksehir on matchday 3.

Game Story

From the outset, things appeared to be going according to plan for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team.

Six minutes in captain Harry Maguire’s long ball reached Bruno Fernandes but his one-time volley was off the mark.

Into the 10th minute, Luke Shaw’s well-placed pass across the face of goal was just out of the reach of Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial.

Two minutes later however everything changed.

United’s defense got caught napping when a clearance by Edin Visca sent striker Demba Ba behind the United backline on his own half of centre.

The Senegal international raced in all alone to slot home the opening goal past Dean Henderson.

A great run down the right by Aaron Wan-Bissaka on the half-hour mark produced a good opportunity for the Reds.

The Reds defender fed Martial just inside the box but his shot was well blocked by former United defender Raphael.

The Owls came close just two minutes later after a great run down the left by Bolingoli.

The Belgians cross reached Danijel Aleksic but his header was straight at Henderson.

The Turks doubled their lead in the 40th minute when Deniz Turuc beat Juan Mata down the left-wing.

Ba smartly let the low cross go past him to Edin Visca who was all alone.

The Bosnian had time to control the cross and thunder it past Henderson to make it 2-0.

United was quick to respond just three minutes later as they caught Istanbul’s backline napping.

Luke Shaw’s cross was headed home by Martial in between two Istanbul defenders to cut the deficit in half just before the break.

Solskjaer tried to spark his team by making a double switch early in the second half inserting Edinson Cavani for Juan Mata while Paul Pogba replaced Donny van de Beek.

For much of the second half however United did little to trouble Mert Gunok in the Owls goal.

In the 85th minute Norwegian substitute Fredrik Gulbransen nearly broke away from Timothy Fosu-Mensah but the Dutch substitute recovered well.

The closest United would come to equalizing was one minute from the end.

Maguire’s header was deflected backward by Mehmet Topal.

With the ball heading into the goal, Epureanu cleared it away at the last second.

Famous Firsts

 In the first meeting between both clubs, the defending Turkish champions achieved some memorable firsts.

In their first Champions League campaign, Okan Buruk’s side scored its first-ever goals in the competition.

It’s also the first win in the competition for the club.

Former Chelsea striker Demba Ba notched his first goal of the season in the victory.

The first career Champions League start for Dean Henderson though was anything but memorable.

United’s young keeper conceded for the first time this season in a meaningful match, having two clean sheets at the Carabao Cup.

He did concede once before in a friendly defeat to Aston Villa.

Stats

 Heading into today’s match Istanbul Basaksehir struggled to score goals having been shutout in six of its nine games across all competitions this season.

The loss ends Man United’s impressive streak away from home of late.

Before tonight the Reds had won 10 straight away from Old Trafford.

The last time they lost on the road before tonight was at Liverpool in Premier League action back in January.

Including the qualifiers, this is only Istanbul’s second win in nine Champions League encounters.

At 35 years old Demba Ba is the second oldest African to score in the competition behind only legendary Chelsea striker Didier Drogba who scored at the age of 36.

Anthony Martial has scored goals in back to back Champions League games for the first time in his career.

Manager’s Thoughts

United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said after the match his side just simply wasn’t good enough.

“The performance wasn’t good enough against a team that worked and ran. They hit us on the break a couple of times and scored two goals like you sometimes do in Europe when you don’t defend well enough.”

Man of the Match

 Former Premier League striker Demba Ba was a thorn in the United backline for much of the match.

The 35-year-old made history by scoring his side’s first-ever goal in the competition.

His dummy on Visca’s game-winner was as good as an assist as his unselfish play led to an easy finish for the Bosnian.

What it means

 The Reds are tied for first with RB Leipzig at 6 points.

Leipzig beat PSG 2-1 in the other group game.

Basaksehir and PSG are third with three points.

Next Up

 The Reds travel to Everton to face Carlos Ancelotti’s side on Saturday at 12:30 pm from Goodison Park.

Their next Champions League match for United is Tuesday, November 24 against Istanbul from Old Trafford at 8 pm. (JSL)

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