Manchester United’s rough patch this season took another downturn following a shocking Champions League defeat to Galatasaray at Old Trafford.
Despite being ahead 2-1, United lost their grip, resulting in a 3-2 setback on their home ground.
This outcome marks their rockiest start to a season in decades, with a record reminiscent of 1986.
After a mere two games in the tournament, the odds of them advancing from the group stage are looking increasingly slim.
Manager Erik ten Hag, under growing scrutiny, asserted his faith in the club’s unity.
“Last season: brilliant, terrific, more than we could expect. We also knew in this project there would be common gaps. At this moment we are in a very difficult period as everyone can see but we come out together, we are fighting together, we are sticking together and we are behind each other. That is me, the directors, the team, all together we will fight,” he emphasised.
Ten Hag went on to address the club’s recent lackluster performances by saying, “If I give an explanation, then you will see as excuses, there are no excuses. We can’t make the errors we are now making. We have to do better, it is a simple fact, we have to win our games.”
United’s rollercoaster evening began with promise as Rasmus Hojlund netted twice, offset only by an equalizer from ex-Red Devil, Wilfried Zaha.
But Galatasaray’s Kerem Akturkoglu managed to balance the scoreline. To make matters worse, an ill-advised pass from United’s goalkeeper, Andre Onana, set the stage for a fateful error.
Casemiro’s challenge on Dries Mertens inside the box earned him a red card. Though Mauro Icardi couldn’t capitalize on the subsequent penalty, he soon redeemed himself by securing the winning goal.
Galatasaray’s triumph marks their inaugural victory on English terrain.
Their coach, Okan Buruk, proudly reflected, “In the second half I believe we played better, we had more chances. At the end of the day we are happy, we won against this team, a very important team. This victory is very important for Turkish football, for us and for our standing in the group.”
Despite Onana’s blunder, which mirrors a similar mistake he made in the opener against Bayern Munich, Ten Hag, who previously managed him at Ajax, remains supportive.
“He was in one semi-final of the Champions League, last year he was in the final of the Champions League, he has the capabilities to be one of the best goalkeepers in the world.
He has shown that and he will do. We already have seen in games his great capabilities, also his personality after he made mistakes. He will bounce back and I am sure he will in the coming games as well.”