Rasmus Hojlund netted two goals for Manchester United, but Galatasaray staged a comeback with Casemiro’s red card and Mauro Icardi’s late winner.
Erik Ten Hag’s team remains winless after two matches.
It was a disappointing night for Manchester United as they suffered a 3-2 defeat to Galatasaray in the Champions League at Old Trafford. The team’s struggles under Erik Ten Hag persist, raising concerns about their form.
Rasmus Hojlund scored two goals to put United in the lead, but Galatasaray managed to equalize both times. Unfortunately, Andre Onana’s mistake resulted in Casemiro receiving a red card. Although Mauro Icardi missed the penalty, he redeemed himself by scoring the winning goal.
Onana will likely face questions about his performance, as his uncertainty was evident.
However, the entire defense shares responsibility for the team’s collapse. With a loss to Bayern Munich in their first Champions League match, there is now a significant amount of work to be done to advance from the group stage. Ten Hag’s concerns are pressing, especially considering United’s six losses in ten matches this season.
Galatasaray’s victory on English soil, their first in 11 attempts, seemed improbable at first. Rasmus Hojlund played a crucial role, setting up Bruno Fernandes for an early opportunity and then scoring the opening goal himself. His positive play was duly rewarded.
Rashford made a great cross from the wide area, and Hojlund headed it in from close range. Despite not scoring in the Premier League yet, the 20-year-old striker has already scored three goals in just two Champions League games.
Hojlund’s impressive hold-up play provided encouraging signs for United. However, they were let down by a defensively poor goal that resulted in the equalizer.
A long ball was allowed to bounce, and Zaha managed to hold off Diogo Dalot before scoring. Both the defender and goalkeeper might feel they could have done better to prevent it. As a result, United lost their flow and momentum.
Despite some opportunities, Mason Mount had two chances deflected wide, including one off his own teammate Hannibal Mejbri.
However, the missed chance by Rashford in the second half, failing to find Bruno Fernandes, was even more significant.
Ten Hag looked devastated on the bench, while Fernandes was furious with his teammate’s decision to delay the centre after being put through by Christian Eriksen.
Although Hojlund appeared to have made the breakthrough on the hour, he was ruled offside.
However, the young forward eventually found the back of the net. With the home crowd cheering, Hojlund capitalized on Davinson Sanchez’s slip and showed incredible composure by dingling the ball into the net from the halfway line.
Galatasaray should have been broken by that goal, but a swift counterattack changed the mood. Amrabat and Lindelof were outplayed in the build-up, and Kerem Akturkoglu’s precise finish made matters worse. And then, things fell apart for United after a loose pass from Onana.
Casemiro’s attempt to rectify the error led to a penalty and a red card for him.
Icardi missed the opportunity to punish United further by firing wide from the spot.
Notwithstanding, it was yet another defensive calamity that ultimately cost United. Sanchez’s header found Icardi unmarked in the middle, with Amrabat playing him onside and Varane nowhere to be found. This time, Icardi finished with skill, causing jubilation among Galatasaray fans and despair among United supporters.
Erik Ten Hag, the manager of Manchester United, acknowledges that the team is going through a difficult period and understands the need for improvement. He emphasizes the importance of togetherness and fighting as a united front. There are no excuses for the errors being made, and the team must do better and win their games.
Regarding Andre Onana’s error, Ten Hag expresses confidence in the goalkeeping group and believes that Onana has the capabilities to be one of the best goalkeepers in the world. Despite mistakes, Onana has shown his great abilities and strong character, and Ten Hag is confident that he will bounce back in the upcoming games.
It was a disappointing night for Manchester United, and there may be increased pressure on Ten Hag now. In spite of not playing poorly, they missed crucial chances that could have changed the game’s outcome.
There seems to be a lack of organization, and United’s defense was too exposed, leaving them vulnerable.
One positive takeaway from the match is Hojlund’s exceptional performance. He showed great skill, held the ball well, led the attack, and scored two impressive goals.
These are indeed worrying times for United, and improvements are needed to turn things around.
Manchester United’s next challenge is a Premier League showdown against Brentford at Old Trafford on Saturday, and kick-off time is 3pm.