Manchester United have lost their second Champions League fixture in a row after falling to pieces against Galatasaray at Old Trafford.
With Manchester United needing to put a strong performance in the Champions League at Old Trafford, it was Rasmus Højlund and Marcus Rashford who fired Erik ten Hag’s team in front, with the Dane heading in Rashford’s fierce cross across the goal on 17 minutes.
However, poor defending from Diogo Dalot allowed Wilfried Zaha to get the better of him with the ball bouncing in the area to hand Galatasaray an equaliser just five minutes later, leaving the sides one apiece at half-time.
The second half saw Højlund score again, but it was ruled for offside… so he then scored AGAIN to give United the lead… something that the Reds were only able to hold for mere seconds, with Kerem Aktürkoğlu equalising.
Mauro Icardi missed a penalty to give the Turkish side a lead, but Casemiro was sent off through a second yellow card for causing the foul – but it was no trouble, as the Argentinian striker scored just minutes later to hand Galatasaray the win.
#1 – Trust in Mejbri increasing
After being left out of the XI that lost 1-0 to Crystal Palace, Ten Hag’s reintroduction of Mejbri to the team when facing Galatasaray shows that Ten Hag is increasing his trust in Hannibal.
Speaking ahead of the game, Ten Hag explained that he had reintroduced Hannibal due to the energy he brings, but that he cannot play every game due to the fact that he is a young player – this was more than likely the reason for Hannibal coming off at half-time.
Hannibal certainly lived up to his instructions, hounding the Galatasaray midfield in the first half and defensive line, getting both plaudits for his performance and a yellow card to show for it.
#2 – Højlund shows what United must do
Højlund’s first goal against Galatasaray made him the youngest player to score on his first two Champions League appearances since Erling Haaland – and it was the exact type of goal that he has been brought in for.
Marcus Rashford shot down the right-hand side to put in a high and pacy cross, and Højlund did brilliantly to get ahead of the defender and use the pace on the ball to nod it in past the flat-footed goalkeeper. It is a blueprint that should United continue to follow, it will bear fruit in the form of goals across the rest of the campaign.
For his second, he showed off his alarming levels of pace, bursting through from the halfway line to dink the ball over the top. If United can stop conceding, he will win them games.
#3 – But, Rashford’s delivery can improve
In contrast to the fantastic assist he collected for Højlund’s goal, his 53rd-minute failure of a cross to Bruno Fernandes was abysmal.
After Christian Eriksen played an inch-perfect pass to send Rashford through, the Egnlish winger waited for the keeper to come out before squaring the ball to Fernandes, but he under-hit the pass and the defender managed to race back and clear.
#4 – Amrabat and Mount looking more and more comfortable
A positive from the performance was that both Sofyan Amrabat and Mason Mount look to be becoming more confident on the ball and clicking with their teammates.
After both players had somewhat shakey performances in their first few games, with Mount looking like he needed confidence and Amrabat playing out of position, the increasing number of minutes looks to be doing them well.
#5 – United are absolute bottle jobs
United, in all honesty, should have won this game without too much trouble, but instead, they decided to put in a stupid performance.
All three of Galtasaray’s goals were handed to them on a plate, with United making stupid mistakes across the pitch at key moments to lose the game.
It’s on them, they lost this fixture themselves, and deserve to be wholly criticised for it.
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