Manchester United can’t afford to drop any more points and know they need a big win against Istanbul Basaksehir to boost their ambitions to progress into the Champions League Round of 16. They did just that, picking up a 4-1 win to move just a point closer to qualifying for the knockout rounds. The Red Devils started in blistering fashion and got the lead in the 7th minute, when Bruno Fernandes powered an emphatic shot into the top corner to set things up nicely for his side.
United were then gifted a goal in the 19th, when Alex Telles’ cross was fluffed by Basaksehir’s goalkeeper Mert Gunok – handing Fernandes a simple tap in from close range to double the hosts’ lead! Marcus Rashford then made it 3-0 with a cool penalty which he had earned in the 35th minute.
Basaksehir worked really hard and earned their consolation in the second half, with Deniz Turuc’s thunderous free-kick going past David de Gea in the 75th minute. But United were not to be outdone on the day and sealed the deal in added time when substitute Dan James scored his first goal since March.
Manchester United Player Ratings
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (7.0) –
Solskjaer played the kind of attacking side everyone was praying for and it worked an absolute charm. With a pacey front-three and Bruno & Van de Beek behind them, United dominated from the get-go and sealed the win quickly. His lineup worked perfectly as his tactics to really go at their defenders.
Maybe he could’ve timed the substitutions better – but can’t blame him for trying to rest some key players. Needs to ensure United repeat this next week to ensure qualification for the next round.
David de Gea (6.0) –
A surprise start for De Gea over Dean Henderson today. Properly tested for the first time in the 50th, but showed brilliant reflexes to deny a stinging effort on goal. He was taken aback by Turuc’s free-kick that led to a goal and could’ve maybe reacted faster – even though it was really well hit. Will be disappointed not to get a clean sheet but ensured things didn’t get worse with timely saves.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka (6.5)-
Wan-Bissaka’s really benefitting from Rashford dominating the right wing on his own, helping him concentrate on his defending. Did a pretty good job defensively, winning some important duels and keeping things pretty tidy in his side. Subbed before the hour-mark after possibly picking up a slight niggle.
Harry Maguire (7.0) –
Maguire had a shaky first-half, making some silly errors and looking uncomfortable dealing against the pace of Basaksehir. But made a terrific goal-saving block off Ba’s shot in the 44th to somewhat redeem his half. Much more secure after the break, making some great challenges to avert disaster.
Victor Lindelof (7.0) –
Lindelof’s helped maintain composure at the back and also played his role in orchestrating a goal, when his fantastic long ball allowed Rashford to earn his penalty. His forward passes tormented Basaksehir and created a lot for United in the first-half. Subbed after half-time, hopefully to give some rest rather than anything else.
Alex Telles (7.5) –
Telles crosses caused a lot of trouble and it was his whipped corner which eventually led to Bruno’s strike. His floated cross resulted in the silly mistake from the Basaksehir goalkeeper and allowed Bruno’s second. Telles’ proactive defensive style helped him today, but it was his crosses that really shone. He rarely botched a single cross and created 4 chances with his precise delivery!
Fred (6.5) –
Fred’s operating in a deeper defensive midfield role today. Despite lacking the physical power, he showcased lots of enthusiasm and making clever tackles to keep things stable in midfield. Worked his socks off to not get overrun by the opponent’s midfielders and moved the ball around pretty quickly as well.
Donny van de Beek (8.0) –
Van de Beek gets his third consecutive UCL start, playing as an enforcer in midfield. Hardly misplacing a pass and working really hard to make clutch defensive contributions & kick start swift breaks. Made a brilliant pass to send Greenwood through to assist James’ goal.
Donny was a real livewire in the field and was almost everywhere in midfield. He maintained a high-tempo style for United and opened up space with his clever passes. Brought that positive attacking spark with his distribution and made a case for himself by fighting hard to win every ball. Deserves to start against Southampton.
Bruno Fernandes (9.0) –
Bruno began the game hungry for an early goal and got one for himself with an incredible thunderbolt into the top corner to give United the lead. Almost got another in the 14th when his stinging shot went just wide. His second goal was much easier, as Bruno only had to tap in the ball into an open goal.
Showed signs of a leader by allowing Rashford to take the penalty when he was on a hattrick. Almost got his hattrick goal minutes before half-time, when he latched onto Marcus shot but saw his swift shot saved well. Fernandes tormented Basaksehir with his clever movement+link-up play and maintained his incredible goals-to-games ratio with his brace.
Marcus Rashford (7.5) –
Rashford makes a blistering start to the game, going on a brilliant forward run dribbling past 3-4 players early on, but his shot was saved. Nutmegged the goalie to score one in the 12th but saw it ruled out by VAR. Earned his penalty with a great run down the right flank before being thwarted inside the box and scored it with any issues.
Almost set up Bruno’s hattrick with a brilliant splitting pass in the 43rd. Subbed off before the hour-mark to preserve some energy, but got the job done with a pretty solid display on the right flank.
Anthony Martial (6.0) –
Looks more comfortable operating down the left, getting the chance to make those mazy runs into the box. Made a few brilliant forward runs dribbling past multiple players, but lacked the final product in the final third.
Edinson Cavani (6.5) –
Cavani gets his first start for United after recent impressive substitute appearances. His excellent link-up play is opening up all the attacking opportunities for United. Got his first real scoring chance in the 49th, but his shot was deflected wide by a sea of bodies.
Despite not getting much on target, Cavani showed excellent dedication and work-rate to cover a lot of ground. His passing, hold-up play were all solid and kept the Basaksehir defenders on their toes.
Axel Tuanzebe (5.5) –
Tuanzebe again looked a bit shaky against Demba Ba and wasn’t wholly convincing in the second half. Got booked as well, meaning he’ll miss the next game against PSG.
Mason Greenwood (6.5) –
Looked to be pumping with hunger to score after coming on and almost did with few of his attempts being saved. Caused a lot of problem with his movement and was rewarded for a solid cameo with a late assist for James’ goal.
Dan James (6.5) –
James’ looked much more positive with his movement and got his first-ever Champions League goal with a simple tap-in in added time. That should give him more confidence to rediscover last season’s form soon.
Brandon Williams (6.0) –
Williams slotted in as a make-shift right back and helped keep things secure on his flank with his aggressive defending and crunching tackles.
Nemanja Matic (N/R) –
The Serbian was brought on to calm things down when Basaksehir started dominating towards the end and helped his side sail their way to victory.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Fernandes was the orchestrator of another win and his exceptional first goal will be remembered for ages. He ensured United sealed the win early, scored crucial goals and still created lots of opportunities before being subbed. He’s definitely the MOTM for today.