Manchester United suffered an embarrassing 2-1 defeat by Istanbul Basaksehir in the Champions League on Wednesday night.
After beating Paris Saint-Germain and RB Leipzig, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side seemed to have bounced back from the humiliating 6-1 defeat at home to Tottenham Hotspur, but things quickly took a turn for the worse when Basaksehir punished shambolic defending to score two goals in quick succession.
Both Bruno Fernandes and Luke Shaw fired wide, before Basaksehir captain Edin Visca fired an early warning shot across the bows, which should’ve set alarm bells ringing.
Former Chelsea striker Demba Ba, who famously capitalised on an infamous Steven Gerrard slip at Anfield in 2014, put the hosts ahead as he was left unmarked by Nemanja Matic and was allowed to run at the helpless goalkeeper Dean Henderson, who had been left stranded by by the United defence.
If the first time wasn’t bad enough, their defensive frailties were exposed once again as Deniz Turuc dispossessed Juan Mata to find Visca, who rifled a fine effort home.
Several players were at fault for the poor performance, arguably none more so than Bruno Fernandes, who had put Mata in a precarious position with a loose pass in the build-up to Visca’s goal.
Per SofaScore, the 23-cap Portugal international received an average rating of 6.8 for his disappointing display, which is fairly optimistic – he lost possession an astonishing 34 times throughout the game, only won one out of six duels overall, failed to complete a single cross and was dribbled past once.
Sky Sports gave Fernandes a low grade of 4/10, claiming it was “one of his worst games in a United shirt, giving the ball away 34 times, more than any other player on the pitch”, adding “his set-piece delivery was poor”, whilst The Manchester Evening News went even further with their scathing assessment, insisting “profligate with the ball again and played Mata into trouble prior to Visca’s finish” and admitting he is “having too many off days and nights.”
Quite why Fernandes played the full 90 minutes we will probably never understand as Paul Pogba came off the bench to replace Donny van de Beek instead.
Against Arsenal last weekend, he was accused of being largely anonymous, and fared little better against Basaksehir, which should give the club legend some cause for concern as he could be showing signs of a burn out. It’s worth pointing out that the £72m-rated ace has started every single game in the Premier League so far.
United have suffered back-to-back defeats and next face Everton at Goodison Park on Saturday in a game which is surely a must-win for Solskjaer before the international break. However, it’s hard to imagine he will be given a rest anytime soon.
AND in other news, Woodward heading for major Man Utd mistake with Hakan Calhanoglu…