- Galatasaray come from behind to stun Red Devils
- Red card for Casemiro as bad run continues
- Hojlund double a plus for Ten Hag on a bad night
Manchester United suffered a 3-2 defeat to Galatasaray in a Champions League clash at Old Trafford, extending their worrisome form this season.
Defensive errors cost Red Devils
Rasmus Hojlund twice put Erik ten Hag’s side ahead, but Galatasaray managed to equalise on both occasions. A crucial error by Andre Onana led to Casemiro receiving a red card in his attempt to salvage the situation. Although Mauro Icardi missed the subsequent penalty, he redeemed himself with the winning goal.
Questions will undoubtedly be raised about Onana, who seemed uncertain throughout the match. However, much of the blame for the collapse falls on the defence. With a loss to Bayern Munich in their opening Champions League fixture, United now face an uphill battle to progress beyond the group stage.
Galatasaray secured their first victory on English soil in 11 attempts, defying early expectations. Hojlund’s impressive play set up an early chance for Bruno Fernandes, and soon after, he netted the game’s opener.
Marcus Rashford found space on the flank, delivering a cross that Hojlund converted from close range. Despite not yet scoring in the Premier League, the 20-year-old striker now boasts three goals in just two Champions League appearances.
While there were encouraging signs for United with Hojlund’s stellar hold-up play, they faltered defensively with a poorly conceded equaliser. A long ball was allowed to bounce, and Zaha managed to get past Diogo Dalot’s challenge, slotting the ball past Onana. Both the defender and goalkeeper could have done more to prevent the goal, resulting in United’s loss of momentum.
There were still opportunities for United, with Mason Mount seeing two chances deflected wide, one of them off his own teammate Hannibal Mejbri. However, Rashford squandered a golden opportunity early in the second half by failing to find Bruno Fernandes.
Ten Hag looked visibly disheartened on the bench, while Fernandes was visibly frustrated by his teammate’s delay in making the pass after being set up by half-time substitute Christian Eriksen. A potential breakthrough was then disallowed as Hojlund was ruled offside.
However, there was no denying the young forward. With the home crowd behind them, Hojlund capitalised on Davinson Sanchez’s slip, running from the halfway line, shrugging off his marker, and displaying remarkable composure to delicately chip the ball into the net.
This should have put Galatasaray on the back foot, but a swift counter-attack altered the course of the game. Amrabat and Victor Lindelof were left chasing shadows in the buildup to Kerem Akturkoglu’s clinical finish. Worse was yet to come. A loose pass from Onana triggered United’s downfall.
Casemiro attempted to rectify the situation, but his rash challenge on Baris Yilmaz resulted in a penalty and a red card for the Brazilian. Although Icardi initially appeared to let United off the hook by missing from the spot, it was another defensive calamity that ultimately cost them.
Sanchez’s header found Icardi unmarked in the centre, with Amrabat playing him onside from left-back and Raphael Varane nowhere to be seen. This time, Icardi finished with precision, prompting jubilation among the away supporters and despair among United faithful.
This marks the first time United have begun a Champions League group stage with back-to-back losses, intensifying the pressure on manager Erik ten Hag. The team now sits at the bottom of the table, trailing their second-placed visitors by four points and leaders Bayern Munich.
United’s woes continue, having now suffered two consecutive losses following their Premier League defeat to Crystal Palace at home. They have lost five of their last seven matches and six out of ten in all competitions this season.
Bettors looking to back Man United need to look to see whether they show any signs of coming out of the rut that they are stuck in. There were some positive signs last night, such as Hojlund’s double, however, there is concern over Ten Hag’s side defensively.
At the time of writing BoyleSports have Manchester United at 3/2 to qualify for the next round, compared to Bayern Munich, 1/100 and Galatasaray 8/11. FC Copenhagen are fourth favourites at 13/2 and it is imperative that United get three points against them in their next Champions League fixture.
With regard to the Premier League, at the time of writing, bet365 have the Red Devils as seventh favourites to win the Premier League, with odds of 100/1 and seventeen favourites to make the top four at 7/2.