“The performance wasn’t good enough” – Pressure increases on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as Manchester United lose in Istanbul

“The performance wasn’t good enough” – Pressure increases on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as Manchester United lose in Istanbul

Bad to worse

Manchester United failed to bounce back from defeat to Arsenal at Old Trafford. The northwest club lost 2-1 to Istanbul Basaksehir on Wednesday, following multiple defensive howlers.

United were frustrated by the Gunners at the weekend, failing to break down Mikel Arteta’s resolute back line. However, it was the Red Devils’ own defence in question versus Basaksehir.

First, Demba Ba was found advantageously alone after a United attack broke down, with Harry Maguire and Axel Tuanzebe nowhere to be seen. The former Newcastle and Chelsea striker ran clean through, and slotted past Dean Henderson.

United’s backline, specifically Luke Shaw, was then found wandering as a ball across the visitors’ box found Visca completely isolated, resulting in the Turkish side’s second.

Anthony Martial’s header before half-time brought hope, but ultimately was not built upon, as Ole Gunner Solskjaer’s side suffered their first Champions League defeat of the season. The loss leaves United still top of their group, but level on points with RB Leipzig.

With three games to go, if PSG can recover, and have Kylian Mbappe and Neymar back after the international break, the group could go to the wire.

Not good enough

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was clearly irritated by his side’s performance, and may well be feeling the pressure. Murmurs that this weekend’s meeting with Everton could prove decisive for the Norwegian’s immediate future have already begun to circulate. Wednesday’s result in Turkey will therefore only add to the pressure.

“Not good enough, the full game,” Solskjaer remarked. “We started off in the first 10 minutes… we had some space and looked like we could find some decent openings but then we left ourselves wide open for two goals and that was disappointing.”

“Good response and good goal after their second [goal] and in the second-half you think we can push on and create chances but we just couldn’t break them down.”

Attempting to explain the reasoning for the hosts’ comedic opener, Solskjaer cited a ‘lack of communication.’

“You play a short corner and everyone forgets the players we’re playing against. Demba Ba gets in behind us, lack of communication and lack of decisions.”

“You don’t usually see those goals at this level, you shouldn’t concede easy goals like this, you know how hard it is to create chances and create goals. And when you give easy and soft goals [away] like the ones here today it makes it a lot harder.”

United face Everton at 12:30pm this Saturday.

See also: Jeremie Frimpong: Profile, Expert Analysis, Tactical Overview & Video


This article was edited by Conor Laird.

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