Man United’s ‘comical, laughable’ defending laid bare!
Basaksehir went into the game having never won in the Champions League before, and sitting mid-table in the Turkish league, but took just 12 minutes to lay the first blow on United through former Chelsea striker Demba Ba.
Oddly, Basaksehir actually managed to open the scoring from a United corner, with a quick transition and counter-attack soon exposing the fact that the visiting defence had all — to a man — abandoned their posts.
Man United’s defense before Demba Ba’s goal 😳 pic.twitter.com/t6yC6zmnNI
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) November 4, 2020
As you might imagine, the immediate reaction from fans, onlookers and ex-United players on social media was fairly merciless.
The goals against us….please tell me someone is going nuts in that changing room and people are being made accountable.
The shape of the team when we lose the ball for the 1st goal 🤬😱🤯#mufc pic.twitter.com/V7aq0rvBYL
— Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5) November 4, 2020
— Gary Neville (@GNev2) November 5, 2020
Rio Ferdinand led the critics on Twitter, before exclaiming on BT Sport that “you wouldn’t see this [level of defending] on Hackney Marshes” while chastising United’s chaotic back four.
Co-pundit Paul Scholes also weighed in, lambasting the lack of organisation on show. “Embarrassing. What the defence were doing I have no idea,” the former United midfielder grumbled. “The goal is comical, laughable. That can only be a player’s fault — that’s not down to the staff or the coaches.”
Beat PSG and RB Leipzig then lose to Istanbul Basaksehir.
Man United are having a very confusing season 😬 pic.twitter.com/nZjCpWSF5l
— ESPN UK (@ESPNUK) November 4, 2020
United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer branded the goal “unforgivable,” adding that he’d never seen anything like it before.
Demba Ba the first player ever to score an 89th-minute winner in the 13th minutehttps://t.co/kMmD2Idrd8
— Adam Hurrey (@FootballCliches) November 4, 2020
However, for some, Ba’s breakaway conjured images of the climactic stages of the 2013-14 Premier League title race, and one piece of unfortunate botched man-marking in particular.
— Tom Williams (@tomwfootball) November 4, 2020
First time Demba Ba has run from the half-way line to score against an English club since Anfield in 2014.
— Richard Jolly (@RichJolly) November 4, 2020
Liverpool fans watching Demba Ba score vs. Man United. pic.twitter.com/dstHL3oQoT
— ESPN UK (@ESPNUK) November 4, 2020
Of course, it’s worth remembering that the simple act of staying goal-side is one of the very first lessons taught to aspiring defenders. Many compared United’s defending (or lack thereof) to watching a youth team in action, though some felt that was unfair on the kids in question.
And it’s not like things were much better for Istanbul’s second goal of the night either, with United’s defence once again left all at sea as an unencumbered Edin Visca found himself in hectares of space to roll home another for the home side.
How is it possible to be in this defensive position? 🤯 pic.twitter.com/p81ets8Md3
— Football Mumble (@football_mumble) November 4, 2020
Anthony Martial did manage to pull one back for United two minutes before the interval, only for the visitors to then spend the entire second half treading water as their 10-game away winning streak came to an unceremonious end in the Turkish capital.
Perhaps the most damning aspect of the entire performance was that it led some to mourn the sale of Marouane Fellaini some 10 months ago.
One of the first things Solskjaer did as United manager was to sanction Fellaini’s sale. Two games running now United are hoiking the ball towards auxiliary striker Maguire whilst trailing. #mufc
— Samuel Luckhurst (@samuelluckhurst) November 4, 2020
And to top off a thoroughly awful night for United, in a post-match tweet they used the Europa League hashtag rather than the Champions League. Maybe they are getting some practice in for next season?
Man United deleted a tweet after using Europa League hashtag 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣 pic.twitter.com/3J1MW9QcgE
— PULISIÇATE (@Pulisicate) November 4, 2020
Premier League unveils new high-vis ball
Coming a little too late for United’s hapless defence, the Premier League have announced that their new high-visibility official match ball will be rolled out toward the end of the month.
Just as the nights begin to draw in, the air takes on a distinct chill and leaves start to fall, the swapping of the top-flight ball signals the onset of the autumn and winter months.
🥶 𝐂𝐨𝐥𝐝 weather
🔥 A 𝐧𝐞𝐰 matchball
The 𝙃𝙞-𝙑𝙞𝙨 𝙉𝙞𝙠𝙚 𝙁𝙡𝙞𝙜𝙝𝙩 – on-pitch from MW9
Available now | @nikefootball
— Premier League (@premierleague) November 5, 2020
The new Nike Hi-Vis Flight is set to take over duties from its standard white counterpart from Saturday, Nov. 21. Just one weekend left of the classic little number.