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Match Report : Galatasaray 3 – 2 Manchester United

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Galatasaray defeated Manchester United on Matchday 2 of the UEFA Champions League.

Having lost their first game against Bayern Munich, Manchester United needed a win to have a better chance of qualifying for the knockout stages. Having not lost in the league for 20 games, Galatasaray were never going to be an easy opponent to defeat. It was a return for Wilfried Zaha to Old Trafford and he had a point to prove to the club that let him go to Crystal Palace in 2015. Safe to say, he did.

Manchester United started the match strong as they have throughout the season. Most of their attacks were coming from Rashford’s flank and he was enjoying his battle with the relatively inexperienced Frenchman, Sacha Boey. United’s new signing Amrabat started as a left back after injuries to Reguillon, Shaw and Malacia. He still is playing out of position and that has affected both his and the team’s form.

Defensively, United were strong and Casemiro lobbed a ball over Galatasaray’s defensive line that Rashford managed to deceive to stay onside. Surprisingly, he was open on the right side and he sprinted his way to assist Højlund’s second Champions League goal in as many matches. That partnership seems to be building and it will only produce more moments like these as the season progresses.

However, as Manchester United’s season has been nothing short of moments of madness, another was witnessed as a simple long ball through the entire defence allowed Wilfried Zaha to tussle with Dalot and score Galatasaray’s equalizer. Dalot should have done better to deal with him. United should have done better to not concede.

The second half was a glimpse of what football is all about. Manchester United capitalized on finally getting a proper #9 in Højlund’s as he scored his second of the game just moments after his goal was disallowed because of offside. United were hoping to keep hold of their lead for a longer period this time around but ended up conceding just 4 minutes after Højlund’s second. Again, the defensive fragility of this United backline was exposed.

The main moment of the game came when Onana’s pass to Casemiro was intercepted by Mertens who managed to win Galatasaray a penalty and Casemiro, a red card. Icardi missed his penalty and hope was restored at Old Trafford albeit a 10-men Manchester United side.
However, Murphy’s law came full into existence as Icardi scored moments later to give Galatasaray the lead. When it rains, it pours.

Where do Manchester United and Eric Ten Hag go from here? Questions need to be asked about the club from top to bottom and what seemed like a progressive season last year is now a mere reflection of paper over the cracks. With a full takeover in jeopardy and United losing back-to-back games, this is surely the worst start to a Manchester United season seen in decades.

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