Europa League 2016-17: Fenerbahce SK 2 - 1 Manchester United - 5 Talking Points
We look at the major takeaways from United's defeat in Turkey.
In one of their most directionless and impotent performances of the season, Manchester United lost 2-1 away to Fenerbahce in the Europa League on Thursday night. Moussa Sow and Jermaine Lens scored exquisite goals before Wayne Rooney pulled one back towards the end of the game.
Manchester United were expected to pick up from their 1-0 win against Manchester City in the EFL Cup but drew to Burnley 0-0 last weekend in a performance that lacked any clinical ability. It was more of the same frustration for Manchester United fans tonight against Fenerbahce in Turkey.
The United lineup included players who haven’t been regulars in the squad, namely – Matteo Darmian, Morgan Schneiderlin, Anthony Martial and Wayne Rooney. However, Mourinho’s side faltered to muster any goal threat worth mentioning against a stubborn Fenerbahce defence.
The stats before the game did not help Manchester United either.
8 - Manchester United have lost seven of their last eight away games in Europe, drawing the other (excluding qualifiers). Dire.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) 3 November 2016
18 - Fenerbahce have managed to score in 18 of their last 19 European games (27 goals). Bull.— OptaCan (@OptaCan) 3 November 2016
Here we take a look at the 5 major talking points from United’ s defeat.
#1 Manchester United concede early again
The Chelsea defeat was the warning for Manchester United’s defence to stay alert early on, as many believed they lost the game by shooting themselves in the foot and conceding in the first minute of that game. Pedro’s goal in the first 30 seconds after kickoff highlighted United’s lack of concentration in the opening exchanges.
Against Fenerbahce, they made the exact same mistake, this time, just past the one minute mark. Blind and Rojo failed to get tight on Moussa Sow or get to the ball before him as a cross came in from the left flank and the striker acrobatically struck the ball into the United net, a shot that De Gea could do nothing about.
They could have closed down the supplier of the cross before it was put into the box as well but failed to do so. That made it 1-0 and United had an uphill task from then on.