Europa League 2016-17: Fenerbahce SK 2-1 Manchester United - Player Ratings
Manchester United’s poor European record away from home continued as they were defeated by 2-1 Turkish club Fenerbahce SK at the Sukru Saracoglu Stadium in their Europa League fixture.
A jaw-dropping overhead kick by Moussa Sow opened the scoring for the hosts within 70 seconds, before Jeremain Lens’ free-kick midway through the second half doubled their lead. Wayne Rooney’s sweet strike from 25 yards brought United back into the mix, but Fenerbahce’s defence held on to register a famous victory.
Here are the player ratings from the game at Istanbul.
Volkan Demirel – 7.5
The veteran shot-stopper made a good save to prevent a Marcus Rashford ball from finding Zlatan Ibrahimovic and even made a couple of crucial catches from set-pieces to bail his defenders out. He was powerless to prevent Rooney’s consolation strike from going in.
Sener Ozbayrakli – 7.5
Sener had an excellent night for Fenerbahce, ensuring the likes of Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial rarely got what they crave – space in front of their feet.
Simon Kjaer – 7.5
It was a much improved display by Kjaer following his disastrous outing in the first fixture between these two sides. He maintained his discipline and composure against increasing Manchester United pressure.
Martin Skrtel – 7.5
The ex-Liverpool defender was strong – particularly against Zlatan Ibrahimovic – and led his defence to a deservedly match-winning performance against Jose Mourinho’s side.
Hasan Ali Kaldirim – 8
The left-back made a bright start up the field, sending in the cross for Sow’s wonderful opening goal. Post that, he was influential in preventing Matteo Darmian, Marcus Rashford and Henrikh Mkhitaryan from finding any space on the wing.
Mehmet Topal – 7.5
Topal was instrumental in midfield, making vital interceptions in the defensive half and driving forward when in possession to threaten United.
Josef Souza – 8
The Brazilian defender shielded his defence beautifully, breaking up promising United attacks and initiating counter attacks for the hosts.
Alper Potuk – 7
Potuk – who started in a number 10 role behing Sow – worked hard in defence to help Fenerbahce defend their lead and aso linked up well with Lens on a couple of occasions on the right to ring alarm bells for Luke Shaw .
Jeremain Lens – 8.5
The Sunderland loanee was at his imperious best at Istanbul, worrying Luke Shaw throughout the game thanks to his dangerous movement into the Manchester United penalty area. His free-kick to double the Turkish side’s lead was a thing of beauty that completely deceived the United wall.
Though Fenerbahce attacks were few and far between, Lens took every opportunity with both hands and threatened to increase his side’s lead thanks to his pace and fleet-footedness down the wing.
Moussa Sow – 8
Robin van Persie’s replacement got the stadium bouncing within the opening 90 seconds with an incredible overhead kick from Ali Kaldirim’s cross. His positioning to execute the shot was perfect – in between the two central defenders. He was isolated by a Fenerbahce side mostly sitting on the lead provided by him, but managed to chip in defensively as well.
Volkan Sen – 7
A winger by nature, Sen was mostly doing defensive duty in front of Kaldirim, shutting out any space for Darmian to make any purposeful runs.
Emanuel Emenike – 7
Emenike was devastating on the break, getting behind the defence on three occasions after coming on. His finishing needed more polishing, however, as he saw both his efforts saved by David de Gea when most expected him to score.
Roman Neustadter – N/A
The defensive midfielder was brought on with eight minutes to go to run down the clock.
Ismail Koybasi – N/A
The fullback replaced goalscorer Sow in the 89th minute, hence was unable to make any significant impact.