Manchester United 4 Istanbul Basaksehir 1 – Double strikes from Bruno Fernandes take United closer to knock-out stages; Red Devils avenge Istanbul defeat as Basaksehir demolished

Marcus Rashford

UEFA Champions’ League Group H report – Manchester United vs. Istanbul Basaksehir – Tuesday, 24 November 2020 – Matchday 4 of 6 report

Manchester United 4 Istanbul Basaksehir 1 – Old Trafford

Manchester United came to within a point of qualifying for the knock-out stages when they thrashed Istanbul Basaksehir 4-1 at Old Trafford in a Group H encounter of the Champions’ League.

After going down to the Turkish club 1-2 earlier this month in the first leg of this tie, the Red Devils were off to  a perfect start at Manchester as Bruno Fernandes drove a half-volley in to the top corner of the net from the edge of the area in as early as the 7th minute.

The goal came when Alex Telles’s corner was flicked with a header from Edinson Cavani to Fernandes, who positioning himself on the edge of the box, rifled his shot in from a half-volley.

This was after Marcus Rashford forced a smart save from Istanbul goalkeeper Mert Gunok following a weaving run. Rashford looked to have doubled the lead for United with a strike four minutes later, but the goal was disallowed as the English striker was found to have moved a fractionally too soon for a Cavani pass.

United’s pressing paid off as they got their second of the night in the 19th minute albeit through fortuitous circumstances when Gunok spilled a Tellis pass for Fernandes to pounce in and score his 21st goal for the Manchester club.

The Portuguese was then handed the opportunity to complete his hat-trick from the penalty spot after Rashford was bundled over inside the box by Boli Bolingoli following a fine ball from Victor Lindelof.

Referee Ovidiu Hategan initially pointed to the spot but then waited for VAR to confirm the decision. This was United’s 30th penalty award in 75 games since the start of last season.

Fernandes. United’s normal penalty taker, stepped aside to allow Rashford to drive in his spot-kick low and hard as the Red Devils went into the interval with an emphatic 3-0 lead.

There seemed to be a revival of sorts on the part of the visitors post the break with Demba Ba trying a goalbound effort but failing under pressure from Harry Maguire. David De Gea was forced into action a little later as he produced a brilliant save low down to deny Edin Visca from close range.

Solskjaer replaced Rashford and Fernandes on the hour mark with Daniel James and Mason Greenwood. But that seemed to have lifted Basaksehir instead, as David de Gea failed to keep out Deniz Turuc’s free-kick in the 75th minute. For a time it looked like De Gea had saved the effort, but goal-line technology deemed the ball had crossed the line as it trickled in.

United seemed rattled by Basaksehir’s opener and survived a scare when Visca’s speculative long-range shot cannoned off the bar. But that was all the side from Istanbul could do as James put the game to bed 2 minutes into stoppage time when he tapped home Greenwood’s cross for his first goal since March.

The win means United are top of Group H and need just a point from their remaining two very tough Group outings against PSG and RB Leipzig to qualify for the knockout stage.

Manchester United starting XI:

De Gea (goal), Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Alex Telles, Van de Beek, Fred, Martial, Bruno Fernandes, Rashford, Cavani.

Subs: Greenwood, James, Matic, Williams, Tuanzebe.

Istanbul Basaksehir starting XI:

Gunok (goal), Da Silva, Skrtel, Epureanu, Bolingoli Mbombo, Ozcan, Visca, Chadli, Kahveci, Turuc, Ba.

Subs: Kaldirim, Giuliano, Tekdemir, Gulbrandsen, Ponck.

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