Home » Four things we learned as Man United suffer devastating 3-2 loss against Galatasaray

Four things we learned as Man United suffer devastating 3-2 loss against Galatasaray

by Derick Kinoti

Manchester United hosted Galatasaray at Old Trafford in their second match of Group A in the Champions League.

United kickstarted their European campaign in a 4-3 defeat at the hands of Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena. Ahead of the Galatasaray clash, Erik ten Hag emphasized that it was a must-win affair to give his side the best possible chance of making it out of the group.

Ten Hag started Andre Onana in goal.

In defence, Diogo Dalot, Raphael Varane, Victor Lindelof and Sofyan Amrabat formed the backline.

Casemiro, Hannibal Mejbri and Mason Mount consisted United’s midfield trio.

Rasmus Hojlund led the line and was flanked by Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes on either wing. Here are four things we learned from Manchester United’s 3-2 loss against Galatasaray.

Mount and Hojlund superb

For the third game in a row since his return from injury, Mount had a good performance.

The Englishman started in the 10 as United’s most advanced player in the middle of the park. As is the norm with Mount, he worked extremely hard off the ball.

When the Red Devils were not in possession, the former Chelsea man pressed well and aggressively.

He tracked back whenever required and ensured United were not overrun in midfield. He also did well creatively. In the first half, the 24-year-old produced a stunning through ball from deep to a running Hojlund to send the goalscorer through on goal.

Unfortunately, Hojlund could not bring the ball under his spell, which gave the Galatasaray goalkeeper the chance to clean up and neutralize the threat.

Mount’s display vs. the Turkish giants comes off the back of yet another commendable display against Crystal Palace on Saturday and before that in the Carabao Cup.

He seems to be one of the few players Ten Hag can rely on to deliver at a high level on a consistent basis.

Alongside Mount, Hojlund was also excellent. The Dane opened the scoring for United via a fantastic header in the first half. It was his second goal in as many games in the Champions League. While he is yet to get off the mark in the Premier League, Europe’s grand stage appears to not be much trouble to him.

He thought he grabbed a brace but he was deemed to have been offside before dispatching the ball into the back of the net.

Hojlund however did get his second goal soon enough when he cleverly chipped the ball above Fernando Muslera.

Beyond the goal, his hold-up play was sensational.

Hojlund kept the ball well which allowed his teammates to come into play. Like Mount, his work rate was redoubtable.

The 20-year-old is steadily growing in confidence and stature. The onus is on others to fashion more clear-cut opportunities for him.

Hannibal struggled

Before the game, Ten Hag explained that Hannibal’s selection in the starting XI was due to the energy he usually injects into the team.

He certainly ran and covered the hard yards, albeit to no successful effect.

The Tunisian seemed to be slightly below the level of some of his more senior colleagues, an occurrence that is of course expected due to his young age and relative inexperience.

He did not offer much on the ball, and it was no surprise he was taken off during the interval.

Hannibal’s below-par performance was made even more glaring by just how big of an impact Christian Eriksen made when he came on.

The 31-year-old Denmark international showed his technical class and ability by just how well he was spraying the ball from deep.

Genuine concerns about Rashford’s form

In yet another game, Marcus Rashford was poor despite getting off to a good start with an assist.

The same concerns that have been raised about his performances in recent games came to the fore vs. Galatasaray.

He still found it hard to get past his man and his efforts off the ball were not satisfactory.

In an instance during the game, he was set on his way by Casemiro in a fantastic counter-attack for the Reds. He made the right decision to hand over the ball to Fernandes who had arrived inside the box but his pass was poor and lacked the weight needed to reach its intended target.

As a result, a good opportunity was sent begging.

He was taken off and Alejandro Garnacho was brought on. The Argentine teenager was much better than Rashford despite being on the pitch for only a few minutes.

So far this season, Rashford has only managed one goal in all competitions – a far cry from the sensational goalscoring from he was in last term.

He seems to be lacking confidence as evidenced by the way his head drops and shoulders shrug whenever things don’t go his way.

Fans are right to be worried about the 25-year-old’s output and performances in recent games.

Onana was shambolic

Against Bayern, Onana took responsibility for United’s loss in Germany.

He undoubtedly also played a big part in the team’s defeat at Galatasaray’s hands. A hospital pass from him to Casemiro that was intercepted by a rival player forced the Brazilian to commit and tackle strongly inside the box, resulting in a red card.

Galatasaray were awarded a penalty. Luckily, Mauro Icardi missed.

Icardi however made amends soon after when he dinked the ball past the United shot-stopper. He could certainly have done better to keep Icardi’s shot out.

In truth, the same could be said of Galatasaray’s second goal.

The Cameroonian was shambolic and was culpable in the defeat at Old Trafford that has now left United bottom of the group without a point, and with a mountain to climb to get through to the next round of the competition.

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