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Champions League Minnows Istanbul Basaksehir Proved Man Utd Still Harbour Defensive Liabilities

Edinson Cavani

Istanbul Basaksehir stunned Manchester United in the Champions League as they snatch away a 2-1 victory.

Anthony Martial’s goal right before the climax of the first half could only halve the deficit as the fixture saw a goalless second-half. Meaning Demba Ba’s opening goal which was followed up by Edin Visca’s strike at the 40th minute ensured their side’s triumph.

Apart from the obvious issues that a poor outing from Bruno Fernandes and the front-three displayed, United’s trip to Turkey has proven to be another example of why their defence is still incompetent in technical aspects despite last season’s cleansheet stats. Harry Maguire seems to have taken upon himself to prove he isn’t worthy of his price tag as he finds himself in the spotlight yet again for all the wrong reasons.

Ba’s goal for instance shows where the Red Devils are vulnerable — positioning. There is absolutely no doubt that Maguire is a capable defender, but the criticism against him often comes due to his general lack of technical ability — both with the ball at his feet and (especially) off the ball. For the former Chelsea man’s goal, the Mancunians held a high line, which Basaksehir exploited beautifully. All it took was one lobbed ball to Ba to expose United’s soft underbelly.

The English centre-back – along with Axel Tuanzebe – was caught near the halfway line, only to be outpaced comically by the Senegalese striker who made no mistake as he had no defenders to worry about. Exposing Maguire’s lack of positional awareness once again.

READ MORE : Solskjaer Jumps To Pogba’s Defence As Criticism Piles on The Frenchman Once Again

On the other hand, Fernandes’ inability to affect games without scoring a penalty and control the midfield becomes more apparent as days go on. Now, this does not by any means make the Portuguese international a bad player, it just goes on to show how inept Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been in creating a midfield system that is good enough, or at least consistent enough.

A dysfunctional midfield often makes the midfield more vulnerable and that is what fans witnessed this week. Solskjaer has been given a lot of time to deal with these issues, but it seems like he is finding it difficult to patch these leaks up. It is not surprising that a section of the fanbase has already turned against him completely — after all, not everyone can be satisfied with ages of inconsistencies.

Read More : An Overwhelmed Solskjaer Seems Resigned to his Fate as Former Players Reluctantly Admit End is Nigh

The former Cardiff City boss fielded a very strong side for the tie against Basaksehir and yet they failed to get a respectable result or put up a respectable performance. Maybe the Norwegian is as incompetent as many claim him to be, maybe he needs more time. But one thing is for sure — the Old Trafford outfit’s weaknesses are very apparent and needs to be addressed as soon as possible.


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