Ole Gunnar Solskjaer blames Man United’s defense for 2-1 loss to Istanbul Basaksehir

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The manager of Manchester United, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has blamed the defense of the club for the 2-1 defeat they suffered in the hands of the lowly rated Turkish club, Istanbul Basaksehir.

United traveled to Turkey on Wednesday to play their third UEFA Champions League match of the 2020-2021 season with nothing but victory at the back of their mind after suffering a 1-0 defeat in the hands of Arsenal the weekend before the match. Unfortunately for Solskjaer and his boys, they couldn’t contain the Turkish league champions.

The comical display of Manchester United’s defense started very early in the match when the Premier League club had a corner kick to take. United decided to take it short and began to pass their way into the box-eighteen of their host. Unfortunately for United’s players, they lost the ball.

Basaksehir’s Edin Visca who picked up the ball from United swiftly gave an upfield pass to 35-year-old Demba Ba. At that point, the United defense was nowhere to be found as almost all the players were at Basaksehir’s half.

Hence, Demba Ba had a free run at United’s goalkeeper Dean Henderson and the former Chelsea striker ensured he finished the one-on-one chance in the 12th minute of the match to give the host an early lead. Demba Ba’s goal became the first UEFA Champions League goal in the history of Istanbul Basaksehir.

Demba Ba celebrates as he scored Istanbul Basaksehir first Champions League goal.
Demba Ba celebrates as he scored Istanbul Basaksehir first Champions League goal.

In less than 30 minutes after the goal, Edin Visca took advantage of another round of poor defending from Manchester United to double Basaksehir’s lead in the 40th minute. Before the first half ended, Anthony Martial succeeded in scoring a goal for United but that was all the visitors could do as Istanbul Basaksehir used Manchester United to get their first UEFA Champions League win in the history of the club.

“The performance wasn’t good enough against a team that worked and ran,” Solskjaer told BT Sport after the match. “They hit us on the break a couple of times and scored two goals like you sometimes do in Europe when you don’t defend well enough.

“The first one we forget about the man up top and that’s unforgivable. The second one, we’re not very well organized to counter-press and win the ball back when we’re playing. So two tough goals to give away and then we didn’t have enough to come back second half.

“We scored from a cross, a good goal by Anthony, and then you think 45 minutes to save something from the game but second half we threw everything at it but we couldn’t break them down.

“It’s not easy to be positive now. Of course, it isn’t when you’ve just lost the way we did. But these players, they’re good players and we have a chance on Saturday morning to get going again.”

Though United are still topping the UEFA Champions League Group H table with 6 points in 3 matches, the pressure on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is already mounting due to the poor run of games he has been recording especially in the Premier League.

On November 7, Solskjaer will face Everton in the league in a must-win match which could go a long way to increase the pressure on him if he fails to win. United is currently in the 15th spot on the league table with 7 points in 6 games.